As we all grapple with the uncertain and worrying implications of COVID-19, the physical and mental health and safety of our partners, their families, volunteers and communities are of paramount importance. At the Babcock Foundation, we are following health experts’ “social distancing” guidance and working from home until at least April 6, so the best way to reach us is likely email. We are also canceling travel and conducting meetings via videoconference.
We recognize working remotely is a luxury most people don’t have. This public health crisis could have catastrophic effects on the economy, exacerbating social and economic inequality and disproportionately harming the people we all seek to empower. We understand many of our partners are making drastic changes to the way they work, suspending door knocks, convenings and field operations, and exploring ways to reach community members through local media, text messages, social media and other digital means.
While we have long provided general operating support to offer flexibility for our partners to deal with unforeseen circumstances, we know this health crisis is adding unprecedented strain to an already demanding year. We have some resources we can make available with a relatively quick turnaround, particularly for community-based and smaller organizations, so we are asking our partners if they need additional funding to address this crisis. We are working to accommodate people who may miss deadlines or reports.
We are seeking to start a conversation to better understand the needs of our partners and their communities. What kinds of hardships is this emergency placing on your organization? How else can we be helpful as you work to protect the families who will be most harmed by this pandemic? Please don't hesitate to share.
And let’s take good care of each other.