Nonprofits prepare for Big Day of Giving in the era of social distancing

Hope & Heart

ROCKLIN, Calif. (KTXL) — Inside the community center of Destiny Church in Rocklin, volunteers, sitting a safe distance apart, are sewing face masks that will be given to veterans.

“And we just really really thank the Lord that people are stepping up in this time to do this,” Destiny Pastor of Community Development Scott Bryditzki said.

The project is a partnership between the church and a non-profit called Sacramento Stand Down.

“What we do is we work with homeless veterans and at-risk veterans in our community,” Sacramento Stand Down Director of Operations Gerad Borrego said.

Borrego is passionate about these projects.

“I actually left a commercial banking job to work with Sacramento Stand Down,” he said.

The COVID-19 crisis has made the work more important and more difficult at the same time.

“A lot of the fundraising events that we had on our schedule, we actually had to take off because of social distancing,” Borrego said.

Borrego says the cancellation of fundraisers represents a $50,000 loss for Sacramento Stand Down, which is one of 615 nonprofits participating in this year’s Big Day of Giving on Thursday, May 7.

“It’s more important than ever that we are partnered with the Big Day of Giving,” he said.

The Sacramento Region Community Foundation organizes the annual donation drive for hundreds of nonprofits.

“The need is so great this year,” organizer Kerry Wood said. “Nonprofits are struggling right now.”

Donors can participate while staying at home, giving as little as $15.

“They can go onto the BigDayofGiving.org website, and they can search the 615 non-profits that are part of Big Day of Giving this year, and find out where the needs are,” Wood said.

With so many nonprofits participating, chances are you will find a cause here that matches your passion — even sports.

Street Soccer USA serves at-risk youth and adults.

“Using soccer to help develop life skills for folks who need it the most,” Street Soccer USA Sacramento chapter founder Lisa Wrightsman said.

Plans to build a new soccer park at Broadway and 8th Street are moving forward, but Wrightsman says that because of the coronavirus, all group activities are postponed and donations are way down.

“So it’s very difficult to get out into the public and share what we’re doing and let people know the value of it because they can‘t see it,” she said.

While it is a difficult time for all the non-profits, Wood acknowledges it’s difficult for many donors as well.

If you can’t give financially, you might ask your favorite non-profit about volunteer opportunities, like the one these mask makers found.

“Right now, there are so many needs out there,” volunteer Laura Schmidt said. “Beyond this, there are just so many needs that there’s so many ways to give.”

In whatever way you are able to support Big Day of Giving, you truly can be a hero.

“Give what you can. The minimum donation is $15,” Wood said. “So while that is a hardship for a lot of people right now, we hope that it is at least an affordable place to start to really demonstrate our support of the nonprofits that we rely on so much.”

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