By Ericka Plater for The Island Connection
At the core of the mission of Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach every day is the ability to provide assistance, education and wellness services to individuals and families to support self-sufficiency in the communities we serve. We understand all too well that a strain such as this will disproportionately affect low-income and vulnerable populations. Those we serve are already living paycheck to paycheck, and even the slightest reduction in income can create a financial crisis for the entire household. In the event that businesses may need to reduce staffing or hours, or a parent needs to miss work due to school closures, we are committed, as always, to ensuring that the most vulnerable among us receive the critical support they need to not fall behind.
We know that an especially difficult path may lay ahead for many. Our priority during this time is to remain an anchor in the community. In order to safely support our community, staff and volunteers, we are making the following changes until further notice.
We will continue to provide updates periodically on our website and social media platforms:
- Emergency services – food, clothing, financial assistance – continue to operate at both locations;
- The soup kitchen has moved from hot lunches to pickup only bag lunches;
- All adult and youth education programs are suspended;
- OLMCO’ dental clinic closed March 17;
- OLMCO’ women’s wellness services closed March 17;
- All additional non-essential activities have been suspended.
We highly encourage clients, staff, volunteers, partners, donors and other community members to put their health first, to take precautions as outlined by the CDC and to follow the guidance of local officials.
As we prepare for a potential increase in the number of people we serve and possible disruptions to our food supply, many of you have reached out to ask how you can help. We are so appreciative of your offers of financial or food contributions and especially for your genuine concern for the well-being of those we serve. We need your support now more than ever.
While times like this are trying, they often bring out the best in human nature, and we see inspiring examples of neighbors helping neighbors and individuals stepping up to support our community.
If you have any questions, please call 843-559-4109.