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Stand Together community leaders and GoFundMe discuss COVID-19 relief efforts

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Stand Together community leaders and GoFundMe discuss COVID-19 relief efforts

GoFundMe discusses their massive efforts to help those affected by the COVID-19 crisis and how others can assist.

A Thistle Farms Employee poses for a photo

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, community organizations and social entrepreneurs are working quickly to pivot their operations to better meet the needs of those they serve.

Several weeks into this pandemic, how are those efforts working, and what do they look like?

Stand Together Foundation executive director Evan Feinberg, along with Thistle Farms CEO Hal Cato and Friends of the Children CEO Terri Sorensen, were recently featured on GoFundMe's podcast, True Stories of Good People to discuss their massive efforts to help those affected by the COVID-19 crisis and how others can assist their communities.

The discussion was hosted by GoFundMe, which is running a matching campaign to help those affected by COVID-19. 

These efforts were inspired by Stand Together Foundation's own #HelptheHelpers fundraising campaign, one of GoFundMe Charity's highest performing campaigns related to COVID-19, which aims to support local nonprofits on the frontlines of the relief effort.

Feinberg discussed how #HelptheHelpers was launched in response to nonprofit partner needs for direct funding to innovate through COVID-19 and how the campaign provided an opportunity for people to donate to help local nonprofits in their communities continue to provide vital services during these uncertain times. Stand Together Foundation and its nonprofit partners were ready and able to direct their focus to help those most affected by the pandemic.

"One of the things that we were most inspired by right when the pandemic hit was that we were working with these incredible social entrepreneurs that were ready to pivot their operations and meet the needs of the people they serve in incredible and innovative ways."

Community organizations are mobilizing to provide the social fabric needed to overcome this adversity. Stand Together Foundation partners and other community solutions are emerging as innovative leaders are stepping up and mobilizing community-driven solutions. The campaign was all about connecting everyday people to their efforts.

The initial fundraising goal of the campaign was to raise $1 million through a month-long effort throughout the month of April and then have STF match those funds. But, the goal was met in just over 24 hours. Due to the resounding success, Stand Together Foundation immediately set another goal of raising an additional $1.5 million with a match. Incredibly, that fundraising goal was  then met within the next four days! In the following weeks, roughly $6 million has been raised in total for nonprofit organizations across the country who are serving their communities.

Meanwhile, these nonprofits are working hard adapt to the changing demands of their communities in light of the coronavirus. Sorensen noted how Friends of the Children, a youth mentoring organization, was making those changes with the help of Stand Together Foundation.

"We've really had to reimagine our service because [we] normally meet with our kids … in person. So, we quickly had to make a pivot to [see] kids electronically, helping with their learning, and be connected to them. And that really showed what an amazing digital divide there is in this country, in that many of our youth and families did not have WiFi, did not have devices, or there was one device for a family of seven."

"Participating in the campaign with Stand Together [Foundation] couldn't have come at a better time," she said, "because we were seeking solutions to pivot our service and still be there for our kids and families."

Stand Together Foundation has extended the #HelptheHelpers campaign through the month of May and is continuously highlighting the work of these local leaders on the frontlines of the relief effort to inspire more people to help their communities however they can.

Watch the full discussion on the True Stories of Good People podcast to learn more about what these nonprofits are doing to offer relief for those impacted most by COVID-19 and how you can join in the effort to #HelptheHelpers. 

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