Help people in crisis without leaving your home!
As all crises are unique and unpredictable, so are the personal needs of the individuals they affect. Vulnerable populations and people in crisis include survivors of natural disasters, human trafficking, war and conflict (refugees), the homeless, and disabled.
Many of us want to help but aren’t sure how. We can’t go and physically assist, and also want to give responsibly, knowing that our support goes directly to the need, cause or person in crisis.
You can actually help directly assist people in crisis across the U.S. and its territories, (like Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,) without leaving your own home. Elikya Connect and other non-profits are utilizing a simple strategy enabling virtually anyone to participate, regardless of your financial or physical capacity.
Elikya Connect is introducing its Crisis Response Care Card Program.
Providing gift cards helps people in crisis reclaim their sense of autonomy and normalcy by allowing them to personally purchase items they most need. Care Cards with notes of support promote healing by reminding vulnerable individuals that they are remembered, valued and cared for by people they may not know or ever meet.
The Crisis Response Care Card Program is straightforward:
1. Purchase a Walmart, Home Depot, Starbucks, drugstore or grocery store gift card of any increment from $5 – 100. (Coffee is one of the greatest gifts for some of us, in crisis or not, so a $5 Starbucks card might go a long way.) If unsure which to purchase applicable please ask Elikya Connect. (Please note increment amount on gift card for distribution and tracking purposes.)
2. Write a handwritten card or note of encouragement and support for the recipient (try to keep as legible as possible.) Please sign it with your first name and city, or keep it anonymous but include your city. Of course keep it positive, comforting, sensitive, supportive and uplifting. Try to imagine yourself in a crisis and what kind words you would want to hear from a stranger. Please do not seal. If already sealed…on a separate sheet and paper-clipped to envelope…please note to what cause you would like it directed; if it includes a gift card, for where and what increment. This will help Elikya Connect with coordination and tracking.
3. You may write a generic message and designate it as “unspecified.” Elikya Connect will identify the immediate need, cause or individual for which to support. Or you can write a specific message and designate gift card and Care Card toward a specific crisis or issue. Please make sure to inform Elikya Connect to which cause or issue you would like it to support. (Current immediate needs as of Nov 1, 2018: Individuals and families affected by: Redding/Shasta fires; Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael (The Carolinas and Florida); On-going support for the USVI, refugees, survivors of human trafficking and homelessness.)
4. Mail or coordinate delivery to Elikya Connect. Elikya Connect will ensure that cards and notes go directly to disaster survivors, with no additional admin fees taken. All card distribution will be tracked and documented. As gift cards are not tax-deductible, we advise card donations not to exceed increments of $100.
5. You can host a Care Cards Creation event or gathering with your friends and family to facilitate note writing and gift card collection. Anyone can participate regardless of capacity to contribute a gift card. Notes of love and support are essential. Children are encouraged to participate.
6. Youth Leaders and Teachers may also host Care Card Creation events, coordinating with other staff and parents for gift card collection.
Invite an Elikya Connect staff member to attend a Care Card Creation event and share more about the people the cards will support and the larger work of Elikya Connect. For more information go to www.elikyaconnect.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.