Questions and Answers:
Our Response to COVID-19
How did COVID-19 impact your organization’s operations financially?
Donations to Crisis Aid increased significantly as we pivoted and provided immediate relief to those in need of food and healthcare. Immediately we were added to the Top 30 List of Nonprofits making a difference in COVID-19 Relief by Charity Navigator.
How did COVID-19 impact your organization’s delivery of programs?
As a crisis relief agency, we immediately mobilized both in the United States as well as in East Africa.
In the U.S. our preexisting weekly food distributions became grocery drive-through events enabling us to feed a much larger amount of people around the city. Our one site that used to feed 400 families became ground-zero for more than 120 areas and 4,000 families currently being served in our communities.
How did your organization adapt to the changing conditions caused by COVID-19?
We created a new initiative that was community-partner-led as the distribution effort increased. This initiative is called Community Helping Community. We have empowered small churches, schools, neighbors, and other individuals who refuse to do nothing to serve their community and multiply the impact of change, hope, and help.
In East Africa, because of increased awareness and funding, we were able to mobilize and repurpose our existing facilities in remote areas to provide a coordinated Covid response. With no testing supplies available to the remote areas of East Africa, we responded with systems. The girls (trapped in the Red Light area) yet a part of our Mercy Chapel vocational program – Immediately went to work using their new sewing skills to create thousands of masks for the police, health workers, AND girls trapped in the Red light district. Others in the program began making hand sanitizer to give out. Volunteers went bed to bed – disinfecting everything they could. In addition community training, food, health checks, and quarantine units were established in areas that would never have had the opportunity across the area.
What are some innovations that you intend to keep in place permanently?
We will continue our ‘Community Helping Community’ program in the U.S. Our East Africa Pediatric hospitals are in constant need of support. There are no other options nearby. Covid-19 relief and community support will continue.