Sometimes this blog can do nothing more than report the devotion to service demonstrated by social service agencies and nonprofits across the country. Four nonprofits reached far outside their comfort zone to help mitigate the devastating effects of COVID-19. Here are their stories.
Obviously, John D. Rockefeller and his board of trustees at the original foundation never heard of corona virus. However, the creativity and determination of the current leadership came up with a way to respond to this pandemic crisis by taking the initiative to use money from outside John D. Rockefeller’s initial bequest to make grants by obtaining the funds from a bond offering.
The foundation will spend $1 billion over three years, including $700 million from a 30-year bond it offered in September, on grants and investments in Covid-19 testing, tracking, and vaccination development and distribution.
By taking advantage of low interest rates (the 30-year notes have a less than 2.5 percent rate), the bond offering is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, according to Dominick Impemba, Rockefeller’s chief financial officer.
“When we brought this to the board, we got clear messaging: ‘Do it once, do it big,’” he said. “So, we feel like this is our big shot.”
The 107- year-old foundation said it was launching a new chapter with the initiative, which will see it reorient its resources, efforts, and energies towards “improving the lives of the world’s poorest people and addressing inequities made worse by this virus.”
As food banks are already seeing a decrease in retail donations, unique product distribution challenges, declining volunteer groups, and an increased product demand for vulnerable populations, Feeding America has launched a COVID-19 Response Fund.
“We have seeded the fund with $2.65 million and plan to meet member’s needs and create and distribute food boxes in the most vulnerable areas of our country. With the help of our supporters and partners, we are leading a conversation on how to address immediate and long-term needs as well as mitigate the impact on our nation’s most at risk populations,” shared Teresa Gruber, Director, Employee Engagement, Feeding America.
In fragile places such as conflict zones, refugee camps, and overcrowded communities, where people are already struggling to survive, COVID-19 can have a devastating impact. An estimated 1.5 billion children are out of school, and most don’t have options for remote learning. In the United States alone, 30 million children who rely on school for both learning and meals are at great risk.
Around the world, Save the Children is distributing much needed hygiene supplies and vital health information on how to stay safe and prevent the spread of infection. Here at home, they are working to make sure kids can learn and get the nutrition they need during this crisis, with more than 300,000 kids served and 6 million meals prepared and delivered.
COVID-19 is spreading across the globe with unprecedented speed. Because the virus spreads from person-to-person contact, it is imperative that all healthcare systems are provided with the necessary supplies to treat patients and to stop the spread of the virus. Governments have failed to supply healthcare systems properly, so this charity is providing medical supplies such as face masks, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), gloves, water, hygiene kits, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and more to front line medical workers across the entire globe.
Just Noticing is a Beginning
Just taking a moment to recognize the heroic work these and many other nonprofits are doing is the beginning of caring. Find a way to help. We are all in this medical emergency together.