Stimulus Check Giving Ideas: There is great disparity in how this pandemic is affecting communities. Taking care of one another, whether extended family members or the broader community, is part of our call as followers of Jesus; particularly when the need is due to inequity. If some or all of your stimulus check is not needed for your broader family or your household, here are places to donate to help create some equity and care during this time:
Kingdom Builders Network Emergency Fund:
KBN has set up a fund for our communities most drastically impacted by the economic downturn as a result of the Coronavirus. Many members of KBN will have needs, and some will not feel the impact as much. We encourage those that can give to this fund to give, recognizing that we are members of one body. To help ease the paperwork for KBN, WPMF will be collecting donations through our congregational giving options. So, if you give through our current electronic options or by phone, you will have an option to donate to the “Kingdom Builders Network Emergency Fund.” If you are writing a check, make it out to WPMF with “Kingdom Builders Network Emergency Fund” in the memo line.
Immigrant COVID Relief Fund:
The federal government is excluding undocumented and cash economy workers from the Stimulus Plan. Many of these workers pay taxes using an ITIN number and have supported our communities’ wellbeing by harvesting our food, constructing our houses and cleaning our homes. Most of these workers do not qualify for unemployment and lived pay-check-to-check prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. Donate: https://sanctuaryphiladelphia.
Philadelphia Bail Fund:
Provide direct bail assistance to people who are indigent and cannot afford bail. The Philadelphia Bail Fund is working urgently to free as many of our neighbors as possible during this pandemic. There is an urgent need to post bail as COVID-19 threatens people in jail, where crowded living quarters and inadequate health care make conditions ripe for a viral outbreak. Help us respond quickly by freeing our neighbors who remain in jail simply because they cannot pay bail: https://www.phillybailfund.
Displaced Hospitality Workers – Unite Here 274:
POWER is calling upon its member congregations to remember those put out of work during the pandemic. The overwhelming majority of food service and hospitality workers have been laid off with no notice, no pay and no continuation of health insurance as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. You can donate to Philadelphia area workers in need through our allies at UNITE HERE Local 274: https://secure.actblue.com/
Juntos Solidarity Bank:
A member-led food and resource initiative committed to the long term well-being and health of our Latinx immigrant community. Launching in early May, our families will receive boxes of food, basic household and personal necessities, masks, and educational materials for children and youth on a weekly basis. In addition, we will be sharing information and leading online workshops on worker and tenant rights during this pandemic, so they can fight to stay in their homes and for better protections at their jobs. Donate to the Juntos Solidarity Bank
MennoPIN recently began the Twinning Initiative with Gaza that matches MC USA congregations with churches, mosques, schools and other groups in Gaza. Manhattan Mennonite Church (Kansas) has been building a relationship with Youth Vision Society in Gaza and are now engaging in an advocacy project on their behalf. Manhattan Mennonite Church (Kansas) and MennoPIN are making an appeal for Mennonite churches and individuals to financially support Youth Vision Society’s Hand-to-Hand project.
The Gaza Ministry of Health has documented 11 Coronavirus infections causing the quarantine of 1000 people. The Gaza Strip is densely populated by more than two million people. Suffering from an air-land-sea blockade for the past 13 years and three devastating wars, Gaza faces economic collapse. The poor earn their living on a daily basis and yet need to stay home because of the pandemic.
The Youth Vision Society is requesting our help to raise funds through their Hand-to-Hand project. This project focuses on the Beech (Shati) Refugee Camp where 57% of the children are malnourished and 120,000 people live on a section of land less than 180 acres. The goals for the Hand-to-Hand project include:
-Distribution of 300 food baskets to 150 of the most vulnerable families. A $75 gift will feed a family for two weeks.
-Distribution of 300 hygiene kits with cleaning supplies to slow the spread of COVID-19
-Fund Raising Goal of $37,500
Donations to the Youth Vision Society (YVS) can be made online through the Middle Eastern Children’s Society (MECA) at https://secure.everyaction.