READING, PA (March 21, 2020) – It’s a popular question these days. And the answer is surprisingly simple.
The resources of our community are strained right now as we battle the effects of a global pandemic.
But, as always, the residents of Berks County are finding ways to help, from distributing food to checking on neighbors.
Since this crisis crested, we have been receiving the same question, again and again: “Where is the most need in our community?”
We’ve been in touch with hundreds of charitable organizations in recent days to assess local conditions.
Some of our social service agencies, particularly those that address hunger, are struggling to meet a huge demand for food and volunteers.
Our arts and cultural organizations have canceled performances, exhibits, and other activities that have cost them revenue, even as they have continued to offer services as best they can. For instance, libraries have closed but are still serving the public by offering books and other material from kiosks and carts outside their shuttered doors.
Childcare organizations have had to close, losing revenue.
Counseling agencies that are still providing critical mental health services are now conducting sessions by phone. Some of their funders (insurance companies, mostly) are providing less reimbursement or even none, in spite of the fact that this is now the recommended way of treating clients.
So how can you help?
Our best guidance is to make as generous a contribution as you comfortably can to the organizations that matter most to you and your loved ones.
All of the organizations we’ve contacted are still able to receive and process checks and online donations.
So, give. Please.
This simple but important act is the most important thing any of us can do to support charities that contribute so much to our community and to be sure they will still be there in the months and years to come.
Kevin K. Murphy, President
Berks County Community Foundation