Wilmington non-profits continue, adapt, and introduce services during the pandemic

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —Several Wilmington non-profits are altering services and adapting to challenges presented by the pandemic.

Despite COVID-19 impacting how many local non-profits operate, some are boasting new programs, fundraisers, and partnerships with other non-profits.

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Twenty non-profit organizations are supported by the Harrelson Center’s campus. one of the organizations, “Soaring As Eagles”, says it was still able to launch a new program  “Pre-K Jumpstart” during the pandemic, preparing 3,4, and 5 year olds academically.

“We found out there are some schools that were well below average. So our mission was to help the babies be ready for kindergarten and pre-k, because even with after COVID, there was so many things that were disadvantaged in reference to education,” said Venessa Kim Ceasar, Soaring As Eagles founder and executive director.

A “Bike For Every Child”, saw more people seeking its services during the pandemic, providing bikes, and teaching local kids to repair bikes. The non-profit is also launching a fundraiser, offering a tour of Wilmington on electric bikes, under “Inner City Space Travel”.

“It’s been tricky, COVID’s been tricky, but it’s kind of started a new focus on exercise regarding bicycles, and so that’s been good for us, but also it’s been hard to keep up with the demand, because there’s not very many new bikes coming into the country. We’ve still got our doors open we’re still living our own mission every day, but it has made things a bit tricky,” said Dusty Casteen with A Bike for Every Child.

Another non-profit, “Turning The Wheel”, introduces physical creative expression and art  to people of all ages, cultural, and socio¬economic backgrounds, and turned to virtual options to adapt during the pandemic.

“When the pandemic came, we had 2 really great programs happening, one was at GLOW Academy, and the other one was at lake forest academy, and we were able to almost wrap them up.  We wanted to continue to offer our services, and we found that Zoom and Google Meet are actually platforms for us to be able to come in and then still play our games with the kids. Half of them are at home, half of them are at school, you know the way it all happened,” said Perry Smith, Turning The Wheel director.

Many of the Harrelson Center’s partnering non-profits have expressed their need for volunteers, or donations, as they strive to continue to offer services during the pandemic.