Coronavirus has turned our world upside down. Most businesses are suffering loss of revenue and many families are dealing with reduced or lost income. Day care facilities and camps have closed or are operating at drastically reduced capacities to care for children. Some children and families face isolation due to underlying health concerns.

Despite all these negative factors, there is a positive glow in the work that many non-profits are accomplishing under these trying circumstances. Many non-profit organizations face increased demand from community members searching for help on several fronts.

How can you help?

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Volunteer. The state of New Jersey is slowly opening back up. While operating under state health and safety guidelines, many organizations are doing more with fewer resources. Even with building closures and social distancing, non-profit organizations have at-home, virtual, in-person opportunities to give back. Unsure how much time you have? Short-term volunteers are also in demand.  

Financial support. Most non-profits rely on grants, funding, and public support. As discretionary income fades, so do donations. Many fund-raisers have been cancelled, scaled back, or transitioned to virtual events. Those who can support community organizations should consider offering support to ease the strain on non-profits that continue to provide critical services. Donations of any size are always appreciated. Can’t donate? Help find individuals or organizations that can. Many companies and individuals love to give back, especially to causes that they are passionate about. Match foundations and organizations with similar missions to further the resources that are available.

Share resources and collaborate. Working together is the best way to maximize the impact you can have. As the CEO of Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, I often collaborate with other Girl Scout councils across the nation and country, and organizations that support youth, and women’s issues. We do this because we all have a stake in our community and our youth. It’s in our best interest to work hand in hand.

As I have seen over the past few months, even our youngest citizens can make a difference. Many have sewn masks, collected food for local pantries and offered words of encouragement from far and wide.

Girl Scouts across northern New Jersey have donated more than 93,000 boxes of cookies to local organizations, countless masks, headbands, and medical equipment. We can make a greater impact if we can continue to stand strong and stand together.