Our Stories

A Message from Our CEO: Be Safe, and Join Us

In a video message from his home, LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones weighs in on the most important things we can do to come through the pandemic: take care of yourself and your loved ones, and join in our wide-ranging partnerships to support the people, businesses and communities most vulnerable to the profound health and economic fallout of the coronavirus.

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Hi, it's Maurice Jones from LISC.

I am coming to you from my home in Virginia, where I have been working remotely since mid-March, as is the case for all of the LISC family right now. I want to first, on behalf of the company, send our thoughts and prayers to the country, but particularly to those who have lost loved ones, those who have been ill and are recovering. Those who know folks who have been ill and hopefully are recovering. We want to send our thoughts and prayers to people who've been impacted by this pandemic.

We have been focusing at LISC on three or four things. One, trying to keep everybody at the company healthy—thus, we're working remotely. Two, trying to do our part in containing the contagion, not spreading it. Thus, again, we're not going into the office and we’re working remotely, keeping the company financially sound and solid so we can be useful now and useful in the future.

And then lastly, trying to be of service to the people and the places and the enterprises we serve. I want to really focus on that last part because I really want to thank the partners who have stepped up to help us be of service to the people and the places and the enterprises during this time.

We've got people who've been doing, and organizations who've been performing, extraordinary feats. I'll give you a few examples. In our LISC Indianapolis office, we have been working with a collective of seamstresses. These seamstresses have come together and they're producing PPE for our workers at Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis. It’s a tremendous collaboration and effort.

We've got AmeriCorps members who are stepping outside of their usual AmeriCorps duties. One member that I'm aware of in Kalamazoo, Michigan who has put together a lunch distribution, a free lunch distribution initiative in Kalamazoo for students who are in underserved areas.

We have been, for some weeks now, working with Verizon and doing essentially a fundraising initiative for small businesses. We've just announced a partnership with Sam's Club focusing on providing resources, grants, and technical assistance for small businesses. The Walton Family Foundation is working with us to provide grants to organizations, nonprofits and social services entities serving residents in rural America.

These are examples of partners who are really stepping up in this time. And what's amazing to me is that in addition to stepping up, they're doing so with speed and with intentionality. They want to get the funds out quickly and they really want to focus on the most vulnerable people and places and organizations. People of color, women, veterans, businesses owned and operated by these folks.

I am so grateful to Verizon: $2.5 million. Sam’s Club, $1 million plus. Walton Family Foundation, hundreds of thousands, close to $600,000. These are significant investments. We need more. We want more partners to join us in this. We are being transformed by this journey—doing it faster, doing it with more intentionality—which is what we're going to have to be now and in the future.

Thank you to the partners. And we invite additional partners. You can visit our website, www.lisc.org/covid-19, and you can see some of the things that we're doing and some of the partners that we're doing it with.

Again, in this time, our thoughts and our prayers are with everyone in this country as we fight to get beyond this pandemic and recover and rebuild and reconstruct. We really want to focus on the most vulnerable people and places and enterprises, and we want partners to do it with.

Thank you again for your time.