COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Over the past 10 years Besa volunteers have completed 10,000 service projects resulting in $50 million of impact for the communities they serve. During the pandemic, the work became even more important as volunteer numbers went down and the need for help went up.   

“We have done incredible work, I believe, over the pandemic to help inspire community members to show up to the front line, ” said Besa’s founder Matthew Goldstein 

Because of that work Besa was recently awarded two $250,000 grants. One grant from Columbus City Council and one from the Franklin County Board of Commissioners. According to City Council President Shannon Hardin the decision to make the investment was an easy one. 

“It was their story, it was their impact, that I think made us double down and make sure that we had their support going forward. I would also just say that there is nothing more ‘Columbus’ than the story Besa. Residents helping residents in the middle of the pandemic. The early days of the pandemic were scary, that’s the reason why it was hard to get volunteers. Yet time and time again Besa was able to rally Columbus and get our folks out to go out Linden, to go down to the south side to go throughout the county to help folks in need. And if that’s not worth supporting and partnering with the county to make sure then I don’t know what would be.” 

Commissioner Erica Crawley also pointed out Besa’s ability to track their impact throughout the county. 

“So, we know that through our investment, the county’s investment, the city’s investment we are going to be able to get and see real results for Franklin County. And so, it is our hope that we see an entire county emerge from this pandemic more resilient and that all of our neighborhoods and all of our neighbors have the opportunity now not just to get by and survive but really thrive.” 

For Matthew and the folks at Besa the support from the city and county means much. “It fills me with so much pride for this community for what is possible.” 

to learn more about Besa and how you can volunteer to “be the good” visit https://www.besa.org/