Updated March 24, 2020

By now, you and everyone you know has been impacted in some way by COVID-19 – whether by the virus directly, by the preventative measures put in place to slow its spread, or by increasingly common racist and xenophobic attacks. We know lives and livelihoods are being directly impacted at this time.  

Building Bridges is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation and is taking proactive measures to support our community. 

Stay safe:

  • All three of our spring training programs have been cancelled. All registrants will have the option to roll registration over to the Fall sessions or receive a credit for future services.
  • We will continue to collaborate with Shift clients to reschedule services or modify to virtual trainings when possible.
  • All staff will continue to work-from-home and have access to unlimited use of paid sick leave if necessary during this period.
  • Though we’re remote, we are working more collaboratively than ever to translate our in-person programs to online workshops and courses. More details to come in the next two weeks.

Stay connected:

  • Join us regularly on Instagram Live to interact with alumni and staff members. We are communicating regularly with Transform program alumni and families to offer resources and support.
  • Transform recruitment is in full swing! If you know an awesome high school student who’d be great for Transform, please nominate them today!
  • Reach out to us if you need someone to talk to or connect with!  Text, email, call, or DM (contact info in the footer).  We are available! 
  • Want to help us?  Become a monthly donor to Building Bridges to ensure we have the resources to shift gears to meet our mission now and once this crisis passes!

Thank you for being part of the Building Bridges community.  Together we are resilient, interconnected, and powerful.  We are grateful to you for your support of our work and your commitment to community!

Please look for updates from us next week. In the meantime, please reach out to me at megan@buildingbridgesshift.org or 303-691-2393 if you have questions, feedback, or concerns.

In community,

Megan Devenport, Executive Director @ Building Bridges

Updated March 16, 2020

COVID-19 Update from Building Bridges

Building Bridges is closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation and is taking proactive measures to support our community. Since our last announcement, we have updated our Health Emergency Framework to reflect the newest guidance from public health professionals. You can read through the updated plan here. Read on for specific actions we’re taking to support the health and well-being of our community.

For our operations:

  • Based on updated guidance, we have decided to close our physical office space starting today – March 16 – and our team will work virtually at least through April 3rd.
  • All work-related travel is postponed at least through April 3rd.
  • All employees are encouraged to practice social distancing.

For our clients and participants:

  • Uprooted, our March 20th professional development training has been cancelled. All registrants will have the option to roll registration over to the Fall session or receive a credit for future services.
  • We are currently working to modify Rooted and Liberated to allow both to be conducted virtually. Details for each training will be posted on our Events page and shared via social media channels (Facebook and Instagram) as they become available. Early bird rates are still available!
  • We will continue to collaborate with Shift clients to reschedule services or shift to virtual trainings when possible.
  • We are communicating regularly with Transform program alumni and families to offer resources and support.
  • We are getting creative with community partners for Transform recruitment and outreach. If you know an awesome high school student who’d be great for Transform, please nominate them today!

For our staff:

  • We are ensuring staff have consistent access to work-from-home options.
  • We are supporting staff with emergency preparations when possible.
  • We have extended unlimited use of paid sick leave during this period.
  • We are fundraising to underwrite temporary expansion of Health Reimbursement Agreement.
  • We have engaged in contingency planning for range of scenarios.

Things are changing rapidly and very little is certain about our shared future. However, in the face of this challenge, we are certain of a few things. We know we are stronger together than alone, that empathy and kindness are powerful antidotes to fear and isolation, and that there is critical hope to be found even in the chaos.

Please be on the lookout for updates from us by next Monday March 23rd. In the meantime, please reach out to me at megan@buildingbridgesshift.org or 303-691-2393 if you have questions, feedback, or concerns.

In community,

Updated March 12, 2020

As a community-driven nonprofit, we believe that our community comes first. As such, we have established a Health Emergency Framework based on recommendations related to COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other trusted resources.  This Framework seeks to balance the needs of our clients and participants, the health and well-being of our incredible staff team, the expectations of funders and supporters, and the importance of community health protections.  You can read through the plan here. 

Based on this framework, as of March 12, 2020, Building Bridges plans to move forward with most scheduled trainings and events.  This includes our Uprooted training on Friday March 20th.  Using the levels outlined in the Framework, we will continuously evaluate the status of our public trainings and communicate any changes.

In order to the meantime, we are taking concrete action.

What action is
Building Bridges taking?

In our office space:

  • Cleaning and sanitizing work spaces and supplies daily
  • Making hand sanitizer readily available
  • Moving meetings online when possible
  • Encouraging staff to work from home
  • Practicing social distancing in interactions with people

For our clients and participants:

  • Collaborating with Shift clients to reschedule services or shift to virtual trainings when possible
  • Communicating with Transform program alumni and families to offer resources and support
  • Offering training registrants the option to roll their registration over to fall sessions
  • Getting creative with community partners for Transform recruitment and outreach

For our staff:

  • Ensuring consistent access to work-from-home options, including wifi hotspots
  • Supporting staff with emergency preparations when possible
  • Providing unlimited use of paid sick leave during this period
  • Fundraising to underwrite temporary expansion of Health Reimbursement Agreement
  • Contingency planning for range of scenarios

At this time of stress and uncertainty, we are reminded of how powerful, loving, and supportive our community is.  We want to remind all of us to care for each other, practice empathy and kindness with loved ones and strangers, and focus on the reality that we are all connected.

Below you’ll find resources and tips to consider in supporting your own health and wellness.  And please be on the lookout for updates from us by next Thursday, March 19th.  In the meantime, please reach out to me at megan@buildingbridgesshift.org or 303-691-2393 if you have questions, feedback, or concerns.

In community,

The name "Megan" signed in black ink.

Megan Devenport, Executive Director

Resources

Additional Information

Prevention

The best preventative measures to take are the same as with the common cold or the flu:

  • Washing your hands frequently (e.g., before and after eating, after traveling on public transportation)
  • Coughing/sneezing into your elbow, not your hands
  • Arranging with your manager to WFH or take PTO as appropriate, if you have symptoms

Supply Kit

Ready.gov has a good list to use as the starting point for building a disaster supply kit. This basic kit is designed to help you self-sustain for three days post-disaster (e.g., hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, etc.) until the government and aid workers can get help to you. Unlike natural disasters, outbreaks tend to have a longer-lasting impact due to recommended or mandatory “social distancing” lasting for 30 days or more. As such, we encourage you to plan to self-sustain for at least 30 days. If you build this kit, you will be prepared for future emergencies as well.

Being over-prepared is better than being under-prepared, and preparing before you absolutely need to may reduce feelings of stress. You will also have better access to needed supplies before an emergency situation.