The coronavirus pandemic and resulting school and business closures have put additional strain on those already at greatest risk in our community.
We checked in with some of our Impact100 Oakland County nonprofit partners as they continue their important work during this tumultuous time. Here’s what they report, along with specific ways you can help and links to their websites if you’d like to donate.
Kids Kicking Cancer has requested gift cards for food, gas and household supplies. In addition to having a child with cancer, some families are experiencing additional hardship as they may be out of work, or incurring the extra expense of feeding children home from school. You can buy e-gift cards from Target, Walmart, and Amazon with email delivery to Global Program Director Cindy Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will distribute them. If you’d like to send gift cards in the mail, Cindy can provide an address.
Friendship Circle is offering virtual activities on the FC Goes Virtual Facebook Group for families that are isolated at home. Join the group and check it out! They seek individuals to lead activities such as yoga, arts and crafts, singalongs and dance parties for children and teens. Also needed are mental health professionals to facilitate virtual parenting workshops, as well as UMatter programs for teens. Anyone interested in helping with virtual programming may contact Programs Manager Erin Berry at email@example.com.
Common Ground and its crisis services have never been more crucial. While all support groups have been postponed, the Resource & Crisis Center’s text and online chat function, made possible through a grant by Impact100 Oakland County, enables crisis counselors to provide their services remotely. “You have helped us continue a lifeline to those in crisis,” reports Heather Rae, Common Ground president and chief executive officer.
Variety – The Children’s Charity Detroit recently provided more than 1,000 bags of food to families in need through Variety Feeds Kids in conjunction with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. You can support Variety Feeds Kids as they fill the hunger gap during the school closure. Executive Director Michelle Murphy notes that $100 can provide food for a child for a year. Press the big red button on their homepage to donate, and add “Variety Feeds Kids” in the note.
Beyond Basics has a COVID-19 relief fund to help families in need cover essentials such as food, household supplies and gas. The goal is to provide $250 to 100 families through their Family Literacy Center at the Durfee Innovation Society. Visit the Beyond Basics Facebook page to donate.
Huron-Clinton Metroparks currently suspended all student programs and public events. However, they remind us that the parks are still open. As the weather begins to warm, take some time to get outside and experience some fresh air, sunshine and wildlife while practicing your social distancing.
Meredith Meyer is an Impact100 Oakland County member since 2017 and a member of the public relations committee.