How houses of worship are helping people affected by the coronavirus
Doors may be closed, but hearts are still open as houses of worship are finding ways to assist vulnerable community members during the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s a roundup of some inspiring ways these congregations are giving back, despite restrictions caused by the virus.
Check the list to see what efforts are taking place in your state.
-Nationwide. The Muslims United for Coronavirus Relief campaign, led by three Muslim organizations, has raised more than $260,000 for low-income families of all faiths to use toward food, bills and any other living expenses that will not be covered as a result of quarantines or work and school closures. Funds from the crowdfunding campaign will also be used to provide hygiene kits for low-income families and provide grants to local organizations coordinating similar relief projects.
-Alabama. The state’s biggest megachurch, Church of the Highlands, is hosting COVID-19 drive-through testing. The tests are being administered by the staff of Christ Health Center, a clinic founded by the church, and will be processed by Assurance Scientific Laboratory in Birmingham, which provides the test kits.
-California. At Congregation Beth Jacob in Redwood City, clergy and volunteers have set up a canned food drive and their own food delivery service and created a spreadsheet of grocery delivery services that are still in operation in their area. They’ve also created a community phone chain to have members touch base with each of their contacts.
-Georgia. New Birth Missionary Baptist Church’s new food pantry has already fed more than 1,400 people this week.
-New York. Manhattan’s Trinity Community Connection church is raising funds to keep its Harlem shelter for homeless LGBTQ youth open 24/7 during the outbreak.
-Michigan. The Muslim Community of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has created a zakat fund for those who cannot work during the outbreak. The Ahlulbayt Mercy Foundation is providing food baskets to families in need.
-Pennsylvania. Philadelphia’s New Kingdom Baptist Church has opened its basement to provide free hot meals for children and families over the next two weeks.
-Tennessee. City Road Chapel in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, is assisting locals whose food-service jobs have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak with a Bar and Restaurant Workers Help Fund.
-Washington, D.C. The Islamic Circle of North America Relief is offering grocery delivery service for families needing assistance in and around the nation’s capital. The aid group also recently opened a special pantry in Boston to provide hygiene and household items to those who can’t afford it.
-Wisconsin. Milwaukee’s Life Church is distributing meals to the local public school system and offering delivery to members in need.
H/T: Religion News Service, AL.com