(PHOENIX – May 26, 2020) - After receiving a $25,000 emergency COVID-19 grant from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, Phoenix-based nonprofit, Esperança provided care packages that included such things as toilet paper, paper towels, disinfectant and activity books to 250 seniors living in HUD housing including: Casa Pedro Ruiz, Paseo Abeytia, Casa Bill Soltero, Avondale Haciendas, Fillmore Gardens, Pine Towers, Guadalupe Huerta, Urban League and Aeroterra Senior Village.
“With the current health pandemic impacting our ability to provide our Phoenix program classes in-person, we knew that this grant would give us another way to continue to serve our community,” says Esperança President & CEO Jeri Royce. “As always, we listened to their needs and provided care packages based on what they told us they needed most.”
In the coming weeks, Esperança will provide another 250 care packages of household necessities to low-income families throughout the Valley.
When COVID-19 hit the Phoenix-area, Esperança’s Phoenix program staff knew it would be a challenge to continue providing in-person health education to the Latino community. After brainstorming a way to stay connected to this group that needed support more than ever, the staff began conducting weekly mental health check-ins with 250 former class participants. Through these calls, they have been able to provide the seniors with community resources, give them someone to talk to, and identify the household and medical supplies they may need.
During one recent call, Esperança’s Manager of Family Programs, Xochitl Wilson learned that Margarita, a senior who participated in Esperança’s DEEP (Diabetes Empowerment Education Program), was scared to go to the pharmacy to pick up her insulin because she is high-risk for COVID-19. She also recently lost her job and couldn’t afford the next prescription.
“After Hearing about Margarita’s situation, I immediately advocated for Esperança to pay for the prescription. I picked up the prescription from the pharmacy and safely dropped off the insulin to Margarita,” says Wilson. “We are committed to providing hope now more than ever.”
After Margarita received her prescription from Wilson she said, “I’ve heard that angels exist on Earth, and that’s what Esperança is to me.”
Esperança’s Phoenix program also continues to share oral health and nutrition education to the Latino community through its Spanish Facebook page, Esperanca en su Comunidad to not only its past participants, but an entirely new larger audience.
For more information about Esperança, please visit www.esperanca.org.
Derived from the Portuguese word for “hope,” Esperança has been dedicated to transforming lives since its inception in 1970. Now celebrating 50 years of service this year, globally Esperança works within some of the poorest communities in Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Mozambique and Peru, providing health education, food security, disease prevention, access to clean water, ecological home-building and life-altering surgeries. Further, the organization also serves under-resourced children, adults and seniors in Maricopa County through programs such as oral health, chronic disease prevention and management, nutrition, and parent ambassador training. For more information, please visit: www.esperanca.org.