By Alexandra Sirowy
At Youth To The People, we try to be intentional and impactful in our support of our partner charities. Our Giving work is where our hearts and minds meet. But what does this mean and how is it possible in a viral pandemic of unprecedented scale?
Weeks into the Covid-19 crisis and we are a community separated by distance—but closer than ever, in hope. We want those most vulnerable to stay healthy; we want those with Covid-19 to recover; and yes, we want life to return to a normal in which we are safe buying produce in public, waiting in line for coffee, and gathering together to admire art and music.
As the scale of the crisis grows and each day brings new reports from the frontlines, the viral pandemic has been particularly difficult for charities to navigate. We’ve heard from many of our Giving partners that the already vulnerable communities they serve have been made even more vulnerable by Covid-19.
The women served by Downtown Women's Center have few options to shelter in place and fewer for social distancing. Homeless women are already more vulnerable to food insecurity and violence. DWC is in dire need of cleaning and sanitizing supplies. You can shop and donate from their Emergency Preparedness Amazon Wish List.
GLSEN believes that every student has the right to a safe, supportive, and LGBTQ+ inclusive K-12 education. What happens when those schools close? Closures are designed to keep youth physically healthy and from spreading Covid-19 to vulnerable members of our community, but for some kids, school is their safe space. Schools offer a sense of community and acceptance some do not get at home. GLSEN is working tirelessly to provide a semblance of this support online, through virtual GSAs, extending outreach resources, and launching additional platforms for LGTBQ+ students.
For too many students, like many served by Shoes That Fit, a California-based non-profit that pairs donors with children in need of shoes, school is the only place they can count on a hot meal each day. In February, we donated shoes to an elementary school local to our Los Angeles headquarters. Teachers and staff members took each child’s measurements and then distributed the shoes purchased specifically for them. It’s unclear how future donations will work.
We’ll continue to monitor COVID-19’s impact on our Giving partners and the kids, teens, and women they support.
Thank you for helping however you can, including by staying home.