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Giving Back During the COVID Crisis

Giving Back During the COVID Crisis

May 19, 2020
Over the last two months, during this period of uncertainty, volatility and social distancing during the COVID-19, coronavirus outbreak, a number of clients have reached out to me wanting to know what they could do to help others in need in the greater Akron community. It has been great to witness you wanting to share your resources with those less fortunate than yourselves. I have always said that I am blessed to live in a community that cares so deeply about the needs of others. My wife Rachel, who did not grow up in this area, often comments about how generous people are and how there seems to be only one degree of separation between people in our communities.
To that end, I would like to share several organizations that are on the front lines helping those in need. There are a great many 501(c)(3), nonprofit organizations in this area that are doing amazing work helping others. This is just a sampling of some of the major initiatives that I am aware of, and in full disclosure, have been blessed to be part of.

I sit on the board of the United Way of Summit County. In response to the significant needs of our community during this viral outbreak, United Way sponsored the following initiative to help support individuals in need.
The Akron Summit County COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund will help provide food and nutrition assistance; housing, shelter, rent and utility support; child and support assistance; and healthcare assistance to those impacted by or fighting the spread of COVID-19.
To help United Way support those whose lives have been upended as we fight the spread of the disease, you can use the following link to donate. Per United Way, 100% OF YOUR DONATION WILL GO TOWARD THIS CRISIS RELIEF.

Community Response Fund for Nonprofits
I have the privilege of serving on the Professional Advisory Council of Akron Community Foundation, where I co-chair their events and education committee. This is a group of CPAs, estate planning attorneys and CFPs that share information and resources to help us serve our clients with excellence.
In contrast to the United Way fund, that is providing direct support to individuals in need, the ACF fund is providing help to the nonprofit organizations in the community that are helping those in need.
Akron Community Foundation established the Community Response Fund for Nonprofits to address emergency needs that arise in Summit and Medina counties related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The fund has reached nearly $570,000 in assets and has distributed nearly $250,000 in grants to 62 local nonprofits over the last seven weeks.

Christ Community Chapel Hudson Campus
Christ Community Chapel in Hudson is the church that Rachel and I call home. They have been on the frontlines helping people throughout this crisis. This includes providing meals for first responders, helping at risk seniors and this coming Wednesday, May 20th, they will be sponsoring a blood drive for the Summit County Red Cross from noon to 6:00 PM. We know that there are significant needs for blood donations at this time, and those that are interested can reach out to the Red Cross or find the church at the following location.
750 West Streetsboro Road
Hudson, OH 44236

Finally, I wanted to brag on my wife and share a little bit about somebody that we are both lucky to call a friend. Retired Akron police captain Sylvia Trundle who was supposed to have been honored by the Women's Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation at their fundraising gala on March 11th. This was right on the front end of Governor DeWine's shutdowns and social distancing requirements. Therefore, the event was cancelled the day of.
Luckily, technology and innovation led to a unique event last week that was shared with more than 700 people in the greater Akron area. As we had already paid for our dinners, we had the option of having them delivered to our home for the virtual event or sent to first responders. I believe at final count there were more than 500 meals delivered to those who have been on the frontline helping others. It was a beautiful night of tribute an inspiration. We were very glad to see Captain Trundle honored in such a unique way.


"For Women, From Home"
2020 In-Home Dinner & Online Program
If you missed part of the evening or wanted to re-watch the event, WEF recorded the entire program and is available for your viewing pleasure. To watch the recording of our "For Women, From Home" 2020 In-Home Dinner & Online Program, visit:

Rachel has been involved in helping facilitate programming for the Women's Endowment Fund. As such, she was asked to have her picture taken for the event. Since I was working from home that day, I was able to join her and be her arm candy for an event that honored her and all women.

I trust that these stories and information will not only be helpful but inspiring to you. There are many, many opportunities and organizations that are doing great work and are worthy of our funding and assistance during this time. Please let us know if you have questions about how you can help or give back as we continue "Moving Life Forward" for everyone.
© 2020 Jesse Hurst

The charitable entities and/or fundraising opportunities described herein are not endorsed by or affiliated with Cetera Advisors LLC or its affiliates.  Our philanthropic interests are personal to us and are not reviewed, sponsored or approved by Cetera