MILWAUKEE, WI – A proposal submitted by the Milwaukee Christian Center (MCC) to create and distribute more than four dozen emergency support kits for homebound seniors from the southeast Asian community who live in the greater Milwaukee area has been selected to receive an AARP Wisconsin “Small Dollar, Big Impact” grant.
Grants are being awarded each month throughout 2021 to projects across Wisconsin that are designed to improve communities and make them better places for everyone to live, work and play as they age. Judges selected this project for a $1,000 grant after reviewing dozens of proposals submitted from all over the state.
“This project fits perfectly with the spirit and intent of the Small Dollar, Big Impact grant program,” said AARP Wisconsin State Director Sam Wilson. “Our goal is to support communities as they make positive changes that inspire long-term progress on livable issues. This proposal hits that nail right on the head.”
“Receiving the Small Dollar, Big Impact grant really excites me because it aligns so well with our mission here at MCC, which is ‘building neighborhoods full of opportunities’,” said Song Xiong-Buck, Director of Older Adults Center at MCC. “Since our community is so diverse, I believe that it is our obligation to incorporate culture and ensure that all residents feel included and cared for.”
Xiong-Buck added that, “providing emergency care packages that include culturally appropriate food alongside with COVID-19 prevention kits sends residents of our community the clear message that MCC takes its mission seriously.”
All of the money will go towards purchasing food staples from Asian grocery stores and packing it into 50 kits along with masks and bottles of hand sanitizer. The MCC will then distribute the kits to homebound seniors from the southeast Asian community – many of whom have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the MCC will be able to provide more wellness checks on homebound seniors and identify/address any of their other urgent, unmet needs by connecting them with the necessary support structures and services.
Karen Higgins, Executive Director of the MCC said, the center recognizes the urgent need to do more in support of the southeast Asian community.
“Socially and economically, the pandemic has dismantled many critical support structures seniors within this demographic rely upon for their basic needs, ranging from nutrition and health and wellness to social and emotional supports,” Higgins said in the grant application.
Through the creation of these kits, the MCC is responding to an urgent unmet request among the senior community to support their nutritional, cultural and social-emotional needs during this unprecedented time, Higgins said.
AARP Wisconsin’s launched its “Small Dollar, Big Impact” grant program in 2020 and is now in its second year of helping proposed projects move forward in rural and urban parts of the state.
“We’ve seen how these small grants are making a huge impact around the State of Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Christian Center has been helping the local community for 100 years and know this grant will help them extend their reach to the 50-plus community,” said Amber Miller, Associate State Director of Community Outreach for AARP Wisconsin.
The grant program is open to some nonprofits and government entities. For more information on the program, visit www.aarp.org/WIsdbi