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Two Ways to Help Individual Families Impacted by Covid-19
As ugly as the Covid-19 pandemic has been, one of the beautiful things I’ve seen has been the amount of energy and resources that people have contributed towards trying to help those in need. There have been many terrific initiatives that have focused on important, broad needs like providing support to front-line healthcare workers or making sure that foodbanks have the resources to keep up with escalating demand. These are critical and I hope that our generosity towards these efforts continues to grow.
There are also countless individual needs that are very acute that are going unmet every day. At the same time, I know a lot of people would jump at the opportunity to support a particular family in need in a monetary way or simply through their time and capabilities. But it’s hard to make these matches happen.
I want to share two different initiatives that are trying to build a bridge between those who are able and willing to help and the needs of an individual or household.
The first is started by my friend Jessica Kim, the founder of Ianacare. Their initiative is called ShowUpNow. It is an open marketplace with limited curation designed for those who are willing to make small-scale donations to those that need help. It’s as much about showing emotional support and solidarity as it is about helping with immediate needs. As the site describes, “think of it more as treating someone to meals, groceries, or help with bills. It’s like sending a virtual hug, so people are NOT alone in this.”
For a larger scale (but still personal) commitment, check out the 1KProject. This was also kickstarted by a friend, Alex Iskold from 2048 Ventures. This is a curated marketplace that connects families that have been severely impacted by the pandemic with funders willing to sponsor them for three months with $1000/month. This is higher touch as there is an application process and hands-on curation to make sure those receiving the funds have a direct connection to others in the network. For example, if you know an owner of a local bakery who has been forced to let go of staff, those individuals could be connected to others in the network willing to sponsor them.
I applaud both Jessica and Alex in getting these off the group so quickly. It’s easy to point out imperfections of any giving mechanism, but ultimately, the world is a mess right now and I’m excited to participate in both platforms and help in this small way. Please check them out. Also, if you are interested in getting more involved, the 1K Project is looking for Boston based curators to help in a deeper way. Please email or DM me directly if you have interest and capacity.