Imani Kwanzaa Celebration
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.