As part of our COVID-19 response we created Virtual Volunteer opportunities and launched our Gift Cards for Groceries program in partnership with FamilyAid Boston, a nonprofit working to end child and family homelessness. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the staff at FamilyAid have been working around the clock to distribute emergency supplies of basic necessities and food to ~300 local families living in shelters. To help ease the burden on FamilyAid staff and empower these families to have the opportunity to make their own choices on what they need we asked our network to help us purchase gift cards. Our network responded in a HUGE way and has been very generous in already providing $10,000+ in donations for gift cards.
When our CEO, Bridget Akinc, went to a local CVS to purchase a batch of these gift cards, she encountered a very curious cashier that wondered why she was buying so many gift cards. Bridget explained donations had been collected from our generous Building Impact network to provide gift cards to local families experiencing homelessness. The cashier quickly grew very emotional and shared how she spent numerous years bouncing from shelter to shelter with her family while growing up. She stressed the importance of these small acts of kindness and the positive ripple effects it can have for one in need.
Serendipitous moments like this prove how important nonprofits are to the fabric of our society, how linked we are and how vital it is to pay it forward at every moment we can. A simple act of providing a family with a Gift Card to allow them to shop locally and remain safe during COVID-19 provides dignity and hope and can positively impact ones outlook on life.