Empowering Social Innovation
WellMet seeks to empower communities to take action and a leading role in their welfare and sustainability. We strive to identify and fund organizations that are taking informed and measured risks to innovate, experiment and engage in finding solutions to New York City’s most vexing social issues. Smart, courageous and creative leaders are the hallmark of our grantees and WellMet applauds their tenacity, initiative and commitment.
In today’s world we know that grit and smarts, alone, do not always move the needle. Innovative organizations need funding and the legitimacy that comes with that. This is the role that WellMet seeks to play.
Through a rigorous grantmaking process, WellMet identifies New York City’s rising stars and gives them a chance to realize success with a one-time unrestricted grant. We are proud of the impact we have enabled through our grantmaking and delight in sharing these quotes with you.
"BK ROT is grateful for support from WellMet foundation during these unprecedented times. With support of the WellMet foundation, BK ROT workers will continue our essential work of collecting food waste by bike and transforming it to compost in a changed COVID-19 landscape. Specifically, funding will provide general operating support including supporting the salary of our Administrative Coordinator; a former biker-composter who has navigated adapting BK ROT's services to become contactless."
"The fallout from COVID-19 disproportionately affects our clients who are overwhelmingly immigrant women of color with little to no income—and if employed, often in hourly wage work in service jobs that are being decimated by growing social distancing requirements. We’re experiencing a surge in COVID-19 related calls from existing clients who are losing jobs, facing food and housing insecurity, and experiencing pressure to allow abusers back into their homes—violating orders of protection. These setbacks are also creating mounting levels of anxiety and depression among clients, taxing our mental health services.
In response to COVID-19, Sakhi is committing to three related strategies:
1) Modifying all of our core services to maintain continuity of support for clients.
To comply with severe limits on activity and exponentially growing virus spread in New York City, we have quickly moved all of our core services to be done remotely. Sakhi’s Program Advocates are continuing to offer case management, safety planning, counseling, employment advising, benefits navigation and advocacy, legal consultations and more, all by phone or videoconference.
2) Expanding our Food Justice Program to address rising food insecurity
Sakhi is expanding our Food Justice Program (FJP) to make more nutritious, shelf-stable, easy-to-prepare, and culturally familiar food available to clients facing greater housing, food, and income instability. Sakhi clients are reporting both shortages of staple items at local grocery stores (milk, eggs, bread) and fast-rising prices in the Banladeshi and Indian grocery stores they normally go to. COVID-19-related bans on price gouging do not at this time include groceries. Addressing these challenges, Sakhi has hired a team to provide direct perishable and non-perishable grocery delivery for survivors across New York City. Please find the enclosed photos from our FJP, which include our team, groceries delivered and food prepared by a survivor.
3) Expand our Client Emergency Assistance Program to provide immediate help to clients in crisis
Sakhi is expanding our direct emergency assistance and will begin making one-time emergency purchases for clients such as: diapers and formula, medication, clorox, cleaning materials, disinfectant, hand sanitizer, medication, emergency rent payments if necessary, and utility bill payments if necessary.
We are grateful for your commitment to supporting our community during this difficult time. I hope you remain safe and healthy throughout this period and I look forward to hearing from you."
"The Covid-19 crisis has been challenging for everyone, but vulnerable populations have been disproportionately affected. Our clients are young, just starting out life on their own after years in foster care, and with limited family and adult support. We made the decision early into this crisis that if we are to take the role of a pseudo parent, then we needed to temporarily alter our model of independence and provide for our clients. We held an individual fundraising campaign to raise donations, 100% of which went directly to our youth. This enabled us to pay rent, phone and Internet bills, keep utilities on, and send food packages to youth in need. While the city had suspended evictions and many companies had committed to keeping service active, that period is coming to an end. As the city reopens and evictions once again commence, we know that our youth will not be one of them. We are so thankful for the support of the WellMet Philanthropy community, and for your dedication to helping small non-profits continue our important work."
"The pandemic is impacting the way Damayan continues to serve and empower vulnerable undocumented Filipino immigrants in New York City, many are survivors of labor trafficking.
We are a mission-driven organization and the focus of our work is to help trafficked Filipino migrant workers break free and demand accountability from traffickers. COVID19 can not take us away from our mission and amid the pandemic, we are adapting and building capacity to sustain base building, workers' leadership development, and fighting labor trafficking. As saving lives is everyone number one job amid the pandemic, Damayan has pivoted to life-saving rapid response food delivery and cash distribution to affected community members. We are grateful to Well/Met Philanthropy and all the funders that enable us to pivot and be stronger in this most difficult time ".
"The grant will allow The Campaign Against Hunger to provide critically-needed food to those who have been hardest hit by COVID-19 in our communities. WellMet's support will help us to ensure that vulnerable families who otherwise may go hungry during the pandemic have food on their tables. Thank you for your generosity and partnership as we work together to ease some of the burdens being faced by our neighbors."
"Our Food Pantry was already one of the busiest in the Bronx but the number of people seeking help since the Covid 19 virus hit has seen a five fold increase in the last five weeks. "
"The demand has become so great that our agency has been spending over $8000 a week on direct relief - buying food to keep our Food Pantry stocked, responding to the needs of a suddenly unemployed mother who is out of diapers for her child and so much else. WellMet's support gives us the confidence to go forward with our work and to be there for all who count on our agency."