ARLINGTON, VA – Today, #GiveTogetherNow, a rapid-response campaign that has raised more than $42 million to directly support nearly 84,000 families financially affected by COVID-19, launched a new phase of the effort to recognize and inspire acts of kindness and service across the country.
#GiveTogetherNow, led by Stand Together and the Family Independence Initiative (FII), is issuing a call for acts of kindness, recognizing that everyone has an important role to play in helping each other make it through this crisis.
“While many people want to help their neighbors, not everyone can contribute financially. But everyone can contribute an act of kindness,” said Brian Hooks, CEO of Stand Together. “In a crisis like this, we all have a role to play. By encouraging acts of kindness, we’re building on the extraordinary outpouring of financial support we’ve experienced and helping empower even more people to get involved.”
As part of this new effort, the Elizabeth R. Koch Foundation will match acts of kindness shared with the #GiveTogetherNow hashtag on social media with a $500 cash payment to families experiencing hardship. The matching gift, through a grant to FII, aims to inspire more than 5,000 acts of service to kickstart the effort, and in turn, invest financially in as many as 5,000 families.
“Everyone has the ability to brighten someone’s day, spread wonder and delight, and remind the world that even in the midst of great pain there can be great beauty,” said Elizabeth R. Koch. “This initiative is so important because it inspires people to express their innate generosity however they are able. By giving kindness, both giver and receiver are reminded of how much they matter.”
To turn an act of kindness into a $500 donation, a person can simply submit a video or photo of their act of kindness on social media using #GiveTogetherNow. For every act of kindness posted, a $500 direct cash payment will go directly from FII to a family experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. The relief effort works with local nonprofits across the country to identify families and individuals who have been greatly affected.
“There is immeasurable value in social capital – in supporting one another. It’s how communities have survived and thrived through the years, and it’s how we will get through this pandemic,” said Jesús Gerena, CEO of FII. “By highlighting stories of kindness, how people support one another during this time, I hope we inspire others to continue the actions in the future.”
Examples of kindness include anything from sewing masks, delivering groceries to a neighbor, reaching out to the elderly, to throwing a social-distancing birthday party, providing supplies for frontline workers or anything else – big and small – that individuals find to be meaningful during the time.
Here’s how it works:
1. Capture your act of kindness. Share a short video or photo, and explain your act of kindness and why you did it.
2. Post your act of kindness to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Any of these are fine!
3. Use the #GiveTogetherNow hashtag. That’s how we’ll find your post. A #GiveTogetherNow community manager will find your post and will let you know if your post is eligible for a $500 direct cash payment to an eligible family in need. (See Full Terms and Conditions).
4. And don’t forget to make your post public. Many people like to keep their Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts private, limited to close friends and family—for the community managers to find your post, the post needs to be publicly accessible.
Anyone looking to support #GiveTogetherNow can contribute financially or with an act of kindness at www.GiveTogetherNow.org. Stand Together and FII work with over 250 local nonprofits across the country to identify, nominate, and help verify eligible households for cash from within their programs. Once verified, eligible households will receive a one-time cash payment of $500 right into their bank account. 100% of financial donations collected go directly to families that have been most affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Thread, a Baltimore-based partner of Stand Together Foundation dedicated to building deep relationships and ending social isolation, provided thought partnership based on their 2015 #RethinkGiving campaign in developing this initiative to encourage people to contribute kindness in their communities.
About Stand Together: Stand Together empowers people dedicated to helping others improve their lives. Our philanthropic community tackles some of the biggest challenges of our times, including reforming the nation’s criminal justice system, strengthening K-12 education, helping neighbors beat poverty and addiction, empowering everyone to find fulfilling work, and more. We can all make a greater difference by uniting together than by acting on our own. For more information visit, www.standtogether.org.
About Family Independence Initiative:
Family Independence Initiative (FII) trusts and invests directly in people living with low incomes so they can work individually and collectively to achieve prosperity. Our innovative technology platform, UpTogether, is designed for the exchange of financial and social capital. UpTogether allows people living in poverty to access unrestricted cash transfers and connect with other families to help one another accomplish their financial and personal goals. Learn more at fii.org.