COVID-19 Disaster Relief Phase 1 & 2 Update: Rehabilitation & Relief

Disaster Relief Update 6/16/2020

We have launched Phase 2 of our COVID-19 disaster relief efforts. For this second phase (Rehabilitation & Relief), we have allocated an initial $100,000 to provide ongoing aid for those who have been affected by, or are on the frontlines battling, the virus. We encourage donors to continue supporting these critical efforts during Phase 2 of our response. Below are examples of how your support will immediately help individuals in need:

  • $25 – Donate to general COVID-19 disaster relief efforts
  • $50 – Send grocery kits to 20 families
  • $100 – Provide PPE suits for healthcare professionals
  • $250 – Send 100 masks to healthcare workers in the USA
  • $500 – Equip healthcare workers with masks, isolation gowns, and face shields
  • $1,000 – Provide vocational training and rehabilitation for migrant workers in India who are now unemployed due to the pandemic

Disaster Relief Update 5/1/2020

Since launching Phase 1 of our COVID-19 response in March 2020, we have rolled out our relief efforts in phases and continuously adjusted our efforts, with a total of $200,000 funding now allocated to help individuals and communities affected by the virus. To date, this response has included:

  • 200,000+ meals served in India
  • 3,300+ meals served to local healthcare heroes in U.S.
  • 30,000+ masks distributed in India
  • 10,000+ N95 masks distributed to local healthcare workers in U.S.
  • 1,000 surgical masks delivered to local frontline workers in U.S.
  • Funding for two COVID-19 treatment facilities in Gujarat, including the purchase of two ventilators
  • 300,000+ people in India equipped with COVID-19 awareness and safety kits
  • 25,000 grocery kits delivered to people in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Jarkhand
  • 600 meals and/or grocery kits delivered to families in Queens, NY

Additionally, our NGO partners have provided the following updates:

Update on Grocery Kits of Gratitude (with partner RNCT in Maharashtra, Mumbai): In just one month, this partner has distributed 202,903 khichdi meals to keep India hunger-free. These meals are being delivered to slum-dwelling children and families, vegetable vendors and other daily wage earners, and sanitation workers, security guards, and other essential workers.

Beneficiaries receive khichdi meals.
Beneficiaries receive khichdi meals.

Update on Village Upliftment (with partner ESI in Gujarat): We are providing 500 handmade masks for each of the 12 villages in this program. Masks are handmade locally, with funds supporting artisan women.

Artisan women sew handmade masks.
Artisan women sew handmade masks.

Update on Food & Hygiene Support Kits (with partner MWS in Uttar Pradesh): This project has provided more than 3,100 individuals with hand soaps, masks, and essential food grains (procured from local farmers).

The grocery kits include grains, lentils, and other essential food staples.
The grocery kits include grains, lentils, and other essential food staples.

Disaster Relief Update 4/14/2020

Update on Grocery Kits of Gratitude (Maharashtra, Mumbai): Share & Care has allocated an additional $10,000 for a meal kitchen (launched by our NGO partner Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust) which will continue operating for three months. At a cost of $0.14 per meal, this kitchen will provide 72,000 meals for families in need.

Meals for Healthcare Workers (Edison, New Jersey): We have partnered with Frappe Joe Coffee in New Jersey to provide two weeks’ worth of meals for workers at the JFK hospital in Edison, NJ. This project was funded for $10,000.

A volunteer delivers grocery kits to vulnerable families in Queens.
Delivering meals to healthcare heroes with the help of Frappe Joe Coffee

Meals for Healthcare Workers (Newark, New Jersey): We are allocating $1,000 to provide 300 meals for healthcare workers in Newark, NJ. This is a joint effort in partnership with the Foundation for University Hospital.

N95 Masks for Healthcare Workers (New York & New Jersey): We have provided 80 N95 masks to local hospitals in New Jersey and New York. An additional 5,000 masks have been ordered and will arrive for distribution this week.

Update on Grocery Distribution (Queens, New York): A message from our on-the-ground partners: “The food distribution is going well. About 3-4 staff members are receiving deliveries and packing grocery bags, which are distributed to vulnerable families throughout Queens, NY. Two vans and drivers have been hired to help in transporting items, along with a dedicated staff member who delivers the bags. Everyone involved in the process ensures that social distancing guidelines are observed.”

A volunteer delivers grocery kits to vulnerable families in Queens.
A volunteer delivers grocery kits to vulnerable families in Queens.

Disaster Relief Update 4/8/2020

We are pleased to share the following message and video from Environmental Sanitation Institute, an NGO partner with whom we’ve partnered for our Village Upliftment and COVID-19 Grocery Kits of Gratitude programs.


You would be glad to learn that the recent Groceries of Gratitude and Lokmitra projects have found incredible harmony. Together, the projects have brought great transformation and impact.

In fact, the Lokmitras are building deeper trust and are understanding the need of the villagers and communities — and through the recent grocery kit deliveries (with help from village leaders and influencers), they reached out to the most needy families. Right now, the Lokmitras are becoming instrumental in availing government entitlements that have been announced. We know there are multiple schemes, but it’s sometimes difficult for the most needy to access the correct documents and engagements. In such cases, our Lokmitras come forward as angels.

The coronavirus crisis has brought such testing times, and we are grateful to this team of Lokmitras, who are doing wonders. The decentralized distribution model of this program is working, and it affirms our belief that we need more such experiments. We feel gratitude for the whole Share & Care family for supporting such interventions.

A video from ESI shows footage captured during the Grocery Kits of Gratitude distribution.

Disaster Relief Update 4/3/2020

In addition to the Gujarat-based project outlined in our initial post below, Share & Care has received approval for, and is currently implementing, the following four projects in the U.S. and India. Together, all five projects were funded for a total of $67,500.

  • Grocery Kits of Gratitude (Maharashtra): This initiative is funded for $15,000 and will benefit 1,100 families.
  • Support Kits (Azamgarh and Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh): These kits, funded for $7,500, will include rice, lentils and beans, soap, and safety masks for 2,000 families who are facing such extreme poverty that they have resorted to eating grass to survive. Each kit costs $3.50 and includes enough rations to sustain beneficiaries for three weeks.
  • Grocery Items (Queens, New York): This initiative, funded for $15,000, will benefit 130 families and is made possible through a partnership with the South Asia Council for Social Welfare.
  • Groceries & Meal Kitchen (Hazaribagh, Jharkhand): This initiative, funded for $15,000, will feed 400 families for 20 days.

Humanity is facing an invisible but real viral enemy — the COVID-19 pandemic, which knows no boundaries and affects all irrespective of race, religion, creed, or social status.

The daily statistics of infections and fatalities world over are alarming. Governments, putting their best foot forward to manage this ongoing health (and resulting financial) crisis, have implemented lockdowns and social distancing orders in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.

The Indian government has aggressively implemented such measures over the last couple of weeks, and just recently introduced a countrywide lockdown. As a result, members of the rural population — many of whom are day wage earners in urban areas — have lost their employment and are returning to their home villages.

A big concern is that these newly unemployed workers, who may not receive any financial assistance from the government, are being thrust into a struggle for survival — similar to, but more severe, than that of other natural disasters. It is also feared that some of these workers are unknowingly carrying the virus, which could potentially spread to rural India.

It is impossible to know what the future holds; however, with any crisis there is always an opportunity to cultivate Karuna (“compassion”).

Volunteers deliver supplies to grateful villagers.
Volunteers deliver supplies to grateful villagers.

One Thousand Grocery Kits of Gratitude

In response to this ongoing disaster, Share & Care has allocated $100,000 in disaster relief funds to provide various forms of support to those affected. The first phase of this project will provide emergency relief to rural India’s poorest day wage earners and their families. We will distribute “one thousand grocery kits of gratitude,” each consisting of grains, lentils, oil, essential masalas, ghee, flour, rice. potato, onion, and other staples to sustain a household for two to three weeks.

The kits will cost about $15 each, and Share & Care is committing $15,000 to help 1,000 distressed families (or approximately 5,000 beneficiaries). Our NGO partners and Gandhi Ashram team members will distribute the kits to those most in need.

Volunteers prepare grocery kits for struggling rural families.
Volunteers prepare grocery kits for struggling rural families.

Educating Villagers About the Coronavirus

In 2015-16 during the toilet construction phase of our sanitation and hygiene projects, Share & Care discovered the importance of changing mindsets when working to improve community hygiene. Now, during this COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to provide education about good personal hygiene practices.

This year, Share & Care initiated a Village Upliftment program, which places 12 Lokmitras (“friends of the people”) in 12 Gujarat villages. Their roles are to bring awareness and offer solutions for issues affecting the entire community (e.g., sanitation, substance abuse, smart schools, and infrastructure) and to serve as a liaison between village and government with the goal of modernizing both the mindsets and the village itself. These Lokmitras are already working to educate villagers about the coronavirus and about the importance of hand washing and social distancing.

Villagers practice hand washing to combat the spread of the virus.
Villagers practice hand washing to combat the spread of the virus.

Share & Care remains committed to aiding the poorest of the poor during this coronavirus pandemic, and we thank you for your continued support and trust.

Video Gallery

A Share & Care Lokmitra Volunteer delivers groceries to a family of six. The father of this family, a rickshaw driver, is now unemployed due to the pandemic and subsequent government lockdown.
Share & Care’s Lokmitra Volunteers Create Grocery Kits for Families Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic
A Share & Care Lokmitra Volunteer Delivers Grocery Kit to a Family With Small Children
A Share & Care Lokmitra Volunteer explains the situation to a family who cannot go out due to area lockdown

Image Gallery

Pictured below are Share & Care’s Lokmitra volunteers gathering materials for (and delivering) “Grocery Kits of Gratitude” to help families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These volunteers are also providing hygiene instructions to help beneficiaries of all ages stay safe and healthy. (Please mouse over the images and use the arrows to scroll through additional images)