Combat the impact of COVID-19 by supporting a local nonprofit

by: Amy Blasco

It’s often said, “It takes a village” to care for the most vulnerable among us, such as children, seniors, or people who are ill. That proverb is true now more than ever as communities across the globe face the effects of Coronavirus.

Verdin would like to share what our nonprofit clients and friends are doing to help the Central Coast, through this difficult time as well as information about how you can support their causes. Stay healthy and remember: It takes a village!

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County remains committed to responding quickly to short- and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Foundation staff is working with nonprofit partners and government agencies across SLO County to support the urgent needs of our community.

Thanks to the generous financial contributions from many community members, The Foundation's Disaster Support Fund, has already started awarding grants to nonprofits who serve those who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can help The Foundation support our nonprofits by making a donation here. Or support your favorite local charity during this challenging time by making a direct donation.

Jack’s Helping Hand

Jack’s Helping Hand is still doing all it can to help children with life-threatening diseases and special needs and their families. Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, they’ve postponed support groups held in the main office. However, throughout the next weeks, Jack’s will be posting creative activities and ideas on Facebook for Mindful Monday, Work-out Wednesday and Funtivity Friday!

Families needing financial assistance must submit requests through email at least one week in advance. Those with questions or concerns can call the office at (805) 547-1914.

Want to give Jack’s and the families they serve a helping hand? Make a donation online.

Stand Strong

As many news outlets have reported, the shelter-in-place orders sadly have contributed to a spike in domestic violence. According to SLO County nonprofit Stand Strong, mandatory close quarters and the added stress of lost wages and childcare challenges can turn a difficult situation into a dire one.

That’s why Stand Strong is working hard to provide support through their 24-hour crisis and information hotline (805-781-6400), as well as critical counseling, legal and prevention services by phone or teleconferencing. Additionally, the nonprofit’s Safe House shelter and transitional housing units are open. The annual fundraiser Stand Strong and Celebrate, scheduled for May 3, has been postponed, but people can show support by donating online. Unfortunately, Stand Strong isn’t accepting in-kind donations due to health concerns.

SLO Food Bank

With the recent countywide closure of non-essential businesses to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the need for food in our community is greater than ever. To meet this need, the SLO Food Bank is working closely with the County of San Luis Obispo and partner agencies to dramatically increase the amount of food distributed to residents facing economic hardship and hunger.

The SLO Food Bank is calling on the community to provide monetary donations to keep food on the table during this crisis. With the Food Bank's purchasing power, your donation will buy four dollars' worth of food with each dollar donated.

Visit to donate, and help ensure that children, families, and seniors get the food they need to stay healthy.


Like many organizations, nonprofit resource provider Spokes has moved online to support their partners in SLO County. Educational workshops, including the Spokes Board Academy, are now being offered remotely so people can continue to learn and grow while at home. Scheduled April workshops will proceed as planned and March workshops will be rescheduled soon.

Spokes also announced that they are working with Cal Poly to create remote volunteer opportunities for students. If your nonprofit could benefit from a remote volunteer, please send Spokes an email with a description of the task and contact information to be sent to potential volunteers.

Wilshire Health and Community Services

Wilshire Health and Community Services has remained open to support homebound seniors and those in hospice, along with their families. Nonprofit representatives are implementing precautionary measures, including screening and protective barriers when out in the community. Wilshire is also continuing counseling and friendly visit programs over the phone, and volunteers are dropping off food and medications to clients.

This can be a difficult time for isolated, homebound older adults. If you know someone in need of support or services, contact Wilshire. The nonprofit is in need of volunteers to "Adopt a Grandparent." If you or your family are well enough to help fill the gap in services, please-mail Jen at Donations are also welcome.

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