Nearly two weeks ago, OFC became one of the first nonprofits in the Bay Area to undertake dramatic and immediate changes to much of our direct services work in response to COVID-19. Changes that we believed, and now know, demonstrated the greatest care and commitment to our community’s health, as well as our solidarity with those at greatest risk – those whose lives are already likely to be devalued.
When we made the decision to temporarily suspend in-person support programming, it was a difficult and sometimes even lonely one. But every passing hour confirms that it was the right one.
At the same time, we knew even before yesterday’s order to shelter in place that isolation is not an option; that community connection and emotional support is as essential to our health as minimizing exposure and spread. For two weeks, our staff has been working around the clock – building a remote support system from the ground up in just four days and planning over a dozen virtual programs in March alone.
For as long as it’s needed, our community will have the ability to call in or get on a video chat, to connect with others facing childcare shortages, trying to build families, or facing the unique needs of raising infants and toddlers, or little kids, or even tweens and teens. We’re also hosting several community forums: listening sessions in which we can all just share what we want and need from each other – and what we can give. Wherever we can, we’re transforming in-person informational workshops into virtual ones, and fast-tracking an online forum in which our community can continue to connect ’round the clock. And not only are we serving our community, other direct services organizations are using the system OFC has created to serve theirs. Now, more than ever, we are all in this together.
Care isn’t just what we do; love is who we are. For generations, LGBTQ people have supported one another through the most challenging times. And now we need your support. We here at OFC are proud that we were among the first to put our community’s health and well-being first. But stepping up this much, this fast, has taken significant resources at a moment when nonprofits are facing unprecedented uncertainty.
We simply cannot continue to meet this surge in need without a surge of support. We need help. If you are able, we need you to make a donation in an amount that is significant to you.
The work of community care may be more important today than it has ever been in history. The dramatic changes we’re facing as a community, a nation, and a planet can feel like they’re pushing people apart, but OFC is here on the front lines doing what we do best: bringing people together. We know better than anyone what it means not only to build family but to expand its reach. Together, we can transform this moment of unforeseeable isolation into an opportunity for unimaginable community care.
Today, we are all family.