Seattle is under the dark cloud of the coronavirus. Our streets are quiet. Closed are all schools, offices of Amazon, Microsoft and small businesses, libraries, restaurants and theaters. Many small businesses and nonprofits face possible bankruptcy. Thousands in our community have lost their jobs and are suffering. Most of our physical world has come to a halt.
Pessimism is not Seattle’s way, however.
We will halt the spread of the virus, most of the infected will be saved, our streets again will be busy, we will develop a vaccine, and businesses and schools will reopen.
But Seattle optimism should not disguise the real suffering that thousands of our citizens are enduring. All of us who still have jobs and income must step forward to help our fellow citizens. Many are already doing so. Health-care, grocery and restaurant workers, in the face of personal risk to themselves, are working extra hours to care for and feed everyone. Law enforcement is reminding citizens what social distancing means. Cleaning crews are working overtime.
But more help is desperately needed. Accordingly, a group of more than 200 concerned individuals from all walks of life — business, community building and sports — have come together and pledged more than $27 million, in amounts from $25 to $3 million, to organizations and programs that are equipped to deliver funds quickly to people in need. Called #allinseattle, to signify that we are all in this together, we have published a list of nonprofit and governmental programs at allinseattle.org that are worthy of your financial donations and call on all of you who can to join us in making direct donations to these and other deserving organizations.
At the beginning of the 1900s, after suffering depressions and health calamities, the people of Seattle embraced what was called the Seattle Spirit to help others and build a better city. We have come a long way since then, but let’s embrace our historic Seattle Spirit.
We need that now more than ever. We know that people in our city are going hungry, there are shortages of medical supplies and testing equipment, anxiety about rent and everyday expenses is increasing, and some small businesses are suffering what could be a mortal blow.
The Seattle area has strong local leadership from our political leaders and groups such as Challenge Seattle. Organizations such as FareStart, United Way with its Rental Assistance program, Northwest Harvest and Food Lifeline, as well as local governments, have programs in place that are ready to deliver immediate aid. Let’s help them do so.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Learn more and make direct contributions to deserving programs at allinseattle.org