Over the last seven months since COVID-19 began, Independence Center has needed to rapidly develop and refine many new technologies and platforms in order to ensure that our members were still able to access the essential services they needed.
In early March, Independence Center created a Virtual Clubhouse and implemented Telehealth services so members could continue connecting with others remotely. However, after creating the virtual platform, the next challenge was making sure that all members had the technology and knowledge base to access it.
“It was clearly evident though that this wasn’t helpful to so many of our members because of a lack of technology and a lack of knowledge to use that technology,” said member Amanda Rau. “So many of my friends were in complete isolation and there was nothing to do about it.”
Thankfully, Independence Center received a $94,000 grant from the St. Louis County Cares COVID-19 Humanitarian Response fund. With that money, and the help of Sprint/T-Mobile we were able to purchase 151 devices for our members with 6 months of free unlimited text/talk/data plans for each device. These savings allowed Independence Center to purchase additional TVs for the Clubhouse so members can connect virtually. Many of our members are not only using the new devices to connect with friends and make Telehealth appointments, but also take online classes.
We are so thankful for this grant and for our wonderful staff that is helping to make sure that every member knows how to operate their device and connect to the virtual world!
We are excited to announce that Independence Center’s signature fundraising event, Dancing with the St. Louis Stars 2021 will be held January 23, 2021. Nearly 30 dancers are in contention for the highly coveted title of Champion of Champions!
This year, followers of the event will experience an exciting new, virtual and interactive approach. Past dancing performances will be shared online starting in November leading up to a night-of virtual event. Donations made as online votes determine the ultimate champ!
Historically held at the Ritz Carlton, this year’s event will offer a variety of purchase options for access tickets from viewing and voting to party packages for Watch Party events, all to be announced in November at www.
Independence Center is honored to have been named a United Way Safety Net partner. We are excited to join this organization that does so much for the Greater St. Louis area as they launch their annual kick-off fundraising campaign (Sept 8 – Oct 31).
As part of our responsibility to the cause, we are striving for 100% staff participation in our donation drive for the campaign.
Every donation, every dollar counts, so we also ask that if you already participate in the United Way Campaign at your organization, consideration of designating your United Way pledge to support Independence Center is greatly appreciated.
The Safety Net Partnership network consists of more than 160 local nonprofits serving people across 16 counties in Missouri and Illinois, these partner agencies help our neighbors stay healthy, access education, ensure their basic needs are met and become financially stable. Acceptance into this network provides annual funding over three years (2021-2023) to Independence Center. Our annual funding amount from United Way depends on the overall success of their campaign.
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