Piedmont nonprofits respond to COVID-19 challenges

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — Piedmont nonprofits are doing more to respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19. 

Ryan Ross is the Executive Director at Open Door Ministries in High Point. 

The group serves 5,500 meals a month and oversees several shelters and aid programs. The services continue despite missing out on three canceled fundraisers.

“It’s hard to project for the future because you don’t know how your funding will come in because you can’t project how people’s financial situation will be,” Ross said.

Open Door Ministries has another fundraiser on the calendar. Due to the pandemic, the organization will make the fundraiser virtual. Ross is cautiously optimistic.

“When you do everything virtually, you don’t get the turnout of money and donations. That’s when we are really reaching out to the public,” Ross said.

To make up the difference, the nonprofit is relying even more on established donors.

“It’s absolutely wonderful to see,” Ross said. “The people are giving. We have volunteers and people going above and beyond.”

Meanwhile at the Greater High Point Food Alliance, COVID-19 is allowing them to expand their role in the battle against food insecurity.

“I think what we are seeing is nonprofits being very adaptable in all of this,” said Carl Vierling, Executive Director of the Greater High Point Food Alliance. “They had to change the way to do business and extremely flexible.”

The network of food pantries is now providing some groups with face coverings and hand sanitizer.

“We get some of the best notes from people,” Vierling said. “People are very appreciative. We have bought hand sanitizers and gotten out 17 cases of that. We’ve gotten masks. We’ve given out over 1,500 masks.”

Nonprofits are depending more on their partnerships and reliable donors because it might be awhile before large in-person fundraisers can happen again.  

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