May 22, 2020
Contact: Michelle Subbiondo, Living Classrooms Foundation | firstname.lastname@example.org
Baltimore, MD – Living Classrooms today announced it received a $50,000 grant from Truist Financial Corporation to support its efforts to respond to ongoing community needs in response to the COVID-19 health crisis.
Traumatic exposures in the communities served by Living Classrooms such as violence, poverty, and racism are magnified by the devastating effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Families living within the Baltimore Target Investment Zone specifically, in which as many as 56.2% of households make less than $25,000 a year, are highly vulnerable not only to illness but also the cascading effects of lost income, food insecurity, unmet basic household and hygiene needs, learning loss resulting from school closures, and poor access to reliable, credible public health information such as CDC guidance.
As the effects of the virus have swept into every facet of society, Living Classrooms has collaborated with community partners and supporters to deploy a rapid local response to help mitigate the collateral effects on Baltimore and DC’s most vulnerable residents. In the immediate weeks following stay-at-home orders, Living Classrooms creatively pivoted services to continue to meet the needs of children, adults, and families while adhering government safety regulations.
Living Classrooms quickly established food and supply distribution sites at its POWER House Community Center located in Perkins Homes, Baltimore City’s largest public housing community, its two Safe Streets sites in East Baltimore, and through its Dent House Community Center in Southwest Washington, DC. Safe Streets Violence Interrupters, deemed an essential service by Baltimore City, are providing critical mediation services to quell rising violence. The Foundation also developed thousands of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Activity Boxes to distribute to city students in Baltimore and DC, established distance learning opportunities for its students, instituted a protocol for staff to conduct wellness checks with program participants, and acquired technology for its public charter middle school students of The Crossroads School to access daily lessons and not fall behind academically.
In addition, Living Classrooms’ workforce development team has been diligently identifying job openings and assisting unemployed adults in obtaining positions in high demand fields like stocking, delivery, and sanitation to ensure financial stability for families during this time.
“We are grateful to Truist for their important support that will help us continue to act as a critically needed resource for the children, adults, and families that have been among the hardest hit by this global pandemic,” said James Piper Bond, President and CEO of Living Classrooms Foundation.
The grant is part of the financial services company’s Truist Cares initiative, a $25 million philanthropic pledge announced in March to support basic needs, medical supplies, and financial hardship relief due to COVID-19.
“Our purpose at Truist is to inspire and build better lives and communities, and we are happy to have been able to support Living Classrooms with this grant,” said Greg Farno, Maryland President at Truist. “We are thankful for the important work they do around the Baltimore community year-round but especially so during this challenging time for families and children.”
Living Classrooms Foundation is a Baltimore-Washington, DC-based nonprofit that disrupts the cycle of poverty and makes our community safer, stronger, and healthier by meeting individuals where they are and building skills for life. We inspire children, youth, and adults to achieve their potential through hands-on education, workforce development, health and wellness, and violence prevention programming, using urban, natural, and maritime resources as “living classrooms.” Living Classrooms Foundation has been serving the community since 1985. More at: www.livingclassrooms.org.
Truist Financial Corporation is a purpose-driven financial services company committed to inspire and build better lives and communities. With 275 years of combined BB&T and SunTrust history, Truist serves approximately 10 million households with leading market share in many high-growth markets in the country. The company offers a wide range of services including retail, small business and commercial banking; asset management; capital markets; commercial real estate; corporate and institutional banking; insurance; mortgage; payments; specialized lending and wealth management. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Truist is the sixth-largest commercial bank in the U.S. Truist Bank, Member FDIC. Learn more at www.truist.com.