Each one of us has been impacted in numerous ways by the coronavirus situation. It has changed how we socialize, shop and spend time as families. Typical springtime rites of passage have been replaced with confinement, masks and anxiety over how to make ends meet as financial resources dry up.
Like a boulder dropped in the middle of a large lake, the ripple effects of this global pandemic continue to range out beyond immediate family issues. Many small businesses, nonprofits and other groups are not sure if they will be able to make it back from this situation.
The people behind the #GivingTuesday movement many are familiar with the Tuesday after Thanksgiving have attempted to help throw a lifeline for nonprofits throughout the world by designating today, May 5, as #GivingTuesdayNow.
“As a global community, we can mourn this moment of extreme crisis while also finding the opportunity to support one another. We each have the power to make an impact with acts of generosity, no matter how small, and to ensure the sustainability of organizations and services that are crucial to the care and support of our communities,” said Asha Curran, CEO of Giving Tuesday. “#GivingTuesdayNow is a chance for us to stand united and use grassroots generosity to show that we are all in this together, beginning to end. Even as many face financial uncertainty, generosity is not about size. Every act of kindness is not only a beacon of hope, it’s a critical act of civic and social solidarity.”
Since taking over as the new Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper in mid-February, I have been blessed by the new connections I have made with people throughout the watershed. I am thankful for the great response to our Raise the Region campaign, especially since it was my first experience with the program. I have also been grateful for each donation we have received since, especially as we develop new ways and programs to protect and promote our river-based resources.
I am extremely excited about the future of our association and some of the big projects and initiatives we have planned moving forward. We -- a collective "we" involving each person living within this watershed -- have an opportunity to do great things together to clean up our waterways and develop a vested interest in the next generation to care about and protect our outdoor treasures.
However, as an association, we are mindful of the struggles of our families and communities during the coronavirus situation. We have decided to not blitz numerous requests for funds today on #GivingTuesdayNow beyond this one message.
There are many deserving people and associations on the front lines of the battle against the coronavirus. We are grateful for each of their sacrifices, and encourage those in a position to give to consider lifting them up today, and every day moving forward.
If you do feel compelled to donate to the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you can do so by clicking here -- a page available every day, year-round.
There are numerous other ways to get involved in our efforts to protect and promote the Susquehanna River and her many tributaries throughout our region. Consider one of the following:
If you haven't taken our online 2020 Susquehanna Survey, we ask that you consider doing so. It provides valuable information about our watershed, possible points of pollution to investigate and new programs to consider. Check it out by clicking here.
The photo and poetry contests we developed as a way to encourage people to engage with our outdoor resources during the global pandemic are reaching their deadlines. Entries will be taken through Friday, May 8, with prizes announced a week later. Check out more by clicking here.
Our Floating Classrooms aboard the Hiawatha Paddleboat near Williamsport are tentatively scheduled for this summer with family friendly programs delivered by some of the region's best outdoor educators. Find out more and pre-register by clicking here.
Have you checked out our new system for anglers to share their catches and help us look for trends in the fish caught throughout the watershed? Find out more about our efforts on the Water Reporter app -- and see the interactive map of reports so far -- by clicking here.
Continue to stay updated on all the programs, videos and other components offered by the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association at our blog page, available by clicking here.
Thank you for your support. Please stay safe, get your families outdoors and I hope to see you soon along the river!
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.