Last year, more than any other, has shown us the importance of adaptability. Through the dedicated support of our donors, staff, board and volunteers, SHAPE was able to remain open and continue serving the community. In October, we cautiously resumed some in-person services with our elders. Approximately fifteen visited the center for food, supplies, PPE, computer services, and the opportunity to safely socialize. Unfortunately, the coronavirus cases in our city resurged and we were not able to reestablish our regular programming for the Elder’s Institute of Wisdom. We made the necessary adjustments to ensure deliveries to the homes of those in need. Along with deliveries, we made regular phone calls to check on the well-being of 20-40 elders each week.
A modified version of our youth program continued to operate with a focus on children who struggled with online learning because of various barriers they faced at home. The enrollment fluctuated weekly from four to fifteen children between the ages of 5-15 years old. Assisting children through day school instead of our regular after-school program resulted in SHAPE increasing our internet services, upgrading virus software to the 20 computers in our computer lab, and adding additional services, such as Zoom. Since many of the families did not have adequate equipment at home, we also donated or loaned approximately 20 laptops.
Despite all of the event and program cancellations and other changes, we were still able to end the year with our annual celebration of Kwanzaa. It was our first virtual presentation, so we had to work out some kinks, but we will definitely continue the online presence even when we are able to resume in-person events. It was a challenging year, but we learned a lot… however, we still miss seeing all of you, and wish you the happiest new year.
Dec 4, 2020
Thank you for your support on #GivingTuesday
By Shondra Muhammad - Executive Administrator
We are so appreciative of your participation in our 2020 Giving Tuesday Campaign! With your help, we raised over a thousand dollars, which does not include our portion of the matching funds. While we did not meet our fundraising goal, we learned a lot from the experience. In the future, you can expect to see us engaging with you more on Instagram and Facebook.
As our local educational institutions continue to face challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, your supports of after-school enrichment is helping children who face multiple barriers in a virtual learning environment. Our enrollment fluctuates weekly from anywhere between 8 to 20 students.
We will continue to work toward updating our equipment to at least 20 new laptops and increasing our internet capacity. In the meantime, we will provide quality education and enrichment in a safe, supportive and nurturing space.
We enjoyed hearing from you during the campaign and we welcome your feedback about Giving Tuesday or any of our programs. Again, thank you so much for your support.
Sep 28, 2020
Adapting to Changing Times
By Shondra Muhammad - Executive Administrator
Although Houston has re-opened many more businesses and public spaces since our last report, SHAPE continues to follow the most cautious guidelines, and we have only partially returned to our regular programs. During this time, SHAPE has also turned 51 years old!
As we plan for our “new normal,” we are engaging with community stakeholders either virtually or through small socially-distanced gatherings. Our first meeting included 5 stakeholders who focused on outlining our new organization structure and determining which programs and activities we can sustain. We will continue to meet every two weeks, or as needed, bringing in additional stakeholders to contribute to the process.
In the meantime, we have maintained meal deliveries to elders, averaging 20-30 meals that we deliver three days a week. We have also established community outreach that allows us to check in on those who are still primarily home-bound. In addition, we host “Grab & Go” events at least twice a month and provide groceries, cleaning supplies, youth items and other necessities. These mass distributions service 300-500 community members. Additionally, we distribute approximately 100 disposable or reusable masks each week, as supplies last.
Your generous donations are helping us to ensure that our communities feel safe and supported as we all work through creating some sense of normalcy out of the unknown. We are excited to continue working with you and our stakeholders to carry on a legacy of service.