Three days was all it took to get grocery gift cards to families!
It started with an email on Tuesday, March 17 in the evening with an idea. During this chaotic time, let’s expand The Mayday Foundation’s mission to support more local families coping with the hardships of COVID-19. After reaching out to 15 families already receiving financial support from The Mayday Foundation, it was quickly determined that families most urgent need was grocery gift cards.
“Given the fact I had to venture to four different stores in order to attempt ‘routine’ grocery shopping and had to buy whatever was left on the shelf rather than comparison shop, I humbly raise my hand for help,” said a dad whose son is coping with cancer in Olympia.
During a time of crisis, we have a unique ability to be even more generous and compassionate. The board of The Mayday Foundation supported a temporary expansion of our mission to reach not only local families coping with cancer, but also families impacted with wage losses caused by COVID-19.
By Wednesday morning, the Grays Harbor Community Foundation pledged $2500 for grocery gift cards for Grays Harbor families impacted by COVID-19. To be eligible, families must live in Grays Harbor, be raising kids at home, and be experiencing wage loss due to the novel coronavirus. The quick response from the Community Foundation was critical to getting money out promptly to families in need.
“Grays Harbor Community Foundation is at its best when we are partnering with our local nonprofits for the betterment of our community. It’s an honor to partner with The Mayday Foundation to provide emergency grocery gift cards to families in need during this difficult time. The Foundation has our entire community in our hearts right now and we are so thankful to The Mayday Foundation for their immediate response to help Grays Harbor families impacted by COVID-19,” said Jessica Hoover, Senior Program Officer.
Later that same day, The Mayday Foundation crafted a short explanation of the emergency grocery assistance and posted an online form to gather contact information from Grays Harbor families in need. An anonymous donor pledge additional funds to expand the program to even more families. “We have a 4-month old baby and a 3-year-old with a very low immune system. My husband has not been working any overtime and instead making store runs so that I don’t have to bring the kids out anywhere,” said an Aberdeen mom of four kids.
By Thursday morning, all grocery gift cards had been designated and unfortunately families had to be put on hold, with the hope that additional funding will become available. “I am a self-employed childcare provide who had to close my business because I suffer from an autoimmune disorder and couldn’t risk catching the virus. I will have no income during my shut down,” said a Hoquiam single mother of two kids.
On Friday, grocery gift cards to Walmart and Safeway arrived and are all ready to be picked up by the postal service on Saturday. “I am a self-employed massage therapist. Since the quarantine, my entire practice is shut down. I have no income and am very scared for mine and my children’s future,” said a mom in Aberdeen with two kids at home.
Here are some more stats about how the emergency grocery cards made a difference in Grays Harbor:
- Grocery gift cards will reach 34 kids and 26 adults living in Grays Harbor county, impacted by COVID-19.
- Families have lost anywhere from 14% – 100% of their income since the health crisis hit our area.
- Nine of the families have lost more than 50% of their income and four families have lost 100% of their wages.
If you would like to help us distribute more emergency grocery gift cards out to families impacted by loss of income in Grays Harbor, Thurston and/or Lewis counties, please click here.