As the pandemic continues to take its toll on our city medically, financially and otherwise, Philadelphians also continue to rise to the challenge to support one another.
At a virtual town hall that we hosted last week, Philadelphia Citizen Managing Editor Katherine Rapin drew more than 70 online attendees to hear from three role models in our midst: Due Quach, of Collective Success Network and Calm Clarity; Michael Wong of Project SHIELDS; and Cheryl Molle, of the Philly Restaurant Server Relief Fund.
Like so many Philadelphians, all three have temporarily pivoted from their life’s work to help people in need during this time.
Quach’s initiative supports the many first-generation college students in Philly whose worlds were turned upside-down when campuses were abruptly shut down, helping them secure laptops, places to stay or store their belongings, funds to travel home, and more; Wong, the CEO of InstaHub, co-launched Project SHIELDS to use 3D printers to make face shields for frontline workers; and Molle, who works full time in the nonprofit sector, is raising and distributing funds directly to local restaurant workers who’ve found themselves out of work.
While their impacts have already been extraordinary, they insisted that anyone can have an impact by taking that first step, and rallying their community to join them via social media, and by tapping into their personal and professional networks.
“Just start it,” Molle encouraged. “Just go ahead, and get started. You never know who is going to want to give.”
And all three panelists were adamant that whatever your background or talents may be, you can help others.
“Whatever skills you have, whatever time you have, there are probably ways in your community that people can benefit from those skills,” said Quach. She went on to share this profound wisdom: “Life is a series of opportunities to make a difference, and in crises, the differences are more critical.”
To see what you missed, check out some highlights below:
Tell us a little about your projects:
What would you say to folks who have an idea, but aren’t sure how to start?
Getting input from the folks you are trying to help/support is crucial to creating a solution that actually works—can you talk about how you did that?
How do you create effective messaging and spread the word in order to get folks to support your project?
What are some non-financial ways folks can help?
What are your plans for the future of your initiative—after the immediate pandemic crisis is over?