By Morgan Fechter
It’s no secret that a lot of Americans are hurting right now. Between the Coronavirus pandemic, widespread unemployment, and threats to human rights in the form of system racism and police brutality, there’s a lot to worry about. Taking on the work of seasonal activism can feel daunting, especially when there are so many issues that need our attention. For that reason, we’ve broken down the list of issues to support to highlight the ones with the most urgent need during this fall season. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, it’s a great place to start.
In 2019, over 200,000 Americans were without shelter. As temperatures are beginning to drop in many parts of the country, those without a reliable source of shelter or heat will begin to feel the dangerous effects of cold exposure. This year especially, families affected by coronavirus-related layoffs or health issues are struggling to pay rent and make ends meet.
One Warm Coat helps to provide free winter coats to those in need, with a focus on children, families, veterans, and seniors. You can visit the website to find a donation box near you, donate funds, or volunteer to hold your own coat drive.
Operation Warm provides children in need with brand-new winter coats in the hopes of offering both physical and emotional warmth. The organization works directly with manufacturers to make their own specially designed coats to give children the gift of something brand new that is all their own. Every $20 provides a coat to a child in need.
Schools and teachers are underfunded even in a “normal” year. This year, teachers are struggling more than ever to provide their students with the supplies necessary to learn in a socially-distant or virtual environment. Many students do not have access to the technology necessary to attend virtual classes or are not equipped with the proper protective gear to stay safe in the classroom. Monetary donations or gifts of necessary supplies can have a huge impact on a child’s educational experience.
Adopt A Classroom supports teachers and students across the country by providing them with the supplies they need to succeed. A new COVID-19 Relief Fund is dedicated to supplying classrooms with the materials necessary for virtual learning and socially-distanced learning, including Chromebooks for students and safety supplied like masks and hand sanitizer.
With DonorsChoose.org, you get to select a classroom project that is meaningful to you that you’d like to support. Public school teachers list projects that they’d like to take on, such as providing their students with technology, and how much it will cost. Donors can then choose how much they’d like to contribute to help teachers meet their goals.
No Kid Hungry is taking on the enormous issue of food insecurity in the United States one meal at a time. The organization is now working hard to address the need of children who formerly relied on school lunches to get their daily nutrition as many schools move entirely online.
Civil rights need to be protected and fought for year-round, and it’s important to keep the conversation going now that many protests have died down. Black Americans are still being killed and hurt by the legal system, and there’s still an enormous amount of work to be done. We must continue to invest in communities of color and support the work being done to ensure all Americans are afforded the same rights.
The ACLU has been working for 100 years to “defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” Donations go toward supporting litigation, lobbying, and education for those whose rights are threatened, including immigrants and refugees, members of the LGBTQ community, and more.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund fights for racial justice in America and seeks to reform systems that disadvantage certain communities. Funding goes to litigation, advocacy work, and public education that strives to continue the fight for equality for all.
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