STARability Florida Adult Training Program

Grants 2020


Updates from 2020 COVID-19 Response Grant Recipients

Golisano Foundation Grants

AutismUp ($100,000)

AutismUp's founding principle has been focused to lift families out of isolation, and COVID-19 has threatened to put them right back there. Funds from the Golisano Foundation COVID-19 response grant helped Autism Up to keep key staff working, enabling us to maintain connections with our families.

Special Olympics, NY ($64,000)

We have made significant changes to our delivery model in the past six months that include both virtual and in-person opportunities for our athletes. It is necessary that we remain an inclusive organization that has equitable opportunities available for all of our athletes. All of this is made possible with funding from the Golisano Foundation Grant.

Best Buddies WNY ($20,000) and SWFL ($30,000)

With the Golisano Foundation COVID-19 Response Grant, we were able to stay current on all expenses, including personnel. Staff were secure in their positions to create opportunities to sustain our programming virtually. There was a technology hurdle we had to help both parents and participants adjust to including online etiquette sessions about what is and is not appropriate behavior.
While we are pleased with the continued financial support from the community and dedicated donors, the impact will likely be felt into next year as well. The organization is working to build upon our virtual events this year to keep donors and engaged and contributing to support our programs.

Lifetime Assistance, Inc. ($50,000)

We are extremely grateful to the Golisano Foundation for its generous donation that helped cover some of the unexpected cost incurred by  the  coronavirus  pandemic,  including  personal protective equipment, health and hygiene equipment and technology. Technology has been essential in  continuing education in the homes while people were unable to go to their day services programs, remote learning, projects and educational videos became essential for continued growth and education.

The medical and Personal Protective Equipment have been essential for all services, we wouldn't be able to provide any services without them.

Thanks to the medical equipment and PPE Lifetime Assistance has proudly kept staff and the people we support healthy and we have had a very low number of COVID cases.

Over the past six months Lifetime Assistance has seen a decrease in revenue due to the suspension of day and vocational services; this will continue to affect us in the future months. Additional purchases of Personal Protective Equipment as well as pay for increased cleaning services have added a significant cost. Although we have decreased capacities at our sites, in many cases we have increased staffing ratios to assure for health and safety of the people we support, many who may not have the cognitive ability to understand the health and safety precautions that must be followed.

The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming ($65,000)

The grant helped us in the short-term while our programs were not operating in person to stay connected with our participants and gave staff the technology they needed to be able to make these connections in a more meaningful way. As we reopen we've worked to make our programs flexible to accommodate the needs of our participants, and the technology we've been able to purchase with this grant has been extremely helpful with that. We will continue to be able to utilize this technology in the longer term to stay connected and provide remote services as our program are reopening but some people are still not comfortable attending in person.

Heritage Christian Services ($75,000)

Thanks to the Golisano Foundation for the gift of $75,000 to support Heritage Christian Services' COVID-19 response. This funding allowed us to invest in new hardware and cloud based software so we could continue operating remotely. It has also provided our staff with thousands of essential items like masks, gowns, face shields and touchless thermometers and will help to cover unexpected costs from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our community is fortunate to have an incredible organization that has a positive influence on the lives of so many.

Special Touch Bakery ($15,000)

When COVID-19 hit, the bakery immediately procured a limited amount of PPE to help maintain status quo from the beginning of the pandemic closure in terms of meeting ongoing customer needs. Without the Golisano Foundation grant; however, procurement of enough PPE for all staff on an ongoing basis at full production would have presented a financial challenge.

Plus, there was to be an ongoing need for new cleaning/sanitation equipment help to maintain operations safely.

It was not until enhanced protocols were in place, after receipt of the Golisano Foundation grant and related equipment purchases that all individuals with I /DD returned because they, their families/care coordinators felt that the environment was safe, and that all protocols were in place to ensure their health and well-being. This preservation of jobs and continuance of employment and training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities was critical to the mission of Special Touch Bakery, and continues to be so in the long-term.

STARability ($45,000)

The Golisano Foundation's support has been critical to our COVID-19 response and the adjustments our staff have made to ensure that TBA participants continue receiving quality programming. This grant helped offset the costs of COVID-19-related expenses. We were able to purchase PPE supplies, such as masks, hand sanitizers and soap, for our participants and staff when we returned to a modified in-person instruction schedule. We also purchased signage to reinforce social distancing and other health and safety measures.

This grant provided us with a much-needed investment to make virtual programming a permanent component of our TBA curriculum. See Annual Report

Our programming staff now can shift between online and in-person instruction as we continue to adapt our class and workshop schedules to meet the needs of participants while ensuring their safety.

Mary Cariola Children's Center ($64,000)

The grant allowed Mary Cariola to provide 75 laptops for all of the Clinical Staff, allowing them to provide services to all the individuals we served remotely in the short term. Without this generous gift from the Golisano Foundation, our clinical staff would not have had access to the agencies server and their case load files, making it difficult to keep information current, documented and billable.
As the agency works towards re-opening our schools using the hybrid model rolled out by New York State's Governor. Over one-third of Mary Cariola's families chose to keep their child home, meaning Educational and Clinical staff need to provide both in school and remote learning in the course of their day. The laptops have allowed our clinicians to stay in contact with students, help guide parents (as hands for them) to do therapy sessions, keeping students from slipping further behind in the progress they have made. It is not known yet, how long remote learning will continue to take place.

Arc of Genesee Orleans ($61,000)

As the Arc of Genesee Orleans moves forward with plans to implement its 24-hour telemedicine service, we want to express our appreciation for the support the Golisano Foundation has provided to make this happen. With only one full- service hospital in our two counties, the immediate access to health professionals that telemedicine provides is transformative for our agency. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we see the difference that partnerships are making across non-profits. We are grateful for our continued partnership with the Golisano Foundation.

Bailey and Friends Grant

Pet Pride of NY ($4,800)

During Covid-19 we were even more inundated with homeless cats and kittens. The grant from Bailey and Friends allowed us to order and install two large outdoor cat catios. The catios allowed us to increase our footprint, hence taking in more cats, and have a socially distant meeting place for cats and potential adopters to interact. We will install a sign that acknowledges the catios were provided by the Golisano Bailey and Friends Foundation and will also be acknowledged in our November newsletter.

SPCA in Cattaraugus County, Inc., NY ($3,500)

The Covid-19 Response Grant Award from Bailey and Friends allowed the SPCA to pay for medical expenses for 27 animals and purchase feline tests and special food. This grant was a nice boost towards covering this year’s medical expenses, especially since our overall fundraising
this year is projected to be less than last year. It is an honor to have your trustees deem us worth of this grant. Thank you.

Wyoming County SPCA, NY ($2,500)

The Covid-19 Response Grant from Bailey and Friends helped us offset the increased inventory costs of animal medicines, litter, and special
foods which, allowed us to continue our high standard of care and nutrition for the animals for four months at during time when our donations had decreased and fundraisers were canceled. This is a picture of Glenda, one of 13 kittens, who was rescued from one owner and treated during Covid-19.

Keller’s Kats Rescue, Inc., NY ($3,000)

Due to Covid-19 we had to limit our exposure for adoptions in our foster homes and at local pet stores. Keller’s Klubhouse has given us a location where we can offer a safe haven for the cats and a comfortable place for potential adopters. The most amazing thing has happened. Last year we adopted out 532 cats. Earlier this week, with three months to go in 2020, we broke that record. In this confusing year with so many challenges we never would have expected that be the case. What started as a dream has proved to be the most incredible reality and the grant from Bailey and Friends helped to make that dream come true.

Cape Coral Animal Shelter, FL ($5,000)

After years of planning, fundraising, building, and preparing, the Cape Coral Animal Shelter opened its doors on March 19th and closed four days later, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This grant was used directly toward the costs of a delayed opening of our low-cost veterinary clinic, remaining supplies, and equipment.
It could not have come at a better time and we are extremely grateful to Bailey and Friends for their support of our mission.

Gulf Coast Humane Society, FL ($3,000)

The Covid-19 Response Grant Award from Bailey and Friends was used to purchase dog and  cat food from a local distributor to give out at four mobile pantries every week through the Pet Food 4 Furever Families Program. This program was started directly because of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis to help families feed their pets, so they don’t need to owner surrender to local shelters.

SNIP Collier, Inc., FL ($5,000)

SNIP Collier, Inc. used the Covid-19 Response Grant Award from Bailey and Friends to resume spay and neuter services for 20 dogs in Immokalee, FL as soon as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in mid-May. We also used the grant to assist in 21 puppy rescues and 6 adult dog surrender by owners due to their inability to provide care, through transportation, pet food, and supply expenses. The grant from Bailey and Friends was critical in maintaining the momentum we had gathered in our efforts to decrease the unwanted litters and neglected animals in rural Collier County.


Updated Nov 19, 2020