COVD-19 Guidance

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MyPocketChange has put a temporary hold on the the receipt and distribution of gifts this holiday season. We apologize in advanced to our donors, partners, and families who we work with. We felt, with cases escalating that the best thing we could do would be to direct resources to organizations that are directly servicing this pandemic.

Here are a few you might want to consider.

  • Feeding America has a Covid-19 Response Fund that is helping to ensure food banks across the country can feed those in need right now, including the children who rely on school meals to eat.

  • Doctors Without Borders is sending aid to the countries hit hardest by Covid-19 and strengthening the infection controls in its already established programs, as well as maintaining existing help in the 70-plus countries it regularly assists.

  • The World Health Organization is coordinating efforts across the world to respond to existing cases and prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading.

  • Oxfam America is organizing efforts to increase the delivery of clean water and sanitary supplies to refugees and those living in higher-risk environments.

  • The Red Cross is in desperate need of blood donations if you’re in a position to do so.

  • World Central Kitchen is delivering chef-prepared meals to those in need.

  • Team Rubicon, a veteran-based company that provides services during natural disasters and emergencies, has assembled teams across the country to help with logistics, packaging and distributing food, and even supplementing hotline staffing.

  • Half-Table Man Disaster Relief has been working to feed those in need, including the Coast Guard in Staten Island and the elderly.

  • Vitamin Angels is a nonprofit which helps undernourished pregnant women and babies at risk of malnutrition.

 

Please check back with us and stay safe!

MyPocketChange – Compassion In Action

ABOUT US

MyPocketChange is focused on bringing relief to those in need through its caring staff, supporters, and volunteers.

SERVICES

MyPocketChange is focusing on two local problems. In order to find compassion, we need to have an understanding of what is required.

DONATE

We hope you will take a moment to learn more about our projects and support the work we are doing.

CONTACT

We hope you will take a moment to learn more about our projects and services. Please contact us if you have any questions.

HELPING FAMILIES IN NEED

PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT OUR CURRENT RELIEF PROJECTS. YOUR SUPPORT WILL GO A LONG WAY TO PROVIDING THE BASIC NECESSITIES YEAR ROUND. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Help support families with terminally ill children.

There are numerous families in our community that face intense emotional and financial hardship because one or more of their children has a chronic, serious, or terminal illness. It is our goal to help alleviate the pressures and pain that these families are going through by providing basic necessities such as grocery gift cards, bedding, clothing, kitchenware, laundry detergent throughout the year, not just during holidays.

HOMELESS IN AMERICA

HOMELESS PERSONS per 10,000 PEOPLE

CHRONICALLY HOMELESS PERSONS

HOMELESS CHILDREN

FEEDING THE HOMELESS

Help feed the homeless and hungry through this grassroots effort.

Through the support of our volunteers and partners, MyPocketChange is committed to providing meals to the homeless on a recurring basis. Contributions will have a direct impact in how many lunches are made. Every cent will add up to making a difference in someone’s life.  The more donations that we are able to obtain, the more people we will be able to feed.

ARTICLES

A personal mission for families in need


My nephew was born with Congenital Junctional Ectopic Tachycardia, a rare form of arrhythmia. He was in and out of the hospital frequently, for the first year of his life. Thereafter, there were numerous visits to doctors and therapists for continued treatments. It was a very difficult time for my nephew’s parents and extended family because we didn’t know whether he would survive.

My sister and brother-in-law’s pain and distress was heartbreaking. My nephew’s serious illness also created huge financial consequences. My sister and her family lost their home through foreclosure, the baby’s medical bills piled up, and creditors and bill collectors called regularly.

My nephew is now 5 years old. He’s a fantastic, rambunctious, adorable little guy. You would never know that he has a heart condition and wears a pacemaker in his tummy.

Thanks to Children’s Hospital in Dallas, my sister and her family were able to experience the joy of Christmas during harsh times. The hospital has a special program where truly needy families are chosen by the hospital’s social workers to submit holiday wish lists. The hospital also has a program which permits families to “adopt” a family in need. The adopted family provides a Holiday wish list and information about the sick child and family.  Because of this special program, my sister and her family were able to have a brighter holiday. They were given basic necessities that they could not afford at the time.

As a result of the love and generosity of others, my sister and her family were able to move forward. Although my sister has not been able to return to work and has to closely watch expenses, she and her husband adopt a family each Christmas. They are determined to give all that they can to help others who are in their shoes. After witnessing my sister’s experience and the kindness and generosity of persons who remain anonymous, my husband and I annually contribute to the holiday adoption program.

This past holiday, my husband and I “adopted” a grandma with two young granddaughters. The parents of the children simply were not involved.  One child has a brain tumor and requires regular chemotherapy. The grandmother, who lives in a garage apartment, makes a meager living. Yet, the only items that the grandma had on her wish list were laundry detergent, queen size bed sheets, and a purse for herself. Her granddaughters, likewise, only had short wish lists. They could have asked for so much more but did not want anyone to feel that they were a bother.

Although we wished to help our adopted family throughout the year, the hospital’s program was anonymous and only occurred during the Christmas holiday season. However, we could not get the family out of our minds. Consequently, we determined to create an organization to assist families with seriously ill children year ‘round because their emotional and financial needs continue far beyond the Holiday season. Why should there be seasonal limitations to helping families who are in dire need? With the help and contributions of our supporters, MyPocketChange will provide basic necessities throughout the year to families in economic distress and help alleviate some of their burdens.

Projected poverty impacts of COVID-19 (coronavirus)


Poverty projections suggest that the social and economic impacts of the crisis are likely to be quite significant. Estimates based on growth projections from the June 2020 Global Economic Prospects report show that, when compared with pre-crisis forecasts, COVID-19 could push 71 million people into extreme poverty in 2020 under the baseline scenario and 100 million under the downside scenario. As a result, the global extreme poverty rate would increase from 8.23% in 2019 to 8.82% under the baseline scenario or 9.18% under the downside scenario, representing the first increase in global extreme poverty since 1998, effectively wiping out progress made since 2017. While a small decline in poverty is expected in 2021 under the baseline scenario, projected impacts are likely to be long-lasting.

The number of people living under the international poverty lines for lower and upper middle-income countries – $3.20/day and $5.50/day in 2011 PPP, respectively – is also projected to increase significantly, signaling that social and economic impacts will be widely felt. Cont…

How COVID-19 Is Impacting People Experiencing Homelessness


To combat the spread of COVID-19, physical distancing measures are being instituted around the world. But for those experiencing homelessness and insecure housing, safety measures are not only out of reach, they’re not an option.

While the burden of disease in society has never been equal, people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic are paying an especially high price. With social services stretched thin and businesses shuttering, rather than keeping people away from shelters, the virus has driven many in. Once there, they’re met with perfect conditions for the rapid spread of the coronavirus: overcrowded and sometimes unsanitary conditions, surrounded by others who have come in contact with hundreds of people prior to entry, with the added risk of pre-existing conditions. Cont…

COVID-19 and the Impact on the Homeless Population


To address and combat the quickly spreading COVID-19 crisis, state and local governments across the United States have issued strict social and physical distancing orders. Although these recommendations have been taken seriously by most, those experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity are unfortunately unable to follow these safety measures, making this population more vulnerable to contracting the virus.

People experiencing homelessness during today’s pandemic are paying an especially high price, with businesses slowly reopening and social services spread extremely thin. Global Citizen explains that the coronavirus pandemic has driven many people off the streets and into shelters, in which they are met with the perfect conditions for the rapid spread of the virus: overcrowded and sometimes unsanitary conditions, surrounded by others who have come in contact with hundreds of people prior to entry, with the added risk of pre-existing conditions. Cont…

COVID-19 is ‘a crisis within a crisis’ for homeless people


PHOENIX (AP) — Nearly 200 tents stand inches apart on the scorching gravel lots, many covered in blankets for an extra layer of relief from the desert sun. Outside, their occupants sit on hot ground or in folding chairs, nearby palm trees providing no shade. Despite 12-foot-square sections painted in the gravel, there is little social distancing for Phoenix’s homeless population.

Created by local officials in late April as a temporary solution for some of the estimated 3,700 unsheltered homeless, the fenced-in lots on the edge of downtown promised round-the-clock security, social distancing and access to water and toilets. But residents complain that hygiene supplies have become scarce, and measures meant to contain the spread of COVID-19 are not enforced. Cont…

Human Development Index


Three nights and thousands of homeless to be counted on L.A. County’s streets


In the last week of January, over the course of three consecutive nights, as many as 6,000 volunteers will fan out across Los Angeles County to take a census of the people who, by day, are so visible yet so ignored.

In teams of two to four, volunteers will walk the streets looking for homeless individuals as well as signs of encampments — a makeshift tent, a vehicle with something covering the windows, maybe an item of clothing. Volunteer counters don’t knock on windows or peer under tent flaps. They don’t talk to the people they find; they record only what they see. They are trained before they go out and are encouraged to stop if they feel unsafe. In some areas, an undercover law enforcement officer may be assigned to a team.

Read More

Thanksgiving in a Hungry America


For so many homeless, Thanksgiving Day is just another day without food or shelter. Let’s give thanks to our families and friends and ALSO remember those that need compassion this holiday season. Do a random act of kindness, volunteer to serve a meal (ex. volunteer with a local Meals on Wheels), or donate warm clothing for the homeless. If you need assistance with your donation, please let us know. MyPocketChange has relationships with shelters in the Los Angeles area.

A helping hand – it’s in the bag!


To kickoff National Homeless Awareness Week and launch MyPocketChange, our nonprofit organization, my wife Van and I held an event on November 15th where we made 4,083 meals for the homeless. We based this event upon our previous experiences participating in Operation: Brown Paper Bag in Long Beach. The students that organized O:BPB have done amazing work over the past six years and we hope they continue.

Our plans would have gone nowhere had it not been for the hard work and dedication of Wali Kamal and the Muslim Student Association at UCLA. Wali helped us secure a site on campus at the very last minute, provided campus resources for the event, and the dedicated MSA volunteers. Not only did the MSA members help us make meals, but due to last minute issue, they carried 17 tables across campus uphill to the event.

Seven years ago to the day (11/15/2007) I was laid off from my job at EarthLink after nine happy years. I wasn’t the only one, but this day was the third wave of a larger ‘restructuring’ of the company in which more then half of the workforce lost their jobs. Of course, this didn’t make me feel any better about it. However, I put on a brave face for my wife and our eleven month old daughter.

For me, this recent Brown Bag event had that much deeper meaning especially because 50% of Americans are one paycheck away from being homeless if they loose their jobs. We were lucky that my employer offered me a very generous severance and my wife was working. But many Americans are not so lucky.

We know that these brown bag events are not a panacea, but we also know they do accomplish two things:

  1. They educate people who attend on the real scope and need. There are many people who had volunteered with their church or donated money to another organization but had never realized how many people were in need until they saw how much food we were making.
  2. Every little bit helps. The shelters we delivered the meals to were extremely grateful.

We began our event at 10am at the UCLA Sunset Recreation Center. We had an amazing turn out with volunteers of all ages. By the time daylight faded we had made 4,083 sandwiches –  short of our goal of 5000 but a fantastic effort! All the meals were loaded up and distributed to Union Rescue Mission, the Midnight Mission, and Upward Bound House.

Along with the UCLA MSA, we want to thank our sponsors:

 

Extreme Pizza

Costco

Sparkletts

Panera Bread

Raintree Cleaners

Starbucks

Group Micro

Chick-fil-A

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Smart & Final Charitable Foundation

Flowers Foods

Big5

Nestle Water

Guthy Renker

Oriental Trading Company

Harry’s

Enzo’s Pizza

CVS

 

Please check out some images from our event here

 

Too many veterans are homeless


To all our Veterans, we thank you for your service!

 

This Veterans Day let’s do more than take the day off, let’s remember that so many of those who have served our country with honor are now homeless and in need of our support.

To learn more about what you can do to help the homeless, please click here.

Click the info-graphic to learn more.

COMPASSION