Nonprofits kept North Carolina connected during pandemic ::


EDITOR’S NOTE: The column below is, from: Maggie Kane, a place at the table; Heather Dennis, Dress for Success Triangle NC; Alice Lutz, Triangle Family Services; L. Ron Pringle, Interfaith Food Shuttle; Lexie Vaughn, Habitat for Humanity Durham; Jérôme Lévisy, Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties; Karen Marinelli, Blue Ridge Women’s Fund; Young ginger, Book harvest; Sally Edwards, Children’s Museum of Marbles; and Allison Riggs, Southern Coalition for Social Justice . It was written with the help of Kenneth Brown, a member of the AJ Fletcher Foundation.

Non-profit organizations are no strangers to promoting a social cause or the public interest. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, North Carolina nonprofits of all types have been challenged to become another form of “essential services,” in the face of growing demand despite the realities of dwindling donations.

With many people out of work or left behind due to the pandemic, and unable to support their favorite causes, local organizations and their staff have had to find new ways to survive, thrive and stay connected with their audiences, their supporters and everyone. other.

Amid the chaos, we have stepped up to provide essential resources and services, developed COVID protocols, moved services to online spaces, and worked tirelessly to respond to the changing circumstances of the pandemic.

For example, A place at the table remained open to provide more than 50,000 meals to food insecure people at their Raleigh site and in partnership with Oak City Cares, Passage Home, Southlight, SE Raleigh Promise and Haven House.

the Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties opened up their physical space to host blood drives with the American Red Cross, a free COVID testing site, a meal distribution center, and even a polling station. Triangle Family Services extended their services to include a 24/7 hotel refuge for 6 months for 120 of their most vulnerable, ensuring their safety and that of our community, as well as all of our “traditional” mental health services; virtual and remote family security and financial stability programs.

Southern Coalition for Social Justice deployed its advocacy in virtual spaces to help voters: by organizing online hearings to fight a voter identification law that denies the right to vote, virtual trainings to help volunteers advocate for better elections local and fair maps, and responding to voter calls with Democracy North Carolina and other connected nonprofits as part of the state’s voter protection hotline.

Recognizing that women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, Dress for the triangle of success have put their programs online and launched a regular meeting group for clients to share resources and stay connected, including a Wednesday webinar program, providing life-saving professional and personal training to over 1,000 attendees. the Blue Ridge Women’s Fund mobilized their community around collective donations and raised $ 20,000 to help 11 pantries in the region feed those in need.

Interfaith Food Shuttle expanded its Backpack Buddies program to non-partner schools and children living in hotels. Children’s Museum of Marbles collaborated with partners to expand distance and virtual learning resources by distributing “Take-Away Marbles” and “PNC Pre-K Packs” to vulnerable preschools, Boys and Girls clubs and families together.

Thanks to book pickups and the power of the postal service, Book harvest distributed 179,388 books and are now on track to exceed their annual target for 2021. Habitat for Humanity Durham continued to build and repair affordable homes and to help homeowners become self-sufficient, improve their health, financial security and education.

The pandemic has highlighted the need for stronger public systems and taught us the power of connection, to build our strengths, find new talent and, most importantly, to improve the lives of all North Carolinians. We believe that supporting nonprofits in our state – whether with your time or with your financial investments – will be essential to rebuilding our communities after the pandemic is over.

We cannot build without you. We’re in the same boat and hope you will join us in our quest to improve the lives of the people of North Carolina by supporting the nonprofits that matter to you where you live. Engage with them on social media, support them with your voices and advocacy, volunteer your time and, if you are able, support them financially.

This new normal is going to require all of us not only to see our interconnection, but also to support those connections now to prepare for the challenges ahead.

NOTE: The authors of this independently written column represent organizations that receive support from the AJ Fletcher Foundation. James Goodmon, CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company, is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the AJ Fletcher Foundation.

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