When the coronavirus caused a nationwide shut down in America people were left without work and pay. As the unemployment rate grew, so did the call for philanthropists. Charities and organizations were aware that over 30 million Americans were unemployed, meaning they had time to donate and give a helping hand. Not only did people put their time and energy into giving back during these hard times, but as well as their own money despite it being tight these days.
People began to give more than usual, whether it may be big or small. Many people are donating food to their local food banks and even offering to hand the meals out. On a larger scale, many corporations and wealthy individuals donated a great amount of money to foundations.
By mid-April donations for COVID relief had reached $7.8 billion dollars. Since then the number has continued to grow. The strength of philanthropy in the United States was clear when it was reported that more than 60% of these donations originated from companies, corporations, and religious organizations based in the U.S.
Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, made a donation of $100 million to Feeding America. The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation also donated $100 million in hopes of helping the economic consequences of COVID-19. Tensions became high as Americans believed that some of the wealthy should give more money as the unemployed were doing the best they could at the moment. Philanthropy is all about doing it from your heart, and if there’s one thing people will take away from this pandemic is that anything can help, whether big or small.
Una Osili, an infamous philanthropic scholar, who is the leader of Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy research program, believes the pandemic has highlighted not just a debate over the role of philanthropy in our society, but also America’s fondness for charity. “It’s not just the large gifts — there is a generosity taking place at the community level by everyday people and sometimes really heroic acts where people are stepping up to help their neighbors,” Osili said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made Americans realize the importance of giving and the impact you can have. Everyone is going through tough times and are contributing the best they can. There are so many ways to help out that don’t include you spending too much money or any at all. So people may have participated in philanthropy work before the pandemic but one thing for sure is that this opened doors for people who have never considered helping for a cause.