NOVEC and NOVEC HELPS partnered to give to the House of Mercy in Manassas. The combined funds will provide diapers for more than 300 low-income families.
“Diapers and wipes are very expensive, as any parent knows,” says Jessica Root, House of Mercy executive director. “So if we are able to help our clients in that way, they are able to save or use those funds for other important things like rent or utilities.”
Root says requests for assistance to the nonprofit group grew exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The number of people we served rose about 800%. We helped more than 20,000 individuals last year alone.” Like so many nonprofit organizations, House of Mercy dealt with a simultaneous increase in demand for its services and a drop in its resources available to clients in 2020. The pandemic also complicated planning that had been made to expand its efforts. In addition to the client need increasing by 800% at the height of the stay-at-home order, their thrift store temporarily closed leading to $30,000 lost in monthly revenue, and there was a decrease in how many volunteers could assist their five-person staff. Still, Root says the staff continued to press forward in their work to expand mobile pantry services and create new partnerships to help get fresh produce to families.
“It's important to us to leverage our connections in the community,” states Heather Anderson, NOVEC system engineering manager and NOVEC HELPS activities coordinator. “We want to give in a way that helps families. When we saw how the House of Mercy had a specific need for diapers we knew we could help.”
"Everyone has their own story and a majority of the clients we are helping are really in need, they just lost a paycheck and everything went downhill from there, or another family emergency happened and all the sudden their savings was gone," said Root. "This could be you or me if the circumstances changed and they can always change in an instant. We need to break down the barriers and just help our neighbor."