ARLINGTON, Va., April 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Stand Together and the Family Independence Initiative (FII) announced a milestone in their #GiveTogetherNow campaign, a rapid-response effort to get money to families most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With support from the Stand Together Foundation, Chase Koch, Elizabeth R. Koch, Blue Meridian Partners, Google.org, DeVos Family Foundations, Stripe, the Schultz Family Foundation, and hundreds of others, more than $38.7 million has been contributed to #GiveTogetherNow – enough to provide $500 in cash to support more than 77,000 families.
Launched in March by Stand Together and FII, #GiveTogetherNow is quickly becoming one of the top COVID-19 response efforts in the country due to the campaign's ability to quickly get funds to families hit hardest. The direct giving effort is uniquely positioned to have a significant local impact as Stand Together and FII engage an extensive network of more than 250 nonprofit and community partners across the country to identify families who have the greatest need. #GiveTogetherNow also supports efforts focused in specific cities like Chicago, Grand Rapids, and Seattle. One such localized program is The Plate Fund, led by the Schultz Family Foundation and funded in partnership with community organizations, which is providing immediate relief to laid-off restaurant workers in Seattle.
Those interested in getting monetary support to families who are experiencing economic hardship as a result of the crisis can donate at www.GiveTogetherNow.org. 100% of the funds go directly to those hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis.
"I'm blown away by what can be achieved when dozens of diverse business, philanthropic, and nonprofit leaders unite to #GiveTogetherNow," said Chase Koch, president of Koch Disruptive Technologies and a major supporter of Stand Together and FII. "Let's keep this going. Together, along with thousands of people from all walks of life, we can make a far greater difference helping families most affected by COVID-19 than any of us could on our own."
FII has nearly 20 years of experience providing direct cash investments to families living with low incomes. In 2015, they began a partnership with Google.org to improve and scale their innovative capital exchange platform, UpTogether, which is being used to deposit #GiveTogetherNow dollars directly into families' bank accounts.
"As a long-time funder of FII, Google.org is proud to support #GiveTogetherNow to bring resources to communities in need," said Justin Steele, Americas Director at Google.org. "Research on direct cash transfers has shown wide-ranging positive outcomes, and most importantly, it is an empowering solution for recipient communities."
Blue Meridian Partners, a national philanthropic group, is providing significant funding to the #GiveTogetherNow campaign, based on FII's proven track record for quickly getting funds into the hands of people who need it most. "In these unprecedented times, families in communities most impacted by the crisis are facing no-win decisions like whether to buy food or pay rent," said Nancy Roob, CEO of Blue Meridian. "FII places trust in families to determine how best to meet their immediate needs and is well-positioned to take this approach to scale during a time of great, escalating need nationwide."
"True community is about coming together and being there for your friends, family and neighbors, and we're seeing that now perhaps more than ever before," said Jesús Gerena, chief executive officer at FII. "In that same spirit, we are thrilled to partner with such a diverse group of individuals and organizations to invest in families across the country during this unprecedented time."
Today, #GiveTogetherNow will launch a new phase to its fundraising effort by issuing a call for acts of kindness. Recognizing that not everyone who wants to help can contribute financially, the Elizabeth R. Koch Foundation is matching acts of kindness shared with the #GiveTogetherNow hashtag on social media with a $500 cash donation to the relief fund. The matching gift will help as many as 5,000 families.
"#GiveTogetherNow trusts families to make decisions about how best to address their needs in a time of crisis," said Brian Hooks, CEO of Stand Together. "I am heartened to see so many leaders in philanthropy come together to support this effort. A crisis of this magnitude will require every one of us to do our part to help those who have been hit the hardest."
About Stand Together: Stand Together is a philanthropic community founded by Charles Koch to empower people dedicated to helping others improve their lives. Our philanthropic community tackles some of the biggest challenges of our times, including reforming the nation's criminal justice system, strengthening K-12 education, helping neighbors beat poverty and addiction, empowering everyone to find fulfilling work, and more. We can all make a greater difference by uniting together than by acting on our own. For more information visit, www.StandTogether.org.
About Family Independence Initiative: Family Independence Initiative (FII) trusts and invests directly in people living with low incomes so they can work individually and collectively to achieve prosperity. Our innovative technology platform, UpTogether, is designed for the exchange of financial and social capital. UpTogether allows people living in poverty to access unrestricted cash transfers and connect with other families to help one another accomplish their financial and personal goals. Learn more at fii.org.
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SOURCE Stand Together