Mitzvah Circle Foundation
- Project Focus: Family
- Year of Award: 2021
- Grant Award: $15,000
Organization Background and Information
Mitzvah Circle’s key programs focus on addressing the social determinants of health, as we recognize the power of social, economic, and environmental factors that adversely affect health outcomes. Our Critical Needs for Healthy Families, Diaper Bank, and Period Supply programs provide necessities that enable recipients to attend work and school, normalize health care utilization, and create stable, supportive households. Adverse childhood experiences —crippling poverty, critical illness, or an unstable familial environment —are hardly transient events; they influence children well into adulthood. Children who experience a great deal of adversity in their formative years are more likely to suffer from unhealthy levels of stress and serious illness as adults —increasing their long-term medical costs. Mitzvah Circle addresses this issue at its root by providing essentials necessary for proper hygiene and well-being, and reducing childhood adversity by providing most-needed items. At Mitzvah Circle we think differently about people in need. We speak directly to each family to address what they lack to survive and thrive. The demand for our services demonstrates that people in crisis often have nowhere to turn for timely and impactful assistance. The COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the number of people requiring assistance in 2020 and we expect that this will extend well into 2021 and beyond. During the pandemic, the requests for help from families living in poverty, in crisis, and with serious illness has tripled due to unemployment, a shortage of services due to circumstancessurrounding the pandemic, and inadequate healthcare delivery. Families who were struggling before are worse off now, and families who did not require assistance before, are now lining up for help. Mitzvah Circle has been a beacon of light for over 97,725 people during the past year of tremendous hardship for so many. In the last 6 months, we distributed 1.4 million diapers, 486,000 pads and tampons, and 39,472 personal hygiene products directly to families and partner organizations. The families we support are living paycheck to paycheck or are dependent on government assistance. They are unable to buy in bulk to stock up on items needed to get them through a potential quarantine or extended lockdown. With the extension of voluntary stay at home practices the families we serve may be looking at months of unemployment and by default months of difficulty obtaining the lifesaving products we provide like diapers and soap. Systemic change comes from community empowerment. By providing essential items, we empower our recipients as they walk the path towards self-sufficiency and work towards creating systemic change.
Summary of grant request/proposal
Mitzvah Circle is seeking funds to purchase diapers, baby wash and wipes, soap, period supplies and other personal hygiene products for direct distribution to families in need. Access to diapers, period supplies and personal hygiene products are critical to a family’s ability to attend school and work. With the current COVIC-19 pandemic situation, these items are nothing short of lifesaving as they help mitigate the risk of contracting and spreading the virus among vulnerable communities.