After the 2020 COVID-19 epidemic, normal life in the United States was drastically transformed. According to the CDC, by July 2021, the coronavirus has already infected millions of people and killed about 600,000. The economy tanked as governments throughout the world slammed the brakes on business to stop the spread of the virus.
Many people are suffering as a result of the pandemic and the economic crisis, despite the distribution of epidemic vaccinations. In the wake of the Great Recession, Americans are staying at home to care for sick relatives, teach their children, and find part-time jobs.
Meanwhile, the emergence of the coronavirus in other countries has added to the destruction brought on by ongoing conflicts, acute poverty, and a lack of access to medical care.
Those who wish to help those impacted by a public health emergency might do so by making a donation to a relief group. Still, it’s crucial that donors act ethically. Not all supposedly charitable organizations are made equal when it comes to combating the spread of COVID-19. However, where do you store your money?
Charities Assisting in COVID-19 Relief
CharityWatch and Charity Navigator are two examples of charity evaluators that guide givers to worthy organizations. Each utilizes its own metrics to determine whether or not a certain charity can be trusted with money.
These groups, along with media sites like Wired and The New York Times, issued rankings of the best emergency help organizations when the spread of COVID-19 became a global concern. Many of the same groups are featured in many lists.
Some of them are involved in treating COVID-19 patients directly. Some people supply things like masks and hand sanitizer for medical emergencies. Some provide food or direct monetary relief to those in need who have been impacted by the epidemic. Some people even juggle jobs in many of these categories. One of these groups may implement any type of aid you’d like to provide to those in trouble.
Alight, formally known as the American Refugee Committee, provides relief to refugees all around the world. Over 3.5 million individuals in 17 countries benefit annually from its provision of medical care, clean water, housing, security, and financial aid.
In response to the COVID-19 problem, Alight has created a number of projects to serve those on the margins of society. Health education on the virus and how to avoid contracting it is disseminated via the Its In Our Hands program, which does so in a number of different tongues. It’s also helping countries in Asia and Africa with medical care, sanitation, and food distribution.
Charity Navigator recognizes Alight as a leading charity helping hospitals stock up on essential supplies throughout the epidemic. With a score of 96 out of a possible 100, it awards the organization its highest possible rating of four stars.
Alight is one of the top COVID-19 charities, as ranked by Charity Watch, which also gives it an A rating. Another charity watchdog, the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, has also validated the charity’s legitimacy. That indicates it satisfies the organization’s 20 criteria for efficiency, soundness, supervision, and openness.
- American Red Cross
When disaster strikes anywhere in the globe, the American Red Cross is one of the first organizations people think of. Among its offerings are:
- Relieving the suffering of those displaced by natural catastrophes by supplying them with food, housing, and comfort
- Assisting local communities in hazard mitigation
- The process of collecting blood and distributing it to recipients
- Teaching individuals how to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other life-saving techniques
- Helping current service members, former service members, and their families
The American Red Cross is now in critical need of blood and platelet donations from healthy donors. Donations of money will be used to fund the organization’s global pandemic relief efforts.
A member of the Better Business Bureau, the American Red Cross has earned the organization’s seal of approval. An A- from CharityWatch places it among the best groups responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Red Cross receives an almost perfect score from Charity Navigator, with an overall score of almost 90 out of 100.
To “save lives and enhance health for persons impacted by poverty or calamity” is Americares’ declared aim. It’s accomplishing this goal through a number of disaster-related initiatives, including:
- Supplies. Americares is supplying healthcare professionals in COVID-19 hotspots with personal protective equipment (PPE) and other necessities. Over 15 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection control supplies have been shipped to hospitals in the United States and 32 other countries by April 2021.
- Healing Practices. Medical centers run by Americares may be found in Connecticut, Columbia, El Salvador, and India. Its clinics are treating patients and recommending them for COVID-19 testing notwithstanding the outbreak, following all applicable safety procedures.
- Support. Last but not least, Americares is coordinating crisis-response training and support groups for medical personnel. It also includes information to assist hospitals and other medical facilities plan for and respond to a COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite its good works, Americares is not featured on CharityWatch’s current top 100 charities list. However, Charity Navigator gives it four stars out of five and an overall score of 95 out of 100, making it a very respectable organization. This is a BBB-accredited business as well.
- Direct Relief
In addition to its work in all 50 states, Direct Relief also serves people in over 80 additional nations across the world. It shares Americares’ goal of enhancing the health and well-being of those living in poverty or in the aftermath of disasters.
Direct Relief is working hard to ensure that healthcare professionals across the United States have access to personal protective equipment and essential pharmaceuticals during the epidemic, with daily shipments being sent to hospitals and clinics. Over 5,500 tons of personal protection equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies have been distributed as of July 2021. This includes things like masks, gloves, face shields, and protective suits.
Simultaneously, Direct Relief is helping to fund places like free clinics and community health centers that treat the poor at little cost. That aids in preserving treatment for these vulnerable patients amid the crisis. It has also been instrumental in the worldwide distribution of millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Direct Relief has been given an A+ rating by CharityWatch, making it one of the best charities out there. It has a perfect score of 100 from Charity Navigator and a perfect score of 4 stars from the Better Business Bureau.
For its efforts in supplying hospitals and other healthcare institutions with essential supplies during the epidemic, this watchdog has named it one of the top six NGOs doing so.
- Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
Doctors Without Borders is a global organization that treats patients in countries where it is most desperately needed. It has been effective in a variety of challenging situations, including locations ravaged by war or natural catastrophes, communities experiencing an epidemic, hospitals, and nursing homes.
While the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, it maintained its usual medical services. In addition to collaborating with health care facilities and municipal agencies in many of the nations where it operates, it also offers treatment, education, and mental health assistance for COVID-19 patients. The group is assisting in coping with the epidemic and containing its spread.
The BBB Wise Giving Alliance has not yet certified Doctors Without Borders as compliant with all of its guidelines. However, CharityWatch gives it an A grade, while Charity Navigator awards it four stars (out of a possible five) for scoring 92 out of a possible 100.
- Feeding America
Increased food insecurity is a widespread consequence of the COVID-19 epidemic. Because of the closure, food supply routes have been affected, which has caused shortages and higher prices in some locations.
Children who depend on free or reduced-cost school meals for a substantial portion of their daily nourishment no longer have access to them at a time when many Americans are experiencing job loss or extreme reduction in income. Searches on the internet for “food banks,” “food pantries,” and “government food help” have increased by 40% or more since the start of the pandemic.
Feeding America, the biggest food bank in the United States, is helping these low-income citizens keep food on the table. 200 food banks throughout the country are receiving grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund, which has $2.65 million in donations. This will allow them to keep providing for the hungry despite the increased demand.
Feeding America has earned a B+ rating from CharityWatch and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. It has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, with an overall score of 92 out of 100.
- Foundation Gary Sinise
Gary Sinise is most recognized by American audiences for his portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in the film “Forrest Gump.” But he also started the Gary Sinise Foundation, which helps military personnel, veterans, and first responders.
The organization offers a wide variety of services, such as those related to mental health, housing modification and mobility aids for disabled veterans, recreational activities, educational opportunities, and financial aid.
First responders who require PPE can apply for funding through the Emergency COVID-19 Combat Service. Furthermore, it provides assistance to medical personnel, military members, veterans, and their families who are dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Gary Sinise Foundation has been recognized by both CharityWatch and Charity Navigator as a leading organization in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Both Charity Navigator (four stars and 98 points) and CharityWatch (an A) give this organization high marks. The nonprofit does not, however, make it through all the hoops necessary to receive BBB certification.
Instead of functioning as a traditional charity, GlobalGiving serves as a crowdfunding platform for local and international charities of various sizes. Donations to the Coronavirus Relief Fund are dispersed to several national and regional groups doing COVID-19 relief efforts across the world. They’re working on things like:
- In Uganda, excellent hygiene is being promoted.
- Food and medical assistance in the Philippines
- Feeding Syrian families uprooted by the fighting
- Providing PPE to South American first responders
- Giving meals to hungry mothers and children all throughout the world
Although GlobalGiving does not have a rating from CharityWatch, they do have a BBB accreditation. Charity Navigator gives it a 4-star rating (out of a possible 5), and the organization is recognized as one of the best that offers COVID-19 help generally (in a variety of areas).
- International Heart to Heart
Heart to Heart International is a humanitarian organization that provides relief during times of crisis and works to enhance communities’ access to healthcare and development. It is funding a number of initiatives during the current COVID-19 pandemic to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States and elsewhere. There are several, but some of them are:
- Assistance with the development of a Marshall Islands COVID-19 response strategy through the dispatching of infection-control specialists
- Community health workers in Haiti are being educated on the effects of the COVID-19 virus.
- Providing homeless persons and other at-risk Americans with access to hygiene kits around the United States.
- Providing personal protective equipment to first responders in the healthcare industry
- Including free COVID-19 testing as part of our commitment to serving the homeless community, we are proud to offer medical treatment to those in need at
Heart to Heart International is a BBB-accredited organization, yet there is no record on it on CharityWatch. Charity Navigator has awarded it a 4-star ranking (out of a possible 5-stars) and a score of 96 out of 100 for its work in the pandemic healthcare sector.
- International Medical Corps
In areas with a shortage of medical professionals, the International Medical Corps steps in to give immediate aid, care, and education. Its COVID-19 initiatives include providing personal protective equipment and other medical supplies, educating healthcare professionals, and providing direct patient care.
Among organizations that have earned the Better Business Bureau’s seal of approval is the International Medical Corps. CharityWatch has given them an A and placed them among the best COVID-19 relief groups.
Although it receives a respectable 84 out of a possible 100 points from Charity Navigator, the organization only gets 3 stars out of 4. While it is generally transparent and ethical in its operations, the watchdog only gives it a fair rating for its handling of taxpayer money.
- MAP International
To those in need, this Christian-based nonprofit ships pharmaceuticals and medical supplies from all around the world. MAP International is a humanitarian organization that helps provide life-saving aid after natural disasters.
MAP International’s primary focus throughout the epidemic has been on providing personal protective equipment to emergency responders and healthcare workers. There have been 40 shipments of PPE trucks sent to various locations in the United States and six other nations as of February 2021.
With the global pandemic in full swing, MAP International has been recognized by Charity Navigator as a leading provider of medical supplies. The report rates the company at 96 out of a possible 100 points, giving it 4 stars. Charity Watch has ranked them as one of the best organizations to donate to in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and has given it a B+ grade.
Likewise, the organization’s charitable work has been recognized by the Better Business Bureau.
- Medical Teams International
Medical Teams International is a humanitarian organization that assists those in need, such as refugees and those who have lost loved ones in natural catastrophes. This Christian organization helps those in need all around the world by providing them with access to medical treatment, regardless of their race, religion, or country of origin.
Medical Teams International has been combating disease for over 40 years and has put that experience to use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the things it has done in response to COVID-19 are:
- Over 32,000 people in Oregon and Washington are being tested for the coronavirus.
- Vaccine distribution in such states to persons without medical coverage.
- Transportation of Thousands of Pieces of Personal Protective Equipment to Health Care Workers
- In the Rohingya Refugee Camp in Bangladesh, we run an isolation ward with 50 beds for patients in need of medical care.
- Virus response training in collaboration with national governments
The Better Business Bureau has recognized Medical Teams International with accreditation. CharityWatch gives it an A- and places it on its list of the best COVID-19 charities. Charity Navigator also recognizes it as a leading crisis-era healthcare provider. It awards a score of 93 out of a possible 100 and a rating of 4 stars to the company.
- Oxfam America
Despite the “America” in its name, Oxfam America is dedicated to ending poverty everywhere. It’s a lifeline in times of crisis and a stepping stone toward self-sufficiency in other contexts.
It’s striving to help individuals in need in the United States and throughout the world who are dealing with the public health disaster caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. It has provided monetary aid, food, and hygiene products like soap and clean water, and it has promoted expanded access to immunizations throughout the globe.
CharityWatch ranks Oxfam America as one of the best charities responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and awards them a B+. Likewise, the organization’s charitable work has been recognized by the Better Business Bureau. However, it only has a 3 out of 4 star rating and 82 out of 100 point score from Charity Navigator. It does well in terms of governance and ethics but only moderately well in terms of cost-effectiveness.
- Save the Children
For the purpose of improving the lives of the world’s poorest children, Save the Children is a worldwide organization. More than a hundred nations, including the United States, benefit from its disaster relief and daily humanitarian services. (Despite the popularity of the #SavetheChildren hashtag, which is associated with the QAnon conspiracy theory, Save the Children and that group are not affiliated in any way.)
This group is aiding youngsters in areas hit hard by the epidemic by giving them medical and sanitary materials and information on how to stay healthy. It’s most effective in places where safety is a concern, such as war zones, refugee camps, and densely populated cities.
Furthermore, it equips parents in the United States and elsewhere with resources to help their kids cope while schools are closed. Together with No Kid Hungry, it’s ensuring that kids in remote locations have access to the same nutritious meals that kids in urban areas take for granted.
CharityWatch recommends Save the Children as a top charity to donate to during the epidemic, awarding them an A-. Overall, Charity Navigator gives it a 4-star rating (out of a possible 5 stars). Likewise, the organization’s charitable work has been recognized by the Better Business Bureau.
- Team Rubicon
Volunteering with Team Rubicon is a great way for veterans to keep giving back to their community after they leave the armed forces. The group aids veterans in making the transition from military to civilian life while also providing disaster relief across the world, especially in places with little resources.
Through its Neighbors Helping Neighbors program, Team Rubicon links groups of concerned citizens to those who have been directly impacted by the epidemic. In the form of:
- Food for the Hungry: A Humanitarian Response to an Emergency
- Transportation of essentials such as food, medicine, and supplies
- Veterinarian medicine for animals
- Lawn maintenance
- It’s time to give blood
- Providing emotional support through routine check-ins
According to CharityWatch, Team Rubicon is one of the best organizations for COVID-19. Charity Navigator awards it 4 stars for an overall score of 98/100, making it a highly recommended charity.
- UNICEF USA
The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is an official UN agency with the mission of protecting and enhancing the well-being of children in all countries. UNICEF USA, or the United States Committee for UNICEF, is a charitable organization that promotes UNICEF’s mission in the United States via fundraising, public awareness campaigns, and policy advocacy. UNICEF uses donations to provide healthcare, vaccinations, water, sanitation, nutrition, education, and emergency aid to children in over 190 countries.
UNICEF was quick to intervene when the COVID-19 crisis occurred. Even before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, UNICEF had already supplied 6 tons of medical supplies to frontline health care workers. It’s still contributing to the ongoing effort to contain the pandemic:
- Allowing people to get their hands on diagnostic tools and therapy
- In collaboration with educational institutions and government agencies, we are working to restore safe school conditions and expand access to high-quality distant learning.
- Providing food to places where distribution has been interrupted
- Installing widespread hand-washing facilities in offices, classrooms, hospitals, and other public buildings
- To combat the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, efforts are being made to provide 2 billion doses of a new vaccination to 180 low-income nations.
UNICEF USA does not have a rating from the Better Business Bureau. However, CharityWatch rates it highly and advises that you donate to them. It has a 3-star, 86-point rating on Charity Navigator.
- World Central Kitchen
World Central Kitchen (WCK) is a nonprofit that responds to calamities by delivering meals to those in need. It also helps communities throughout the world improve their food security in preparation for natural calamities.
Fresh, individually-packaged meals are being distributed in over 400 places throughout the country through its #ChefsforAmerica campaign during the COVID-19 outbreak. More than 36 million meals have been distributed through the initiative.
Delivered meals are a great option for seniors who live alone. In the absence of school lunches, these meals are available for children and their families to pick up. WCK also collaborates with eateries to provide these meals, creating employment opportunities for cooks and delivery drivers.
The BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance does not currently have a rating for WCK. While CharityWatch does provide a report on the group, it does not recommend them as a top-rated charity.
Even yet, Charity Navigator’s brand-new, still-beta Encompass Rating System awards it a perfect score of 100 out of 100. The New York Times and Wired have both endorsed this organization as a worthy recipient of food donations for those in need in the United States during the epidemic.
However noble the cause may be, it may not be possible for you to make a monetary donation if you are one of the many Americans whose finances have taken a significant blow during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, there are still methods to donate without breaking the bank.
One way to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is to volunteer with a relief group. If a blood drive is being held by the Red Cross in your region, you can participate by donating blood there. Alternatively, you may employ extreme couponing to stock your cupboard with nutritious items at a low cost.
Donating things like clothing or medication to a national or international charity is discouraged by CharityWatch. Transporting these supplies to locations that require them is too costly and time-consuming. Locate a local charity or community foundation that can disperse your donated goods to those in need in your area.