Miami has been taking strong measures to contain COVID-19, which has resulted in the standstill of almost all major businesses across town. As you practice social distancing and self-quarantining, consider giving back to the people and places who put the “magic” in the Magic City. Check out these six targeted funds for health care workers, restaurant employees, artists and others in need.
1. Support Children and Families with United Way Miami’s Operation Helping Hands
Support Miami families with emergency needs (including rent/mortgage assistance, food, supplies and medications) through Operation Helping Hands. In addition, Operation Helping Hands’ Miami Pandemic Response Fund will issue micro-grants to small businesses. Donations can be made online via United Way, PayPal or Venmo as well as by phone.
2. Support Chefs and Restaurants with SOBEWFF & FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality’s Industry Relief Fund
Florida International University and the South Beach Wine and Food Festival are giving back in a major way through the launch of an industry relief fund that provides immediate financial support to independently owned and operated restaurants and bars impacted by COVID-19 in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. The goal is to help restaurant owners and chefs provide compensation and other benefits to employees who have been furloughed or laid off or whose incomes have been significantly reduced.
3. Support Artists and Galleries with Oolite Arts’ Relief Fund for COVID-19
Miami Beach’s Oolite Arts has created a fund to specifically help artists who have been affected by the closing of exhibitions and galleries as well as layoffs within Miami’s arts community. The fund will begin with $25,000 in seed funding by repurposing funds saved from canceled Oolite Arts events. Artists who apply for grants will be eligible for up to $500 to cover lost income.
4. Support Hospitality Workers with the Miami Restaurant Employee Relief Fund
Pastry chef extraordinaire Soraya Kilgore of the Design District’s MadLab Creamery has helped launch the Miami Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which has raised more than $65,000 in just over two weeks. Every donation will go toward providing $250 grants to as many qualifying grantees as possible, with 100 percent of the donations (minus GoFundMe’s standard fees) supporting the cause.
5. Support Miami Hospital Workers with Tropical Chinese’s Feed Fund
Miami’s go-to Chinese spot Tropical Chinese is supporting the city’s health care workers through customized bento boxes. With a goal to feed a different hospital every day, starting with Baptist, South Miami and Jackson, Tropical Chinese will deliver bento box lunches packed with a selection of the restaurant’s best-selling items. Every dollar raised will be matched by the restaurant, so a $12 donation will pay for not one but two meals.
6. Support Miami’s Seniors with Meals on Wheels
In partnership with the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Broward County and the Department of Elder Affairs, Meals on Wheels provides South Florida’s seniors with weekly healthy meal deliveries. Beyond food, volunteers offer friendship and companionship, as they are often the only person a senior may see that week. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the organization is still operational, ensuring all meals are delivered. Donating to the fund will ensure seniors receive meals and volunteers are given proper supplies to complete deliveries in a safe way.