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Stories of transformation: Stand Together's top 5 articles of 2020

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Stories of transformation: Stand Together's top 5 articles of 2020

As a challenging year comes to an end, we took a look at some of our most-read articles of transformation and partnership.

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Stand Together works with incredible partners tackling issues like economic mobility, criminal justice, poverty, education, and so much more. One of the best ways to connect our audience to our community's work is through human-centered stories of transformation, innovation, and partnership. As a challenging year comes to an end, we took a look at some of our most-read articles of the year. Check them out below:

1. How a West Virginia nonprofit is helping a resilient coal community survive the pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Coalfield Development, a Stand Together Foundation nonprofit partner, moved quickly to help residents of Wayne, W.V., weather the crisis. Coalfield Development is dedicated to helping people get on-the-job training through personal and academic development and employment-based social enterprises. Read more about how the nonprofit responded to the crisis with agility and flexibility and shifted its services to better meet its community's needs.

2. Gifts that give back, for the holidays and beyond

The challenges of this year have been extraordinary. As Americans reeled from the pandemic and many suffered from job loss and financial insecurity, social enterprises carried on. These businesses, which each work to achieve a social mission, kept vulnerable populations employed, helped them build essential skills, and steadied the financial uncertainty of nonprofits. Check out this gift guide featuring products from some of the most effective social enterprises run by nonprofits that the Stand Together community supports.

3. Reconsidering the human dimension of criminal justice

Georgia Justice Project, a Stand Together Foundation nonprofit partner based in Atlanta, provides legal and social counseling to low-income defendants in court, in prison, and upon release with the goal of helping more individuals stay out of the criminal justice system. The organization represents over 500 people each year and its clients are ten times less likely to be convicted than the national average. We caught up with Doug Ammar, executive director of Georgia Justice Project, who shared his vision for how our country can restore both the humanity and efficacy of the criminal justice system.

4. Training workers and transforming lives

Sarah Winblad's life was shattered when she lost her job managing an online help center for a Chicago e-commerce company after a 19-year career. When she struggled to find another position, her financial situation worsened, and she eventually lost her home. And then she found Cara, a Stand Together Foundation nonprofit partner that helps people experiencing poverty obtain, retain, and advance in quality jobs. Through Cara's training program, Sarah was connected to a company where she now manages six people who are creating copy to market local businesses that have been most affected by the pandemic — helping them, too, survive difficult times.

5. A safe haven for homeless children to learn and grow

Helping students adjust to a new normal during COVID-19 is particularly challenging for homeless students, who lack a sense of stability and are often living in chaos daily. Positive Tomorrows, an elementary school for children experiencing homelessness in Oklahoma City, is helping to make school one less thing the kids needs to worry about. Created with the students top of mind, their new school building, opened in December of 2019, was designed to easily adapt to the staff and kids' changing needs, which proved to be even more important during the instability wrought by the pandemic. Read more for a peak into the school design and how Positive Tomorrows is keeping homeless children and their families safe and loved.

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