CLEVELAND — The need is great.
"Our mission is to nurture, educate and empower to provide low-income housing for young women who were touched by the foster care system,” said Tonya Perkins-Stoudermire, the founder and executive director of Bessie’s Angels.
Luckily, there are angels all around us.
Bessie’s Angels are doing the work and changing the lives of young Northeast Ohio women who have aged out of the foster care system.
The pandemic has hit its clients the hardest.
"Our young ladies are typically the last hired and the first fired so when the pandemic hit, it really threw them for a loop,” said Perkins-Stoudermire.
Bessie’s Angels usually raise most of their money at their annual walk, but in 2020 they were forced to go virtual.
"We didn’t really have a lot of donations as it related to the walk,” she said.
Several organizations stepped in to help this year, but before 2020 ends, Perkins-Stoudermire, is asking you, if you have it, to give a little something to the young women she serves.
"We’re very grateful for the support, but it is never-ending,” she said.
It’s also been a challenging year for the United Way of Greater Cleveland.
"We take care of the very basic of needs, we’re talking food, shelter, protection, counseling, utilities so for those who are suffering the most among us, I would encourage people to give to us so those people can get help,” said Aaron Petersal, the vice president of development for the United Way of Greater Cleveland.
This organization says more than 113,000 people in need have called 211 HelpLink since March. It’s an unprecedented number, but people are stepping up.
"One thing that’s encouraging is that this community cares about each other and when needed, they stand up and help support each other,” said Petersal.