Philadelphia Futures Seeks Help from the Community During the COVID-19 (coronavirus) Pandemic

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PHILADELPHIA (March 18, 2020) – The Philadelphia Futures physical office closed on Monday, March 16, to ensure the safety of its students and staff and in keeping with the guidance offered by the city and the CDC. During this office closure, Futures transitioned to a solely remote support model for all students and a 100% distance learning model for high school after-school classes. Philadelphia Futures staff will continue to work remotely until Monday, April 6 or until the “stay at home” order is lifted. All of Futures after-school clubs and other external events were cancelled or are being conducted remotely. 

For the Philadelphia Futures students and their families, this is a very challenging time. Futures continues to be vigilant in their outreach to ensure that all students and their families feel supported as they face the many obstacles that accompany these unfortunate circumstances. In order to do this, they have reached out to their community for help. There are many ways that people can get involved. Here are a few options they have asked the community to consider:  

   a.  Technology: Some of the Philadelphia Futures students are struggling with access to computers, given the shift to remote learning that many colleges and high schools are choosing. Please consider a donation of a new laptop for our students. Please contact Sara Woods (sarawoods@philadelphiafutures.org) for more information.   

  b.  Gift Cards: Several of the Philadelphia Futures students, without the benefit of school provided meals (high school and college), are struggling. Please consider a donation of a pre-paid Visa/MC gift card so that they may access healthy, fresh food. Gift cards should be sent to the Philadelphia Futures office: 230 S. Broad Street, 7th Floor, attn: Michael Johnson, Director of Finance and Administration. 

 c.   Opportunity Fund: Please consider a contribution to the Philadelphia Futures Student Opportunity Fund. These funds allow the organization to help with emergency expenses for students that, if not addressed, will prevent them from achieving their college dreams. Please note “Opportunity Fund” when making your contribution by clicking here.

d.   Become a Sponsor: Sponsorships are a key part of Philadelphia Futures’ Sponsor-A-Scholar program and are even more important now. Sponsorship funds provide a powerful incentive for students while in high school. Once in college, the funds are a critical piece of the student’s overall financial aid package. Students use these additional funds for costs not covered by traditional financial aid, such as transportation, books, and meal plans. During this crisis, students have used their sponsorship funds for transportation home and for food. You can learn more about becoming a sponsor by clicking here.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure the continuity of services and support for our scholars while ensuring their safety,” Sara Woods, Executive Director of Philadelphia Futures, said. “As key supporters of these young people, your care and encouragement are critical during this time.” 

For any questions, concerns, or additional ideas about how to get involved, please contact Sara Woods at sarawoods@philadelphiafutures.org or 215-790-1666 ext. 470.  


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