Finding Hope in the Middle of a Crisis

We’ve been unpacking some of the challenges that charities, like so many others, are facing as a result of this pandemic that upended life as we knew it. The fallout has been especially acute for lots of nonprofits because, while they struggle with the staffing concerns and financial instability that have suddenly become commonplace just about everywhere, they’re also facing increased demand for their services and programs.

Nonprofits have long filled in the gaps in society’s infrastructure. But, in many instances, those gaps have become canyons. Even as the shelter-at-home restrictions begin to lift and the hint of normalcy creeps back into our lives, economists are forecasting that it could be years before we recover from this COVID-19-induced recession we’re now mired in. That means the strain on government assistance and nonprofit programs is likely to be prolonged. All the while, fundraising is likely to be a challenge, to put it mildly.

And yet, amid that rather bleak landscape, so many stories that inspire hope and optimism have emerged. Charities that are not only maintaining services with a fraction of their normal staffs but expanding them to meet the surging need. Food banks that have been overwhelmed by the sudden vulnerability of so many have also been bolstered by a tsunami of support. Housing organizations are moving people off the streets. And hospitals are being flooded with donations of masks, gloves, face shields, gowns—and dinners for healthcare providers.

Corporate foundations are loosening the parameters on their giving programs to encourage and maximize employee donations. Even individuals who have been stuck at home have found an assortment of ways to support their communities and beyond through new virtual volunteer opportunities.

The need has maybe never been greater than it is right now. But there’s so much about our collective response to it that’s encouraging. It’s hard to envision how we’re going to restore our lives. But this much is certain: Our communities will get back on their feet. And the charities will be integral in making it happen.

How you can help us

For the last 55 years, NORWESCAP has been helping to support low-income families and individuals across Northwest New Jersey. Today, as our region and country face the threat from COVID-19, that commitment is stronger than ever.

If you’re looking for opportunities to volunteer, donate materials, or otherwise support NORWESCAP’s work during this crisis, call MaryBeth Ringo at 848-459-5882 or email her at Monetary donations may be made here.