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Jun 24, 2020

Community-led Relief: Weathering Wildfires and COVID-19

Photo courtesy of Guitars in the Classroom
Photo courtesy of Guitars in the Classroom

While the worldwide pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have drastically impacted the entire GlobalGiving community, we’ve been hard at work listening to the needs of our nonprofit partners and donors. The GlobalGiving Disaster Recovery Network recognizes that for communities already hard-hit by previous disasters and fighting to recover from damaged homes, lost wages, and ongoing trauma, the effects of the COVID-19 virus lockdown have been especially difficult. 

We reached out to our trusted nonprofit partners in California who were attuned to the voices in their community long before the 2018 wildfires and are continuing to respond to the current crisis. From Chico, Northern California, to San Diego, these incredible organizations are meeting the needs of vulnerable populations, filling the gaps in state funding, and preparing Californians for the upcoming 2020 wildfire season.

Your generous support of the 2018 Wildfire Relief Fund is fueling the following community-led responses to the economic, health, and emotional impacts of COVID-19:

Sheltering the Unhoused:

  • The town of Chico, California received thousands of survivors from the nearby Camp Fire with open arms, and nonprofits such as Safe Space Winter Shelter have helped house those who lost their homes in the fire. When California issued their shelter-in-place order, Safe Space developed a plan to house 145 medically vulnerable community members experiencing homelessness in local motel rooms. Many of these guests have been identified as having a high risk of developing complications from COVID-19. “They have been managing medical conditions like diabetes, chronic lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer while living unsheltered, and it is clear to us just how critical shelter is in a person’s ability to address medical needs.” Beyond simply having access to a bed, a bathroom, and a shower, guests receive full case management and support to shelter-in-place. 
  • United Way of Northern California has expanded its 2-1-1 operations in response to the spike in calls from residents in search of food, utility and rent assistance, and COVID-19 sample tests. By targeting support to displaced workers, senior citizens, and those facing homelessness, this United Way team is committed to addressing the needs of disadvantaged communities as California enters phase three of re-opening. 

Local News in Native Languages 

  • Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) launched a COVID-19 task force to provide rapid response information to Spanish monolingual, Mixteco, and Zapoteco community members at a time when the usual high-touch, door-to-door strategies are unavailable. The organization is working to ensure that Indigenous language-speaking communities have access to stable internet connectivity to keep them informed on the latest public health updates in Santa Barbara, one of the counties with the highest infection rates in the state. 

Fighting Financial Instability 

  • The Ventura Community Foundation launched the Ventura County Rapid Response Fund for COVID-19 to bolster the efforts of nonprofit organizations addressing the needs of individuals and families with food and housing support, childcare, wage replacement, and mental health services through a partnership with Give an Hour. The Fund is also filling in the gaps in federal and state funds by supporting small businesses through this crisis so they will be able to re-open as key providers of employment, connection, and development in their local communities. 
  • The North Valley Community Foundation has been working nonstop for residents in Butte County still recovering from the Camp Fire in 2018. Their nonprofit network has prioritized COVID-19 testing through local labs, food, shelter, children’s services, and personal protective equipment for first responders. Looking ahead, they are gearing up to ensure that students in rural areas will have access to internet connectivity and other resources they need for virtual education in the fall. 
  • Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans operates in San Diego, a city with one of the country’s largest resettled refugee communities. Recognizing the immediate impact on a community where many work in the restaurant, tourism, and small business sectors, PANA activated a response to provide small, one-time grants for resettled individuals to cover rent, utilities, childcare, food, and other emergency needs. 

Emotional Wellness for All

During such draining and stressful times, Give an Hour has adapted its programs to reach essential workers, undocumented families, and all Southern California residents who are looking for mental health resources through its phone and web-based support lines, offering guidance and healing six days a week. Through English and Spanish resources, Give an Hour even hosted a wonderful Emotional Wellness session with the GlobalGiving team that left us feeling seen, and refreshed to continue directing relief efforts to communities impacted by COVID-19 across the world. 

In this era of uncertainty, we are grateful to GlobalGiving donors like you who believe in the power of local, community-led responses to disasters. Thank you for standing with those affected by the frequent California wildfires. We’ll be back with future updates on how your contribution is building state-wide resilience. 

With Gratitude,

Andrea + the GlobalGiving Team 

Photo courtesy of Jake's Diapers
Photo courtesy of Jake's Diapers
Jun 24, 2020

Solidarity With Survivors: Hurricane Florence + COVID-19

Photo: Disaster Recovery Group of Duplin County
Photo: Disaster Recovery Group of Duplin County

At GlobalGiving, we’ve been working around the clock throughout the COVID-19 crisis to most effectively serve our nonprofit community across 170 countries. We have launched a Coronavirus Relief Fund, piloted a Hardship Microgrant Initiative, and doubled down on trusting our partners with how to best serve their communities during this emergency.

Nearly two years since Hurricane Florence made landfall along the eastern coast of the U.S., we have now made our final grants from our Hurricane Florence Relief Fund to support recovery and resilience-building. Thanks to your generous support over the past two years, we have made flexible grants to eight local, community-led nonprofits dedicated to holistic recovery within their communities

Take a look at one of our most recent grants to Asociación de Mexicanos en Carolina del Norte (AMEXCAN) as well as a review of past grants to see the continued impact of your donation:

AMEXCAN is helping Hurricane Florence survivors weather the storm of COVID-19 by…

  • Sponsoring direct cash payments to landlords and utility companies on behalf of financially vulnerable constituents
  • Sending gift cards directly families that have been severely impacted by both Hurricane Florence and COVID-19
  • Helping with staff costs so AMEXCAN can continue the work of listening to and serving the most vulnerable in its community

Looking back: a brief highlight of your donation’s impact

These are just a few of the many ways your generosity has made a difference in the lives of those impacted by Hurricane Florence. To see more ways that your donation has helped, see the reports directly on our various nonprofit partners’ project pages.

Though we are now closing the Hurricane Florence Relief Fund, local nonprofits still need support to promote a full recovery in affected communities, especially now in the face of COVID-19. To support further relief and recovery efforts, I kindly ask that you consider giving here to any of our vetted nonprofit partners.

Thank you for your generous support of recovery in the Carolinas.

With Gratitude, 

Claire + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo: Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry
Photo: Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry
Jun 16, 2020

In It For The Long Haul: CA Wildfire Response

Photo from IsraAid
Photo from IsraAid

While the worldwide pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have drastically impacted the entire GlobalGiving community, we’ve been hard at work listening to the needs of our partners and donors. The GlobalGiving Disaster Recovery Network recognizes that for communities already hard-hit by previous disasters and fighting to recover from damaged homes, lost wages, and ongoing trauma, the effects of the COVID-19 virus lockdown have been especially difficult. 

We reached out to our trusted nonprofit partners in California who have been attuned to the voices in their community long before the 2019 wildfires and are continuing to respond to the current crisis. Across the state, they are providing for vulnerable populations, filling the gaps in state funding, and preparing Californians for the upcoming 2020 wildfire season.

Your generous support of the 2019 California Wildfire Relief Fund enabled rapid response grants in support of community-led relief efforts immediately following the fires and extending to the ongoing pandemic. Take a closer look:

Protecting Our First Responders

LA firefighters work around the clock to keep Los Angelenos safe, risking their lives to fight back blazes threatening homes and showing up whenever their help is needed. Interacting daily with community members in dangerous situations, and in a line of work where practicing social distancing is difficult, these frontline responders need protection in order to continue protecting others. Thanks to your generous donation, we were able to distribute an emergency grant to the LA Fire Department Foundation to fill critical shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE), access new supplies, and upgrade equipment in fire departments across the city. 

Standing with Students 

The California Community Foundation (CCF) understands that, for many families, schools often provide meals for children whose parents are struggling to put food on the table. Since students no longer receive free school meals as a result of campus closures, CCF is helping meet families’ needs with critical food assistance. CCF is also ensuring access to remote learning resources and technology upgrades to keep students from falling behind in their learning and to help both students and parents navigate virtual education.  

Helping Hospitals

In addition to supporting students and increasing the resources directed towards homeless shelters, CCF is helping community clinics and hospitals respond to increased patient flows. These health centers are treating sick patients, triaging those who have been exposed or in need of testing, and providing much needed emotional support to patients in quarantine.

These rapid response grants were made possible by the GlobalGiving community’s generous show of solidarity with California wildfire survivors, and this last round of funding marks the close of the 2019 California Wildfire Fund. While this is the final donor update you’ll be receiving, this is by no means the end of our work responding to the annual wildfires in California. In fact, our team is continuing to strengthen relationships with our on-the-ground partners as they prepare to respond to disasters, be it a wildfire or pandemic, while creating stronger, more resilient communities. 

From a native Californian, thank you! 

With Gratitude,

Andrea + the GlobalGiving Team 

 
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