At the end of April, with the support of our partners from Accenture Bulgaria, we launched the Save the Saviors initiative. Five of the social enterprises we have supported over the years have faced the risk of closing down and not being able to continue their activities. They also faced increased social expectations - more people who needed their support, and more people for whom that support meant salvation.
What we managed to achieve in the past month together in #SaveTheSaviors
BGN 24,000 grant to cover urgent needs of social enterprises
8 hours of expert support on how to continue in the new environment
47 people kept their jobs
2 people more people were employed in two of the social enterprises
Over 100 new clients of the social enterprises and fulfilled orders for over 2000 products
More than 1000 free warm lunches for people in need
5 great stories about community, sharing and coping that can inspire anyone
We reached over 100,000 people who learned about the activities of the social enterprises and #SaveTheSaviors
Who are the saviors and what are they sharing:
We managed to keep 9 people employed. The Initiative helped us to develop a new product - kits for home art activities for children and adults, such as those we use in the studio. The sets include everything you need to sew unique and practical things - such as aprons, canvas bags and more. #SaveTheSaviors provided the opportunity for the public to hear about people with mental health problems, their needs and the comfort that the work brings them.
These people have become visible through their strengths, and this is one of the most effective ways to achieve a change in attitudes and reduce the stigma of the mental illness. We were contacted by people who heard our stories on the radio, some came to visit us. Two employers contacted us to offer jobs to people with mental disorders, which is a huge success. A surgeon came to buy from our protective masks and shared that what we do is great!
Left without income, with wages delayed by a month, we were in one of our biggest crises. Support is most valuable when given at right time. #SaveTheSaviors was the first light we saw in those dark days. The past month has been a time of hardship, hope and new dreams. Our sales are still difficult. Instead of the four places we used sell our flowers last year, now we have to sell only on the spot in the garden and at the farmers' market once a week.
We lost money, but we found friends. Lots of media outlets reached to us. We will soon start renovations, we also have a project to build a children's center in the garden. We hope that the change of the infrastructure in the garden will attract many young people with children as new clients.
We managed to hire one more vulnerable person - now he is helpnig in the kitchen and with the packaging of the food. Those who recieved lunch thanks to the initiative are living alone, they are old and they need every day care. In most of the cases they have relatives, but either they are afraid to be in contact with them, or they cannot afford to take care of the elderly. This is why not only the food we are delivering every day to them is important, but the talks and the care they get by meeting with our volunteers.
Thanks to the support of #SaveTheSaviors, a new process has been developed - we prepare and offer a lunch menu every day. So far we have not done it, but the number of orders is growing, people from offices in the area and mothers with children from the neighborhood are starting to come to us. We also partner with other organizations that buy food for people they help permanently.
In addition to keeping the chef and three of the young people with intellectual disabilities employed, it is important to us that the new service allows us to reach more people by offering them delicious and freshly prepared food at affordable prices. And more and more people understand our cause and become our ambassadors.
When things go so wrong and you see no way out of the situation, #SaveTheSaviors appears and literally saves you. This year we celebrate 10 years since the establishment of the organization, we see this help as the greatest and most appropriate gift.
We kept all 12 people who work in the company employed - 8 young people with intellectual disabilities and 4 parents. Thanks to the support, we now have a company car and we hired one more mother as a labor mentor, who drives our employees from their home to work and back. Currently, the team consists of 13 people and only a few days after we reopened, the customers returned and we are already fulfilling orders for wedding invitations and other cards. We were also contacted by a company that wants to order its office supplies only from us in the future and thus help us.
#SaveTheSaviors is an initiative that goes beyond the financial and expert support which the five social enterprises received in the past month. : The saving was in fact the given hope and confidence