South Florida Institute on Aging (SoFIA) to Participate in #GivingTuesdayNow
Donations to the SoFIA COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to benefit isolated older adults
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on families, individuals, healthcare workers, businesses and the economy. One segment of the population hit particularly hard is older adults.
To support seniors who are suffering from stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness due to social isolation caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the South Florida Institute on Aging (SoFIA), a South Florida non-profit that provides economic and social services to empower people as they age, has launched the SoFIA COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund in time for #GivingTuesdayNow, the global day of giving, set for May 5, in response to the unprecedented need caused by the pandemic.
SoFIA’s new Tech Connect and Friendly Visitor Programs currently provide older adults access to remote technology-based instruction and virtual companionship, but additional resources are needed to meet the high demand for the organization’s free virtual companion and educational services.
“Often, a call with a SoFIA volunteer is the only human interaction older adults experience in a day,” said Lynn Brewer, SoFIA interim CEO and president. “We have witnessed such a strong community desire to volunteer, but we also need the financial support from the community to operate these programs on a broader scale.”
SoFIA Tech Connect was recently initiated in response to the COVID-19 crisis and pairs tech-savvy volunteer instructors with older adults who are currently sheltered in place to teach them remotely how to navigate programs such as Zoom, FaceTime, Facebook and Google Hangouts, so they can connect with loved ones.
The Friendly Visitor Program, launched in 2019, connects older and lonely LGBTQ adults with volunteer companions. As a result of the COVID crisis, the program has transitioned to connecting staff and volunteers to clients online and by phone.
“Our staff and volunteers work tirelessly to provide the daily contact that older adults need in order to stay healthy, hopeful and connected,” noted Brewer. “While face-to-face contact is not possible right now, virtual connection is really helping to fill the gap and lift spirits. Our goal is to ease the stress for many more seniors throughout South Florida through generous donations.”
#GivingTuesdayNow is designed to drive an influx of generosity, citizen engagement, business and philanthropy activation and support for communities and nonprofits around the world.
To donate to the SoFIA COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, visit thesofia.org.