Generosity During COVID-19

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How do we care for the most vulnerable during COVID-19?

A couple weeks back, some friends and I were walking down the streets of Manhattan back to our cozy, heated hotel room. We’d just wrapped up an outdoor meal at a nearby restaurant but decided we needed a sweet treat to top it off; ice cream cones in hand, we made our way back to SOHO. But on the way there, a voice was calling out from the side of the road—it was a woman. She was homeless.

She asked my friends and I if we had some money to spare. For the first time in a long time, I actually did have some cash on me. But as I fumbled for my wallet, I decided to try and make conversation.

“How have things been for you during COVID?” I asked.

She explained that life has gotten much harder. Before the virus hit, she used to have enough money to get off the sidewalk and into a hotel room a couple of nights a week. Now, that’s simply not the case.

I listened, nodded, said “God bless you” and then began making my way down the block.

The size & scope of COVID-19’s reach

Don’t get me wrong, during the COVID-19 crisis, things have been challenging for all of us. Isolation from loved ones, church communities, colleagues, etc. have left many feeling disconnected and discouraged.

But sadly, for some, COVID-19 has had even more devastating material impacts.

Looking on a global scale, there are millions more people who, because of COVID-19, will find themselves in extreme poverty in 2020—50 million more to be exact. The ‘COVID-19 effect,’ as the Brookings Institution calls it, is causing major disruption to the world’s poor; so much so that 2020 will mark the first year in this century that the number of poor people in the world will actually rise.

Even in the U.S., …

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