BLOCS Chief Executive Officer Dave Rowan announced on a recent Board of Directors quarterly conference call that the nonprofit has successfully awarded
over $1.3M in tuition assistance to more than 2,200 students
in the Philadelphia five county region, whose families have suffered financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In collaboration with Archdiocese partners, BLOCS has traditionally managed an Emergency Scholarship Fund (ESF) designed to provide students and their families need-based scholarships to combat setbacks sustained as a result of job loss, chronic illness or fatality. In FY19, the number of ESF applications submitted by families totaled 143. In the wake of the pandemic’s spread, BLOCS received nearly five times as many applications in one week as compared to the amount of families requesting aid in the entirety of the previous year.
The Board of Directors recognized that a rapid response was urgent and necessary, and immediate plans were made to re-assess the ESF scholarship awarding process and remove any bureaucratic red tape which would prohibit BLOCS from quickly getting funds into the hands of families who needed them.
“For the past 50 years, BLOCS has consistently provided our communities with resources to support Catholic education. It’s truly a testament to our Board’s leadership, coupled with the extraordinary generosity of our donors that, together, our team was able to mobilize and quickly deliver to our neighbors in need,” states Matt Topley, BLOCS Board Chairman.
BLOCS launched a digital and social fundraising campaign enlisting the help of their generous donor base (both individuals and corporations), to support the COVID-19 Emergency Aid Fund. Donor response was swift, and monies were dispersed to more than 2,200 students attending Philadelphia Archdiocese schools.
These schools, who have collaborated with BLOCS for years to identify ways to support their students, understand the significance of these efforts.