Our nonprofits survive, we survive

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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As the number of COVID-19 cases and related deaths continue to rise in Illinois, our community is coming to grips with the new reality of the local effects of a global pandemic.

This pandemic has forced us to change our daily lives to ensure not only our own health and safety, but to help secure our community's well-being. Many of us are doing what we can to curb this virus by working from home, practicing social distancing and taking other precautions.

For our nonprofits, their work is vital to combating the economic, social and health strains caused by this pandemic. Their path forward on how best to serve vulnerable community members, now and in the future, face an unprecedented number of challenges. How does an organization's staff and volunteers keep themselves and their clients from spreading the coronavirus without the necessary health safety supplies, such as gloves, hand sanitizer and wipes? Many had to cancel their annual fundraising event, which supported a significant portion of their operations. How will they be able to support their ever-growing client base over the long haul without worrying about losing government, corporate, philanthropic and individual support?

This unprecedented public health crisis deserves an extraordinary response. Our nonprofits need your support now more than ever. That is why the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation calls on the donor community to continue – and increase – your support today.

We realize that financial concerns have arisen for many of you these past few weeks. However, history shows that Oak Park-River Forest residents have tapped their remarkable and well-known spirit of caring during pressing times and given whenever they can.

We ask that you donate directly to organizations and programs you already support. Another option to support area nonprofits that are providing food, shelter and related health and human services during the COVID-19 outbreak is by donating to the Foundation's Rapid Response and Recovery Fund online at oprfcf.org. Donations to this fund will be matched 1:1 by the Foundation up to $100,000.

We continue to be inspired by humanity's efforts to protect, educate and uplift each other. Amid circumstances unlike any we have known, we ask you to please thoughtfully consider joining us to provide funding that can aid stability throughout the neighborhoods in which you your families and your friends build your lives.

We are grateful for you. We stand in solidarity with you as we weather this storm.

Be well.

Tony Martinez Jr.

President & CEO

OP-RF Community Foundation

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