With looming threats to Rhode Island’s healthcare and economic infrastructure due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is now more important than ever to make sure our community receives the federal funding and representation that we are due. One way to do this while practicing social distancing – Complete the Census.
Recently, the Rhode Island Census 2020 Fund granted five Woonsocket-based agencies money to support “awareness-building, outreach and engagement activities so that every Rhode Islander will be aware of the Census, understand the importance of being counted, and will feel safe, invested, and easily able to participate in the 2020 count” (RI Foundation). Woonsocket grantees include NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, Thundermist Health Centers, Connecting for Children and Families, the Museum of Work and Culture, and the City of Woonsocket.
Given the present calls for social distancing, these agencies are adjusting their initial Census outreach strategies to include: making personalized phone calls to residents, including Census materials with grab and go pantry bags, creating an online educational offering for K-12 students, and ramping up Census-related social media posts.
Connecting for Children and Families plans to share family friendly activities, messages about the importance of the Census and other support to those needing assistance to complete the Census. – Terry Curtin, Connecting for Children and Families
We encourage all Woonsocket residents to visit www.2020census.gov and complete your US Census today.
Thankfully, social distancing and completing the Census are not mutually exclusive, it’s just a matter of encouraging people to prioritize the Census at a time when their mind is likely on other things. We’ll be shifting much of our effort to utilizing the City’s existing website and social media accounts to promote census participation. – Kevin Proft, City of Woonsocket
With a mission of enriching neighborhood life, NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley is launching a virtual engagement effort: The Census Sessions. Starting April 1st, musicians and storytellers will be streaming live on Facebook, providing us with some much needed entertainment while reminding folks of the importance of the Census; all this from the comfort of their homes to yours.
During this uncertain and potentially lonely time, we at NeighborWorks are excited to launch the Census Sessions! Quick 30 minute opportunities to ‘gather together’ however that may look these days, enjoy a few songs or a story, all while being reminded of the importance of completing the Census. – Meg Rego, NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley
The Census Sessions are scheduled for 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm every Wednesday in April, with storytellers in the afternoon and musical acts in the evenings.
Storyteller Sessions will go live at 3:30 pm Wednesdays with stories geared towards providing children entertainment with a civics and engagement angle. We then hope to get the whole family engaged in the 7:30 pm Musician Sessions. The full schedule will be posted by Friday, March 27th and shared on the NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley facebook page.
Now, more than ever, we understand just how much each of us counts. By working together, we can help ensure that our community understands that the Census will not only provide Rhode Island with its share of important federal funding and representation, but in the years to come will provide a snapshot of who we are right now. And who we are right now is a community coming together in the most extraordinary ways, even if it is from a distance. – Sarah Carr, Museum of Work and Culture