A single mom of five can pay her rent and keep her family safe. A dad was able to purchase WiFi so his kids can do their schoolwork. A COVID-19 survivor who lost both her parents is now able to help pay funeral expenses and keep herself solvent while she is not working.
These are just a few examples of the over 85,000 people who have received a direct cash grant of $500 from #GiveTogetherNow, led by Stand Together and Family Independence Initiative (FII). And this is just the beginning.
#GiveTogetherNow is quickly becoming one of the top COVID-19 relief efforts in the country, having raised over $43M in four weeks. This is further exemplified through the recent business and philanthropic partnerships bringing their resources and networks to the campaign, including: Chase Koch, Elizabeth R. Koch, Blue Meridian Partners, Google.org, DeVos Family Foundations, Stripe, the Schultz Family Foundation, and hundreds of others.
“I’m blown away by what can be achieved when dozens of diverse business, philanthropic, and nonprofit leaders unite to #GiveTogetherNow,” said Chase Koch, president of Koch Disruptive Technologies. “Let’s keep this going.”
These business leaders and philanthropists join a robust network of over 250 local nonprofit organizations currently leading identification and distribution of funds to families most impacted.
Zulean, a nonprofit partner distributing funds said this: “I am not exaggerating when I say that this has been life changing for so many of our parents. Having the ability to provide immediate support to them as they face layoffs and financial hardship…has been wonderful.”
One of the distinct benefits of the effort has been the speed with which it has been able to distribute money to families across the country. In as little as 3 days families can receive direct investment to meet their unique needs.
Justin Steele, Americas Director at Google.org, added “Research on direct cash transfers has shown wide-ranging positive outcomes, and most importantly, it is an empowering solution for recipient communities.”
#GiveTogetherNow funds are no-strings-attached. “In these unprecedented times, families in communities most impacted by the crisis are facing no-win decisions like whether to buy food or pay rent,” said Nancy Roob, CEO of Blue Meridian. “FII places trust in families to determine how best to meet their immediate needs and is well-positioned to take this approach to scale during a time of great, escalating need nationwide.”
As cash assistance flows out, messages of hope flow in from families that have been able to buy groceries, pay bills and stay afloat financially.
While finances are a critical component for families, emotional and community support during this stressful pandemic is equally important for so many. Never has community, a sense of neighborliness and coming together, been so critical as it is today. It is for that reason that #GiveTogetherNow has expanded its contribution opportunities to the relief fund by sharing acts of kindness.
While not everyone can spare finances for neighbors, everyone has a unique role to play and can lend a hand to people around them. The Elizabeth R. Koch Foundation has pledged to match each verified act of kindness that is shared on social media using the #GiveTogetherNow hashtag with a $500 grant, up to $2.5 million in total. That means as many as 5,000 more families can be helped by people finding creative ways to make a difference.
As more individuals, businesses, and nonprofits bring their unique contributions to this effort, we continue to see what’s possible to tackle when we work together. “I am heartened to see so many leaders in philanthropy come together to support this effort,” said Brian Hooks, CEO of Stand Together. “A crisis of this magnitude will require every one of us to do our part to help those who have been hit the hardest.”