Variety DC News


27 Local Families Awarded COVID-19 Emergency Grants October 1, 2020 11:00 AM

Variety DC in Action: COVID-19 Emergency Grant Program

“My family and I would love to thank you and the organization for the Grant provided to us.  You don’t imagine the change you guys make on us and other families like ours.  Things like the ones you do lets us know there is still good people out here in the world.  Thank you!”

In our first round of Emergency Grant offerings, we awarded 27 grants to families with children with special needs (including mobility, cancer, cognitive disabilities, autism).  Families were located throughout the DMV (11 in DC, 15 in MD, 1 in VA) and were referred to Variety DC from 10 unique groups including Children’s National, HSC, DC and Montgomery Public Schools, KIPP Academy, PG County and Frederick County Infant and Toddler Programs and One World Center for Autism.

Recipient families had experienced job loss due to a wage earner contracting COVID-19 or being furloughed as a result of the pandemic.  These families consisted of service sector employees, especially in the home health care, construction, cleaning crew, and hospitality industries.  They also included classroom teacher aides who lost income due to reduced in-person classroom opportunities (including summer programs), as well as permanent job cuts due to COVID.

Many families are single parent households who suffered a complete loss of income for weeks and months due to the COVID implications in their industries.  Some are back to work in various capacities; others remain unemployed.

Families Impacted by the Program

A few examples of families helped:

Mom, pre-COVID working fulltime and partime job, lost her partime job, which helped cover groceries and essential needs for daughter with CP.  Father, currently stay at home dad, was former military and recently completed his college degree, but has been unable to find a job during COVID.

Single mom of two teens.  Older child has global developmental delay, autism and conduct disorder.  Mom is a 10 month instructional assistant in the public school system who relies on the summer instructional opportunities to supplement family income, but did not have an opportunity for summer employment due to COVID.

Parents of child with CP. Mom worked in restaurant industry, lost position with arrival of COVID and remains unemployed. Both father and mother then fell ill with COVID.  Dad was very ill and missed several weeks of work.

Older brother sent in grant request for younger brother with Down Syndrome since mother does not speak English.  Both parents caught COVID.  Mom worked in restaurant industry, and hopes to return to her position once she is healthy.

Mother of a child with cancer who lost her job with Lyft because she needed to stay home with her children while schools are closed for in-person instruction.

What Families are Saying 

“My family and I would love to thank you and the organization for the Grant provided to us.  You don’t imagine the change you guys make on us and other families like ours.  Things like the ones you do lets us know there is still good people out here in the world.  Thank you!”

“Just a short note to say thank you!!  I so appreciate you going the extra mile to help me out!  It could not have come at a better time.  God bless you all!”

“Thank you SO much for your support for these families.  It truly makes all the difference.” – Clinical Social Worker, Children’s National Medical Center

How Can You Get Involved in Round Two?

Apply for Assistance. If you are a parent of a child with a mobile disability who has been laid off or furloughed as a result of COVID-19, please submit your application for assistance here.

Donate as an Individual or Corporation. If you are an individual, business or corporation that would like to contribute towards this urgent need, your generous donations are appreciated.  Click here to donate online or contact leigh@varietydc.org for other payment methods.

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