Nonprofits innovating in the face of COVID-19
COVID-19 has impacted everyone across the country in one way or another. Many people are dealing with unique challenges. Students may not be able to get a proper meal without the school cafeteria. Teachers may not be equipped to mentor without a classroom. Recovering addicts may struggle with staying sober while social distancing.
Local nonprofits are transforming their businesses across the country to meet the unique needs of individuals, families, and communities that have been affected by the pandemic. Now, more than ever, people from all walks of life are coming together to lift each other up.
Here are a few of the nonprofits around the country that are stepping up and proving we can create meaningful change if we work together.
In Dallas, Café Momentum is serving up opportunity to the city’s most at-risk youth. At first glance, it looks like any culinary training facility. But through job training, life skills, and employment opportunities, the nonprofit cafe helps young people break free from a cycle of violence and crime to achieve their full potential. They offer a yearlong paid internship for young people released from juvenile detention. The cafe is temporarily closed due to local mandates, as are most restaurants now. But they are taking this opportunity to help even more teens. They are making meal kits for food-insecure students and their families through a new program called Momentum E.A.T.s. Their goal is to provide 16,000 meals per week during this time.
Attack Poverty has been helping people in need by building “Friend Communities,” networks of churches, residents, schools, and organizations that help those experiencing homelessness break out of the poverty cycle. Now, with social distancing, people experiencing poverty need that support even more. So, Attack Poverty is transforming their community centers into “distribution centers” where people can pick up essentials, like food and activity kits for kids, and learn about basic sanitation — to help them get through this pandemic. With the flood of daily information, and evolving news, Attack Poverty is keeping people informed about COVID-19, and providing numbers to call for mental health support.
Teachers and students across the country are entering a new, foreign phase of online learning. Being thrown into teaching remote courses after having spent time developing a classroom curriculum can be jarring. OpenStax is here to help. They’re pros at online education, having helped 9 million students afford college by offering free online textbooks. Now they are shifting focus to students and teachers who are treading new territory during the coronavirus pandemic by providing free materials to help teachers and students transition to remote learning.
While the nation moves past social distancing and cities begin to enter total lock-down, Phoenix won’t lose sight of the fact that humans are social beings. People need a sense of community to survive. While keeping physical distance, Phoenix is bringing people together by creating opportunities to stay active and connected. Their programs are for people overcoming addiction — using the transformative power of community to support recovery. Knowing the importance of their community to their members, and others who may need support during the coronavirus pandemic, The Phoenix quickly transformed their business — which used to all be deployed IRL— to all virtual programming, basically overnight. They’re offering virtual and live-streamed classes anyone can join. Their programs include fitness, yoga, meditation, book clubs, and social drop-ins.
Leap to Success
Leap to Success is shifting its stress management sessions online, so women who experienced domestic violence, homelessness, or other significant life challenges can continue to build a better future for themselves. These nonprofit community-based programs are offered at no cost to the women who need them, and Leap to Success will continue the effort online while the country fights back against coronavirus.
Are you wondering how you can help those in need? Here’s a list of over 100 nonprofits that need your support.
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