COVID-19 is disrupting the lives of nearly everyone around the world in profound ways. From the tragic loss of lives and livelihoods to the less serious challenges of working from home and homeschooling, all are trying to navigate uncharted waters. This has led to widespread fear and uncertainty, but also a coming together of people and communities looking for ways to help.
As a mission-driven company with employees and customers in dozens of countries around the world, Ripple for Good is donating to funds and campaigns to help communities affected by this pandemic.
To start, we are giving back in the Bay Area–food scarcity is dramatically increasing for tens of thousands in the wake of job losses, business closures and overdue rent payments. In response, Ripple and its cofounder Chris Larsen are donating $5M; $1M each to five food banks and meal service providers that are supporting families and individuals in the area:
- Alameda County Community Food Bank: Every dollar donated provides two meals to vulnerable families and individuals in Alameda County.
- Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen: Since its inception, Loaves & Fishes have provided over 6.5M meals to low-income, disadvantaged individuals and families.
- Samaritan House: Samaritan House is leading the fight against poverty in San Mateo County by delivering essential services and personalized support.
- San Francisco-Marin Food Bank: The Food Bank serves 32K families per week in San Francisco and Marin and this number has already grown by one-third in the last weeks.
- Second Harvest of Silicon Valley: Second Harvest provides food to more than a quarter of a million people in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties every month.
Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) quickly created a series of rapid response funds to help individuals and families, nonprofits and small businesses in need across all nine Bay Area counties. Ripple has also contributed to this fund.
Despite the Bay Area’s vibrant economy and abundance of wealth, one in five people have less than $400 in their bank accounts. For them, and for our regional economy and the civic and social fabric of the Bay Area, COVID-19 presents not only a dire immediate threat, but also a pernicious long-term danger.
The scale and immediacy of the situation demand extreme generosity.
And, many industry leaders are stepping up. Google announced it will donate $1M to Bay Area families with another $1M directly from CEO Sundar Pichai. Apple committed $15M and will match employee contributions at a two-to-one ratio to help lessen the impact of the pandemic.
Grassroots efforts are sprouting up too. Tech leaders are engaging with local funders, nonprofits and government agencies to move beyond recovery to resilience and sustainability in areas like homelessness, affordable housing and public transportation. Together, we are working to lessen the economic and social impact of COVID-19 once the economy reopens.
Tech has earned a reputation for reckless disruption; for “moving fast and breaking things,” but not building or, in this case, rebuilding them. If we can maintain this kind of momentum and work in partnership with each other, the industry has an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives—not only in times of crisis, but when we find our equilibrium in the new normal.
Joseph Spezzano received a Masters Degree in computer science from The University of Massachusetts. Joseph has been working as a full-time blockchain programmer for the past 5 years. In his spare time, Joseph enjoys writing for CryptocurrencyInvestments.com and traveling.