Dear friend of Bottomless Closet,
I hope this email finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe.
Since I last wrote to you, all of our lives have been touched in some way by COVID-19. Over the last two weeks, at Bottomless Closet, we have worked tirelessly to reach out to clients via phone and email, to support them with remote programming, vital resources and most importantly, to let them know they are not alone.
Knowing our clients would be among those most negatively affected by the pandemic, we also designed an online survey, to which almost 400 clients responded. The results, as we feared, are stark:
- 62% of working clients have been permanently or temporarily laid off and 20% have had their hours reduced.
- 87% report that they will not be given paid sick leave if they get sick.
- 67% of clients have no savings to cover their needs in the case of layoffs or illness.
- 39% of job-seeking clients report having no interviews and 14% report a reduced number of interviews.
While these figures make for grim reading, there is also reason for hope. As a result of our outreach and sharing job opportunities, three of our clients have secured vital positions as Certified Nursing Assistants!
Additionally, an incredible 84% of clients have responded favorably to our remote learning program!
But beyond just our programming, the pandemic has also affected Bottomless Closet in other critical ways. For the first time in many years, we will be unable to get together in person at our annual Spring Luncheon on May 13 – an event which traditionally raises half of our annual operating budget. Like I know you will be, we are sad and disappointed but we know that the Spring Luncheon has always been about more than the food and the venue. You have told us how this extraordinary day of empowerment uplifts you and our whole community. With that in mind, I am excited to let you know that we are forging ahead for our May 13 date to launch our very first Virtual Spring Luncheon!
This unique and participatory online experience will capture the spirit of celebration and optimism of our Spring Luncheon and promises to inspire us all at a time when we need it more than ever! We hope that you will join us at what promises to be a day to remember when we draw on our favorite luncheon traditions and start some new ones. I look forward to sharing more information as to how to take part very soon.
In the meantime, I wanted to leave you with the words of our client Amanda, who despite being laid off from a job she had just started and already loved, is responding to the situation with resilience and hope:
“When the smoke clears I plan to continue my search to help those in need, any way I can. I truly appreciate the concern and effort from Bottomless Closet during these trying times. I have been updated and hopeful through your emails.” - Amanda
For more client COVID-19 stories and full online survey results, please click here.
Like our clients, we are a resilient community and I’m confident that together, we will make this year’s Virtual Spring Luncheon a celebration to remember that helps support more clients like Amanda who need us now and more than ever when this crisis is over.
Thank you for being a valued member of the Bottomless Closet family and please watch your inbox for additional news of our Virtual Spring Luncheon in the coming days.
Sincerest wishes for good health to you, your families, and your loved ones.
Melissa Norden, Executive Director
P.S. We were having problems with our donation page last week, but this is now fixed. If you would like to make a contribution, click here.