2020 was the year that effectively turned the world upside down. The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy notes that in the United States alone, over 20.6 million people have found themselves without a job after the initial outbreak of the Coronavirus. Some had nowhere to turn. Despite the economic downturn, though, nonprofits everywhere rose up and began providing relief to families. Some were even conceptualized to aid specifically those impacted by the pandemic. Here’s a list detailing a few who have gone above and beyond for people across the nation:
1. World Central Kitchen
Food insecurity has been a massive problem in the United States for many years, with 37 million Americans identifying as being food insecure (11 million of those being children). World Central Kitchen has been battling this issue for over a decade. The nonprofit has focused heavily on providing individually-packed meals for families across the country, particularly in response to the closure of school lunch programs. Their efforts have resulted in the distribution of over 25 million meals as well as hundreds of jobs through the restaurants they support.
For more information on World Central Kitchen and how you can help, visit their website here.
Included in the mass-closures during lockdown periods were public parks, forcing children inside. To combat the inevitable boredom and to get kids safely outside again, KaBOOM! created an “At-Home Playground Design Kit.” The box is filled with goodies like chalk and pipe cleaners. In addition to their outdoor kit, the nonprofit has also recently partnered with the Built to Play initiative to begin the Play Everywhere Design Challenge. The winning community will receive $1 million to put towards the future development of playground equipment when it is safe to do so.
For more information on KaBOOM! and how you can help, visit their website here.
3. Helping Hands
During the initial outbreak of COVID-19, the concept of Helping Hands was formed and brought to life. The initiative focuses on aiding those directly affected by the pandemic in Bloomington, Ind. and eventually Pittsburgh, Penn. Through the software developed by Civic Champs, Helping Hands is able to pair volunteers with individuals with specific requests. Services range from yard care to pharmacy pick ups to general home repairs. All services are provided with respect to local health guidelines. Their focus and commitment to their community fuels the initiative and allows them to impact people one at a time.
For more information on Helping Hands and how you can help, visit their website here.
Grammy-award winning Chance the Rapper does more than write amazing music; he also runs his own nonprofit known as SocialWorks. Their main focus is to impact the lives of Chicago youth by providing them with professional, mental and academic resources. To provide relief during the pandemic while still socially distancing in the third largest city in the United States, the organization created Drop-Box locations where people are able to donate school supplies and other household necessities. They also continue to provide free meals throughout the city with the support of their partners.
For more information on SocialWorks and how you can help, visit their website here or their Instagram @SocialWorks_Chi.
5. Little Kids Rock
With many schools turning to Zoom and video calls for the upcoming academic year, Little Kids Rock is helping students have a more positive learning experience. HARTMAN’s paired up with Little Kids Rock and donated headphones through their brand JBL. Such a product gives students better access and ability to flourish through e-learning. Little Kids Rock also hosted a variety of online music lessons, giving children the opportunity to advance their musical skills during nation-wide lockdowns. To date, the partnership has donated over 6,300 pairs of headphones across 10 major cities.
For more information on Little Kids Rock and how you can help, visit their website here.