2020.... what an unusual year full of experiences like we have never encountered before. So much has happened and it is more than we can possibly share with you in this letter. We wanted to take a moment of your time to both celebrate and reflect on all that's happening at Community CARES. To help get the word about CARES, we would like to introduce you to the newest member of the team, our mascot RC. RC represents the comings, goings and the many faces of Community CARES. But why am I still talking? I will let RC introduce himself.
Hi there, I'm RC. I'm a little nervous to introduce myself, so I'm borrowing some tunes from a guy you may know, the "Fresh Prince of Bellaire". I've adapted his tune to our story and I hope you enjoy it.
"Now this is a story all about how, our lives were flipped upside down, And I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, I'll tell you how I became RC of Community CARES...
In Carlisle, Pennsylvania, born and raised, on the floors of churches is where I spent most of my days. Busy providing showers, laundry and meals, feelin' real cool, and providing a place where kids have a home after school.
When a little known virus, up to no good, started makin' trouble in our neighborhood. One little cough and we had to get prepared. So we called on our amazing Community that CARES.
We whistled for support, and as it came near, dozens and dozens of "fresh" faces appeared. if anything, I could say our need was rare. But I thought "Nah forget it, Yo we need those who care".
Cars pulled up to the building, like seven and eight, and yelled to the driver 'Yo friends, this is great".
2020 "RC" ANNUAL APPEAL
TEXT RC2020 to
When Governor Wolf first announced the need to lockdown for 15 days to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 spread, we were not prepared for the magnitude and duration of what would happen next, or how our community would join us in our efforts.
But CARES took it as a call to action. As businesses either partially or fully closed and uncertainty filled the air, CARES quickly began to strategize how we could safely provide distance for 65 men, women and children who used our shelter. We had to find a new overnight location since the churches, (that we traditionally used for sleeping our residents) faced the same uncertain reality and the need to close their doors. Thankfully, the American Legion and Carlisle Borough Stuart Center provided a short-term solution for evening shelter of single men and women. We also received funds to place families in hotels to shrink the number living in shelter. We communicated with local leaders, our host churches and YOU to assist with the care of the day-to-day needs of shelter, including preparing and delivering meals for both those in shelter and hotels. To assist with hygiene needs, we offered showers for those living unsheltered, along with portable toilets and outdoor sinks. We also applied for grants to assist those who have been impacted by job loss and need assistance covering their rent.
Now, more than ever, Community CARES is only as strong as those that comprise it, like the "Josies"
who faithfully bring milk to support the over 50 food bins a week delivered to those we shelter in local hotels and the "Dr. Bobs" who have been unable to volunteer at the front desk, but are busy making connections to help get meals made for the residents. Our community provided over 9,135 meals since March. Church groups and organizations have held drives to collect needed supplies for our street outreach team which visited over 100 people living in vehicles or other places not meant for human habitation since March. Local businesses continue to support our efforts despite the rough year they are having (please shop local). And we appreciate the "Carries" who helped us redesign our website and social media(check it out, it looks good) and the "MaryAnns" who use their art talents to paint face masks and donate proceeds to CARES. Supports like these helped us to provide13,365 shelter beds and 896 outreach showers since March. We appreciate the countless community supports, which enable us to take in families affected by domestic violence, sudden loss of jobs or housing, those struggling with health issues, those needing to be quarantined due to COVID-19 and so much more. We are stronger because of YOU!
As you consider your end of year giving, we want to ask for your continued financial support during this season. YOU understand the value of the services that we provide to support those in our community struggling with homelessness and we thank you again for all you have done to keep us strong.
P.P.S. Did we mention we are working to secure our own building to shelter both day and night in order to keep everyone safe and socially distant?
More details to come on way you can be a part of this great need.