Spartanburg Co. non-profits continue to feel impact of pandemic, others starting to see silver lining

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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg County non-profits are still very much being impacted by the pandemic. While some said there’s evidence of a turnaround, others aren’t so sure.

Some familiar faces at the Spartanburg Science Center. They had to make adjustments since March of 2020. A month, Mary Levens will never forget.

“We had gone out to a school that morning and then we realized things were getting really serious and then, it shut down,” said the Executive Director of the Spartanburg Science Center, Mary Levens.

Since then, they’ve done what they can to pay the bills like holding activities virtually or in smaller groups.

But for Levens, it has meant a lot of sleepless nights.

“That summer, we went from 42 summer camps to four,” Levens told us.

Her concerns are not rare amongst Spartanburg County non-profit leaders. In fact, Paige Stephenson with the United Way of the Piedmont brought her concerns to Spartanburg County leaders during Monday evening’s council meeting.

That’s where she shared, 73% of non-profits in the county were negatively impacted by COVID.

However, Stephenson said they are seeing silver linings like fewer non-profits reporting they’re out of funds. Also, an increased brand awareness for these organizations.

“We still have almost two-thirds of our non-profits with not a very long runway ahead of them,” President & CEO at United Way of the Piedmont, Paige Stephenson told 7 News.

That silver lining is also being seen at the Spartanburg Science Center where Levens told us, they’re gearing up for a lot more camps this summer.

“Our overarching goal was to be here at the end of the pandemic,” Levens said.

Also, continuing their mission of educating the community about the importance of science.

Leaders with the United Way of the Piedmont also plan to take their findings to Spartanburg City Council next week.

You can find more findings from the United Way’s recent survey along with ways to help here:

https://www.uwpiedmont.org/nonprofitimpact?fbclid=IwAR2BDxpXAtyVMzMOJLTs5QDjAw3s9eEKX0n2DBJ2TXUbFhQbtfdWK8sdZ-s

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