Yes, Congress just passed a $2 trillion aid package. But very little of that has hit the ground yet. And so many people need urgent help.

Do you know who is helping right now? You are.

If you’re a donor – at any level – you can make an enormous difference by giving close to home.

Right now:

  • Your local food bank is distributing food to kids who aren’t getting meals at school, to families who suddenly lost their entire income.
  • Your local homeless shelter and transitional housing orgs are caring for your most vulnerable neighbors – working to sanitize shelters, health-check residents, and lift frightened spirits.
  • Your local community hospital and mental health clinic are saving every life they can, whether or not patients can pay.

And these superheroes – your neighbors and mine – are collaborating like never before. Heard on one recent call with nonprofits in a small Kansas town:

“Every one of our 150 residents [with disabilities] is living in a group setting and has lost their job. We’re doing wellness checks every day – I don’t know what we’ll do if anyone gets sick.”

“Hey, we just acquired sixteen rooms – if you need to isolate someone, they’re open to you.”

Quiet. And then a teary “thank you so much.”

How can you help?

If you know an amazing local nonprofit and can afford to give now, whether $10 or $10,000, they need it! Spring fundraisers have been cancelled and in many cases expenses are much higher than usual.

If you usually give nationally or internationally and want to help your neighbors by giving closer to home, check in with your local community foundation (a quick google search will find them, or check here).

Community foundations:

  • Know local nonprofits well. Many provide directories on their website, and all can direct you toward groups who are doing good work.
  • Have created COVID relief funds. If you want to pool your money with others to maximize immediate impact, this is a great way to do it.
  • Are in it for the long haul – supporting your community is their entire mission and charter.

There’s so much bad news out there right now. But here’s some good news. Giving to community foundations is up 30% over last year at this time.

Friends are coming up with wonderful ways to give: donating what they would have spent on work lunches and commuting expense, giving what they would have spent on (sadly) cancelled vacations, donating their entire CARES check when it arrives.

However you do whatever you do – this is the time and home is the place.

We will come through this crisis – and without question, we will do it better together.