To Our Seattle Community,
In this time of great uncertainty, as so many people’s lives are being upended to fight COVID-19, we know that no one is immune to stress and fear. As stores shutter and schools close, and as everyday activities cease in order to preserve public health, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Almost everyone is trying to care for themselves and their loved ones near and far, while balancing responsibilities to work, neighbors, and the community.
For others, the fear of illness is intensified by an already uncertain life. Before the pandemic, thousands in our city and state already struggled to find stable housing, steady employment, and enough to eat for themselves and their families.
The pandemic is exacerbating their fight for survival. In addition, there are countless members of our community who have reason to worry like never before about the source of their next paycheck and their next meal. The need for immediate and long-term support in our community—physical, financial, emotional—has never been greater or so far-reaching.
In the midst of this crisis, we do see hope. In Seattle and Washington state, so many people in the public and the private sectors are leading with incredible compassion, empathy, honesty, and action as they find creative, innovative ways to use their resources for the benefit of all, especially the most vulnerable.
At the Schultz Family Foundation, we remain absolutely committed to our community. The nature of our support will adapt as the situation unfolds, but our immediate focus is those most vulnerable, and supporting local organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 response, including:
- COVID-19 Response Fund through the Seattle Foundation: A coordinated effort to provide operating grants to community-based organizations at the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak in the Puget Sound region.
- Northwest Harvest: To help fund a new food distribution strategy which aims to increase the number of households they serve and to develop innovative delivery channels to get food to those in need.
- FareStart: To help keep low-income workers employed by funding the provision of meals for King County quarantine sites and affordable housing locations.
- YouthCare and New Horizons: To provide necessary sanitation supplies for vulnerable youth and to ensure safe spaces and meals for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.
- Jewish Family Service: To support the health, well-being, and stability of those who are most at risk in our community, particularly the elderly, disabled, and refugee populations.
In addition, the non-profit organizations in our community that people rely on every day are also facing challenges. The Schultz Family Foundation has worked with many of these organizations throughout the years and we stand with them as committed partners in their vital work to help those in need transition from crisis to stability.
Many of these organizations have had to cancel their annual fundraisers, which provided critical funding for operations. Now more than ever they need that funding, and those of us in positions to provide immediate financial support have a responsibility to do just that. If it is within your means, please donate to a local shelter, food bank or an organization helping those who are most vulnerable.
We will continue to reach out over the coming weeks to keep you updated about what we learn, our ongoing response, and the organizations that are part of our community’s safety net, and that will need all of our support. We must continue to dig deep into our hearts and pockets, deeper than we’ve ever imagined. Each and every one of us has such an important role to play.
As each hour brings more news, some daunting, some hopeful, it can be tough to feel that we are in this together, especially if we are staying home. But we are in this together. There is no greater proof than the tremendous leadership we are experiencing from our state and city officials, and from the outpouring of support from so many businesses and philanthropic institutions.
Those of us in Seattle are witnessing the power of community as we come together around a common cause. And never has there been such a common cause! When kindness, courage and compassion lead the way, followed by active support and generosity, our shared humanity rises above fear and we have every reason to feel hope and optimism.
From our family to yours,
Howard and Sheri