Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA) is the largest social services agency in Tempe. It serves approximately 26,000 hungry, poverty-stricken and homeless individuals annually, from pre-natal to end-of-life, primarily in the East Valley. This year the coronavirus pandemic has changed everything!

Executive Director, Deborah Arteaga describes feeling overwhelmed, “COVID-19 has increased demand in our hunger relief programs – since it began we’ve seen 800 new clients in our Food Pantry, alone. Home delivered meals to seniors have doubled as have requests for rent and mortgage assistance.” Increased demand meant all 200 staff members are “on deck” now, doing direct service. And, operating costs have increased because of precautions they must now take.

With hard-working staff meeting increased client demand and pivoting to create virtual programs in line with social distancing, the agency became aware of the urgent need to update their policies and procedures protocols aligned with COVID-19.  Unfortunately, they had neither the human resources nor, due to the uncertainty about future funding, the financial wherewithal to hire someone. That’s until the Experience Matters Pro Bono program was introduced.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis Experience Matters (EM) began offering matching services for short term – 30, 60 and 90 day projects – without a fee for Member agencies.  In anticipation of Member needs, we reached out to our Talent pool and asked for volunteers who would be willing to provide services without getting paid a stipend,” explains Clayton Hopkins, an EM Engagement Advisor. “The response was incredible! We had more than 70 people raise their hands and come forward. And, we received 22 services requests from Member agencies.”

“EM volunteer Laura Ingegneri helped us organize our existing HR manual more strategically and did quick and thorough re-writes. She saved us time and money, and most importantly, her guidance reduced our risk,” said Arteaga. “Without the assistance from Experience Matters and Laura’s expertise we would not have been able to accomplish this vital task.”

For more information onTempe Community Action Agency visit them at: https://tempeaction.org