Traditionally, GivingTuesday is held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving as a dedicated day of giving for nonprofits across the globe. And while that will still happen later in the year on December 1, 2020, #GivingTuesdayNow has been organized for May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.
There are several local organizations that could use extra support in the Madison area, and we hope you consider donating when and how you can. Among them is Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, which is asking you to “make a difference from a distance” by giving $5 on 5/5.
Typically in spring, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County is busy building and rehabilitating houses alongside volunteers and partner families. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, only a limited number of staff members can work on projects while maintaining social distancing guidelines. And when partner families reach the pivotal milestone of closing on their homes, Habitat is encouraging the community to congratulate them virtually on social media since they can’t hold public dedication celebrations. Fortunately, both Habitat ReStores have a web presence, so even though the stores are closed to volunteers and patrons, staff members can still post pictures of inventory on Facebook. That way you can shop online for paint, housing supplies, and decor while safely supporting affordable housing.
The disruption of camaraderie between Habitat staff, volunteers, and partner families at build sites, events, and the ReStores is highly unfortunate, but there is more at stake because of the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus. More than 200 local families who already live in local Habitat homes are struggling on several levels, including having difficulty paying their mortgages.
“You see, many Habitat families are working on the front lines – stocking shelves to make sure you have supplies, preparing and delivering food, working in critical childcare, and even serving in the clinics and hospitals that are working so hard to take care of everyone. They are doing this while paying increased childcare costs while schools remain closed. Other Habitat families are being adversely affected as their work hours are reduced or cut completely – leaving them with no income at all,” according to Habitat.
Habitat started an emergency Family Relief Fund to offer mortgage relief for Habitat homeowners impacted by COVID-19 -- giving families room in their budgets to make up for lost income due to the quarantine, healthcare costs, and extra childcare fees. And Habitat’s participating loan holders, a group of eight financial institutions in Dane County, have agreed to defer the May payment for homeowners.
"The ultimate goal at Habitat for Humanity of Dane County is to stabilize both families and communities,” Ann Raschein said. “In this uncertain time we appreciate the help and hope from each other that strengthens our community."