SoCal nonprofits find new ways to fundraise amid coronavirus

Nonprofits in Southern California are rethinking how to raise money and help others amid the coronavirus pandemic.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As people continue to stay away from large crowds, organizations such as charities are rethinking how to raise money, including in Southern California.

ONEgeneration is a senior enrichment center in Reseda. They were forced to postpone a large health fair and fundraiser scheduled for May.

One immediate solution for meeting the needs of their participants is to work with other established partnerships like the L.A. Food Bank, which helped with a food giveaway and Councilmember Bob Blumenfield's office, which provided a $10,000 grant for funding.

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"We're going to need to keep that mindset of continued flexibility, adaptability and willingness to constantly adjust our programming, and just having that open-mindedness," said Jenna Hauss of ONEgeneration.

But what if gathering to celebrate life is your focus?

For 18 years, Craig and Kathleen Hostert have organized a run/walk for Donate Life in Fullerton, which is scheduled for Saturday.

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The decision was made to have a virtual walk, broadcast it on their Facebook page and pre-record critical and emotional elements of the day, like the Circle of Life Garden, which honors organ donor families, but also have several live elements.

"We should have been doing this for the last 10 to 15 years," Craig said.

"And we've actually had people say to us, 'Please, if you do the walk again next year and it's your regular walk, please keep the virtual element because we love being involved,'" Kathleen said.

That virtual element will likely be a choice for many charities in the future, because even in a world where people can gather, having the option to do so remotely has its benefits.

Over two thousand people have already signed up for the virtual walk, which will remain online raising awareness in perpetuity. And for ONEgeneration, partnerships were important before the COVID-19 outbreak. Now they are critical to meet a growing need.

"While it's been challenging, at the end of the day we are mission driven," Hauss said. "We're going to do whatever it takes to continue to provide the services that's needed out there."
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