What does it look like to “show up” when we can’t leave our homes? It’s something I’ve been thinking about since reading this great piece* by a colleague and friend of mine, Mary Beth Collins on the nonprofit sector. Because showing up now rarely means gathering together. I’d love to hear what people are doing / are pushing their organizations to do to “show up” and meet our new challenges. Please take a moment to share your experiences in the comments! (Folks tend to be more active on the FB page these days.) And here’s a bit more from Mary Beth and about what she thinks showing up looks like:
That said, nonprofit, community, and civil society organizations and efforts have already “showed up” in a profound way to meet the moment and meet the needs of people suffering and at risk during this time. Sewing groups are making homemade medical masks where government and health care institution supplies are falling short, mutual aid networks are mobilizing to ensure that vulnerable and isolated community members have what they need, relief funds have been raised and distributed by philanthropists and regular community members, volunteer scientists and engineers are activating to solve technology and equipment challenges in real time, a range of nonprofit organizations have quickly re-structured their approaches to serve people even when in-person convenings are not possible and kids and families are distanced from their traditional community supports, artists and creatives are finding ways to increase quality of life for those sequestered to their living rooms and screens, activists are finding ways to ensure people can vote remotely, and the list goes on. The inventiveness, nimbleness, willingness, and benevolence of nonprofit, community, and civil society actors during this time have been nothing short of remarkable and profound, and have arguably sustained and created supports that the government and the business sector, at least in current form, simply could not.