People from all walks of life have stepped up to join #GiveTogetherNow, a rapid relief response to get cash directly to the families hit hardest by COVID-19. Already the effort has raised over $38.7 million within the first four weeks.
Launched in March by Stand Together and FII, #GiveTogetherNow is quickly becoming one of the top COVID-19 response efforts in the country due to the campaign’s ability to quickly get funds to families hit the hardest by the pandemic. This incredible support has empowered more than 77,000 families and individuals with $500 in monetary support so they can meet their unique and immediate needs.
One family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, wasn’t sure how they’d pay rent—just one year after they had moved out of a homeless shelter. They had been living paycheck to paycheck when Nelynn, a mother of five, lost her job because the local school closed. But thanks to the direct cash assistance, they’re able to stay in their home. As Nelynn said, “I was afraid I would not make my rent payment, but thanks to this blessing, I can. My kids and I want to just say thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Lamonte, a small businessman in Orlando, Florida, was already worried about making ends meet when he was diagnosed with COVID-19. After emergency room visits and nearly two weeks fighting the disease, he recovered. But when his co-working space closed shortly after, he nearly lost hope. Now with the money from #GiveTogetherNow, Lamonte can keep his business afloat. In his words, “When I received the call about the grant funds, I felt a measure of relief. I will use this much-needed money to pay some of my monthly expenses. I am grateful for your support and generosity.”
And a widow and single mom in Chicago was forced to stay home from her job to take care of her son when his school closed. Without her paycheck, she wondered how they would afford basic necessities. But now, as Dianne said, “I was able to pay my rent, my light and gas bills, and put groceries in my house. This is truly a blessing from God and I’m forever grateful.”
Individuals receiving the funds are not the only ones transformed by this effort. #GiveTogetherNow is partnering with over 250 nonprofits across the country to help identify individuals and families and ensuring funds are received where they are needed most.
Jane Snead, from United Against Poverty in Florida said, “There have been many times in my past when I was the person who was in need. To be part of the Stand Together program and offer families immediate relief is a privilege and honor. There’s a line in the documents that says, ‘You can use this money however you need it. We trust you to know what’s best for your family and your community.’ That line means so much to me.”
This effort is just getting started, and now the #GiveTogetherNow effort has expanded the number of ways people can get involved and contribute to their neighbors in a tangible way.
Now you can be a part of these efforts in two distinct ways:
Give Money: What many people need now, more than ever, is the financial help to weather this unexpected storm. For those who are able, you can make a direct cash investment into a family impacted by the pandemic. Whether you can contribute $25 or $150, 100 percent of your donation will go directly to an eligible household right away.
Give Kindness: In times like this, even the simplest acts of kindness can make a big difference. That’s why there’s another way to help: by giving kindness. The Elizabeth R. Koch Foundation is matching acts of kindness shared with the #GiveTogetherNow hashtag on social media with a $500 cash donation to the relief fund. The matching gift will help as many as 5,000 families.
Whether it’s calling an elderly person who lives alone, sending groceries to someone who needs them, or mailing a card to a student whose graduation was cancelled, these gestures can remind people who are struggling that they’re not alone. This spreads hope, and it gives others the courage to step up and do the same.
Everyone has something unique to contribute to their community during this crisis. Find out how you can spread hope to families affected at GiveTogetherNow.org.