Neighbors Helping Neighbors
A little more than a week ago, a couple of people in Washington Village
began discussing the COVID19 pandemic and how it might impact our
community. Our Common House had been already been closed and we knew some members had already suffered losses in employment.
We realized the government would be sending out $1200 checks to all adults. While to many people this would be a necessary lifeline, for others it
would be just extra cash. One member suggested asking for donations from
the community to assist those who would be directly impacted.
The idea caught on and our community responded rapidly. We named the
program *Neighbors Helping Neighbors. *Members rallied to make donations and we recruited volunteers to assist in the disbursement of funds. Since we assumed a fair amount of money would be collected over time, we realized that members with accounting expertise would be necessary to act as a “bank”. One method of ensuring transparency and accountability is to keep our records open to donors for review. We also informed donors that donations would not be tax deductible since we did not have 501(c) 3 status as a non-profit. For reasons of privacy, all donors and recipients are anonymous.
For recipients, we limited “need” to income loss such as job loss or
furlough, reduced working hours or business closure as a direct result of
the COVID-19 pandemic. Other sorts of financial emergencies are not
eligible for grants. Then we urged community members impacted by the
pandemic to apply for fixed sum $400 monthly grants to be used for HOA dues and mortgage relief as long as they were in need and the funds held out.
In a little more than a week from when the idea was first generated, we
will have grants sent out to impacted members of the community who filled
out a simple application. If any other communities are interested in
developing a similar program, we will be happy to discuss how we developed
*We’re all in this together*
Category: Community Support