By Harlan Garbell
As we know, the Covid-19 pandemic forced all local “non-essential” business activities that involve close human interaction to shut down. Even many “essential” economic activities have suffered during this public health crisis. As a result, wage earners without sufficient savings have been hard pressed to cover their routine living expenses, including most importantly, food.
The local and national media have recently focused on the enormous pressure on food banks and food shelves to meet a surging demand for groceries. This need was immediate and urgent which required an organized response from the greater community. I am pleased to report that members of HumanistsMN (HMN) have stepped up to answer this call to help families in need.
HMN began a fund drive for a local food bank after one of our members generously offered to match two dollars for every one dollar raised, up to $2,500. In other words, that anonymous donor agreed to contribute up to $5,000 from his or her own pocket.
Coincidentally, at the same time Second Harvest Heartland had just received a pledge from a family foundation to match donations to the group on a 1:1 basis.
So, as the stars aligned perfectly, HMN sent a message to all of its members on the evening of April 6 inviting them to take the opportunity to have their donations matched by both the HMN and Second Harvest donors — in effect, multiplying their contribution by up to six times. Our members responded rapidly to this challenge.
In all, we donated more than $11,000, including the $5,000 from the original donor — the largest amount that veteran HMN members can recall for a fundraiser by our organization.
Counting the match provided by the Second Harvest donor, our members are responsible for a contribution of almost $23,000. This will provide thousands of nutritious meals to families with children who should not go hungry in a society as wealthy as ours. Thanks to all of you who met this challenge and helped families at risk.