Throughout the pandemic, nonprofits have worked tirelessly to provide continued support to vulnerable demographics, striving to keep clients, staff, and volunteers safe, while at the same time striving to meet rapidly evolving needs in the community. In the following, we examine six nonprofits and their response to the pandemic.
YMCA Silicon Valley
The closure of many Bay Area schools has left a number of essential workers struggling to find childcare. In response, YMCA Silicon Valley launched a childcare program for frontline workers in partnership with El Camino Hospital, which is situated next door to the El Camino YMCA. The program has benefited many families, providing children with a temporary escape where they can enjoy a sense of normalcy. Meanwhile, the program has enabled frontline workers to return to their roles with a focus on helping people who are critically ill.
CollegeSpring is a nonprofit dedicated to helping students in need to maximize their educational potential. In response to school closures, College Spring shifted its focus away from in-house education to virtual learning programs, developing digital content and online testing schemes. With many of its clients already facing significant disadvantages in terms of gaining admission to college, representatives expressed concern that the loss of months of classroom time for test preparation and instruction would widen the equity gap.
Moreover, experts predict that Covid-19 will impact developing nations more acutely. AmericaShare is a nonprofit dedicating to improving the lives of children in Mukuru, Nairobi, Kenya, providing disadvantaged children with basic educational resources to facilitate sustainable change.
As part of its Covid-19 response efforts, AmericaShare distributed reusable face masks to all of its sponsored students, as well as their families. With many people unable to find work and families critically in need of food, AmericaShare quickly began delivering food packages via a local grocery store, providing non-perishable staple items to Kenyan families, including rice, wheat flour, maize flour, cooking oil, and beans.
In order to support students enrolled in its school sponsorship program, AmericaShare distributed smartphones loaded with educational resources, circulating data to increase access to online learning. The organization created online classes and study groups, enabling students to remain engaged and connected with a focus on promoting year-round learning in spite of significant disruptions created by the pandemic.
People experiencing homelessness face an increased risk of contracting Covid-19 since they often share accommodations. Implementing adequate social distancing measures can prove challenging in a shelter. In addition, the prevalence of pre-existing health conditions that pervades the community of people experiencing homelessness means that those with Covid-19 are more likely to develop life-threatening symptoms.
Based in Silicon Valley, LifeMoves is dedicated to helping people experiencing homelessness to return to stable housing. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, LiveMoves has sought to continue delivering its critical services with a commitment to supporting clients, staff, and local communities.
In response to the pandemic, LifeMoves launched an emergency relief fund, calling on patrons to host fundraisers. LifeMoves offers a range of vital services, supporting individuals and families experiencing homelessness. In addition, the organization provides food, shelter, childcare, therapeutic services, and educational programs.
Second Harvest Community Food Bank
The Second Harvest Community Food Bank also caters to families in need. Throughout the pandemic, Second Harvest has continued to partner with more than 50 agencies including Backpack Buddies and the Fresh Mobile Pantry in order to deliver services and programs to people in need.
Living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia has presented significant challenges. Coronavirus has exacerbated these difficulties, making daily life that much harder.
The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to helping people with dementia and their families, providing a wealth of online resources, including Alzheimer’s Association TrialMatch, a free clinical study matching service that is easy to navigate.
In response to Covid-19, the Alzheimer’s Association launched its Covid-19 Help Center to keep families up to date by providing a wealth of tips and resources about coronavirus designed for people living with dementia.
The economic fallout
While the pandemic has been touted by some as “the great leveler,” it has deepened the chasm between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” After all, not everyone has access to digital technology, or even a home in which to take refuge.
Overall, approximately 25% of US adults have reported that at least one person in their household has lost their job due to Covid-19, with young adults and people with lower incomes disproportionately affected. Families who are already struggling have fallen further beneath the poverty line due to pay cuts and a reduction in working hours.
Since the emergence of Covid-19 in Wuhan, China, the economic fallout has continued, with people with low incomes hit the hardest. Research reveals that ethnic minorities have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus compared with Caucasians, with a greater risk of developing severe, life-threatening symptoms.