Everyday the effects of the coronavirus pandemic are becoming more severe. Just yesterday here in Washington state the governor announced a “stay at home” order, following other states like Oregon in mandating the closure of non-essential businesses and instructing people to stay put in order to stem the spread of the virus.
Since the beginning of this crisis SJF has encouraged our members to practice community care while supporting a culture of collective responsibility and accountability to one another. The impacts of this pandemic will become even more apparent in the coming days and weeks, especially for the most vulnerable in our communities. That’s why we must step up our solidarity now. For SJF, that means raising money, and moving money.
Just over a week ago SJF announced our Covid-19 Crisis Fund; within days we had received over 50 requests from throughout the Northwest region – groups creating mobile food banks, a special resource fund for the families of farmworkers, doing advocacy for statewide eviction suspension, or ensuring that health and safety materials are made available to immigrant communities (among many other things). We saw immediately how intense the need is, and made nearly 30 emergency grants in the first week.
Of course, the demand is still huge and getting bigger. Here are some things you can do right now to support those who are struggling during this dramatic and uncertain time:
Social Justice Fund NW is evaluating our work during this time and figuring out ways — through video technology and other tools — to engage our community. Ongoing Giving Projects will continue, and certain events and workshops will become virtual. We look forward to forging connections with our members during this challenging period.
We grateful to be part of this struggle with you.