Patrice Lee Onwuka, adjunct senior fellow with The Philanthropy Roundtable, writes in Inside Sources that private philanthropy has been an indispensable force in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As 2020 came to a close, Congress finally agreed on COVID-19 relief measures—and President Trump signed them into law—after eight long months of political gridlock that ignored the hardships facing many American families. No one wants to imagine the additional pain Americans would have endured this past year if not for the charitable and private sector groups and individuals who stepped up quickly to support our communities at the onset of the pandemic. Their success, amid so many challenges and unknowns, reminds us why private charity is the best first line of defense and a critical lifeline when disaster strikes.
“When many Americans were forced to shelter-in-place, and business closures triggered millions of job losses earlier this year, federal lawmakers passed an initial COVID-19 relief package two months after the coronavirus reached U.S. shores. But then politics, bureaucracy, and gridlock took over. In contrast, private philanthropy and community groups immediately got to work and have collaborated with the efficiency and creativity that we have come to expect from them. They acted early, adapted, and implemented changes that filled the gaps—getting resources into the hands of those in need and thus ultimately saving lives.”
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