It’s been a year since COVID-19 significantly hit the U.S. We all know what the pandemic response has looked like in our own communities, but the global response is difficult to picture. Our Charity Alliance partners have been fighting the virus and its impact since the beginning, ensuring relief and support for marginalized communities around the world. Their critical response goes beyond mitigating and treating the disease – since January 2020 they have delivered medical and protective supplies to health care workers, provided hunger relief, assisted businesses with containment and continuity strategies, implemented distance learning for children out of school, and more.
Global Impact set up the COVID-19 Relief Fund to help our charities make a difference – and what a difference they’ve made (and continue to make)! We rounded up some content from the past year to demonstrate the value they are bringing to those in need right here at home and across the globe.
Charity Voices series
These brief videos feature one-on-one conversations with charity partners that highlight their innovation and resiliency in addressing COVID-19 challenges around the world. You can watch the entire series, but we’ve pulled a few to get you started.
Islamic Relief USA expanded their relief efforts in the U.S. by using a new network model that quickly delivered aid supplies to communities in need.
Partners in Health used their robust community-based approach to minimize the spread and effect of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations around the world.
UNICEF USA is the lead agency in charge of the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Initiative (COVAX), which means they are overseeing the procurement, preparedness and delivery of vaccines, testing and treatment in the global COVID-19 response.
A solution for COVID-19 and income generation
Like most adults in 4-year-old Cannon’s community, his father, Joseph, lost his job as a result of COVID-19. Without income, Joseph could barely keep his family fed, much less purchase a hygiene and pandemic essential — hand sanitizer. When their nearby Compassion Center launched an initiative to train caregivers on how to make their own sanitizer, two problems were solved! Today, Joseph earns money from his hand sanitizer business, and Cannon has a regular supply of this necessity to help protect his health.
Serving health workers on the front lines of the pandemic
Dr. Saul and his wife, Laura, run a mission clinic in a small town near Guatemala’s Pacific coast. Earlier this year, they were trying to find already scarce personal protective equipment – including masks and gloves – to serve peoples’ needs. They could have never imagined how much they would need that equipment in the weeks ahead as the COVID-19 pandemic started sweeping the world.
Dr. Saul and Laura were fortunate as they were connected to Vine International, one of MAP International’s partners. Back in November, the two coordinated the shipment of a container of medicines and medical supplies to Guatemala, including 80,000 exam gloves, 900 eye shields, and 20,200 surgical and N95 masks.
The simplest way to say it is those masks would not be in Guatemala, saving doctors’ and patients’ lives if it was not for MAP International and the people and organizations who give to [them]. Hundreds of frontline medical providers in Guatemala serving in hard-hit communities are grateful.” - Brady Greene, Executive Director, Vine International
Supporting at-risk children
We’ve learned the painful truth that infectious diseases like COVID-19 put children at risk, even when they don’t get ill themselves. That’s why supporting children impacted by the secondary effects of the pandemic is one of the four key objectives of World Vision’s coronavirus response.
As the coronavirus has spread worldwide, children and families are facing new challenges: scarce food, limited health care, and lost opportunities for education and income. When caregivers lose their livelihoods or lives to disease and community development is set back, children are put at greater risk of neglect, abuse, or exploitation such as child labor or child marriage. And if children and families live in refugee camps, conflict zones, or other fragile contexts, they are even more vulnerable.
To help protect children in sponsorship programs from the secondary effects of the pandemic, World Vision quickly pivoted, allocating sponsorship funds in each country to support their COVID-19 response where needed within that country.
See what our partners have been up to this past year!
Check out our playlist of charity partners in action to explore their COVID-19 response further.
Volunteering and engagement
Many of our Charity Alliance members created special volunteering and engagement opportunities for those who had time and skills to give during this pandemic, and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response. So many supporters have stepped up, and in doing so, they found ways to connect with colleagues and friends while safely remaining physically apart.
If you and your colleagues would like to volunteer your time together, we’ve collected both coronavirus-specific and general employee engagement activities to help you share your generosity and connect to the causes you care about.
It's been a long and trying year. All of us are feeling the fatigue and grief of the pandemic in different ways, and we’re just trying to hang on. I, like many others, find hope in the bright spots. Learning about the lives saved by our charity partners reminds me there is good to hold on to. I share this and the above updates with all of you because I want you to find those moments of hope, too.
As exhausted as we all are, it’s important that we do not lose sight of the work that still needs to be done. COVID-19 has disrupted international development – setting back the progress made over the past several decades and rerouting the course for future headway. The years ahead will require tremendous rebuilding, and that will require all of us to step up. To those of you who have given to the COVID-19 Relief Fund or supported our charity partners during this time, we are beyond grateful for your commitment to this important work. Your support will help the international community pick up the pieces and build back together.
If you’re able to give, please support our COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Share the fund with family and friends, or explore a volunteer opportunity if giving isn’t within your means. If your company wants to support the fund or involve employees in this opportunity to make a difference, visit our Coronavirus Information and Resources page for more information.