I hope that you and your family are safe and well, navigating the many challenges facing our community. At WGF, we are committed to remaining a strong and vocal voice for women at this time of great need, while also ensuring that our team and program participants remain safe. Staff are working from home and being offered paid time off to take care of those who are ill or children who are home due to school closures. Teens from over fifty schools are participating in weekly GirlGov meetings via Zoom. Not even a global pandemic can dampen the spirits and strong sisterhood of our participants.
Since, we normally provide dinner throughout the month to the 100+ GirlGovers at their regular in-person meetings, we are providing GrubHub certificates to those whose families could use some support at this time, while also donating remaining funds from our meals budget to Pittsburgh Mutual Aid and the Pgh Restaurant Workers Emergency Fund.
School closures, virus diagnosis, or the need to take care of a parent in respiratory distress should never result in a family bankruptcy, the loss of a business, a job, or homelessness. Through our Family Care Campaign, we continue to advocate for the long-term policy changes needed to ensure that the next time a health crisis occurs - in a community or in a family - main street and family owned businesses do not need to shut down and employees do not need to be laid off.
We are grateful that with your advocacy efforts, and in partnership with coalition partners at the local, state, and national levels, that we have been able to secure some paid leave to be written into emergency legislation that will help some workers - but these are short-term fixes that will help only a few of the millions who need support. Our goal continues to be a long-term solution that will support all Pennsylvania working families. A solution like the PA Family Care Act.
Thank you for being partners with us in supporting this critical work. All of us at WGF wish you and everyone in your family, continued health and wellness.
Warm regards, Heather Arnet, CEO, Women and Girls Foundation
In spite of school closures, GirlGov continues to meet weekly via Zoom. The girls have reported that this time together is very therapeutic and special. We are so grateful, especially to Beth Sondel and her team, Miracle Jones and Imani Chisom, who have continued to keep spirits up at GirlGov Zoom meetings with positive offerings of hope and love and Lizzo dance parties.
At WGF and the Family Care Campaign, we are working tirelessly to advocate for the long-term policy changes needed to ensure that the next time a health crisis occurs - in a family or in a community - caregivers don’t have to choose between their jobs and their health.
We are grateful that in partnership with our national, state, and local coalition partners, we have been able to ensure that some paid sick days and paid family leave benefits to be written into emergency legislation and policy measures. But these are also short-term fixes that will help some. Our goal continues to be a long-term solution that will support all working families in Pennsylvania.