Need is up and charitable giving is down as the COVID-19 crisis continues longer than anyone anticipated. In 2019, Americans donated almost $450 billion to charity — the second-highest annual amount in U.S. history. Then, just a few months later, Gallup reported a new 21st Century low in giving. What can we do to help? Feeding South Florida distributed in 2020 over twice what it did in 2019. While donations flowed in at the beginning of lockdown orders, they’ve trickled down as the pandemic continues, yet there are still many in line each week (FeedingSouthFlorida.org). Or you can give grocery cards to those in need directly. United Way has a special Miami Pandemic Relief Fund (UnitedWayMiami.org). Miami Diaper Bank accepts both monetary and diaper donations for low income and homeless children (MiamiDiaperBank.com). Is Art Philanthropy more your speed? Purchase a museum membership, buy tickets to virtual performances or donate your COVID-cancelled tickets back to the organization. You can also take an online dance class or art workshop, or you can buy or commission art. Your fiscal generosity could be as simple as continuing to tip extra next time you eat out to make up for the restaurant staff’s lost income last year. As we look toward a brighter future, 2021 is poised to be the year we all collectively think outside the traditional donation box.
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With 2020 officially almost over, we can’t help but be optimistic about what the new year will bring! Sit tight, relax and let’s make sure the glass (of champagne!) stays half full as we ring in a brighter future.