The COVID crisis in India has shocked the world, with hundreds of thousands of new cases reported daily, and the number of dead now suspected to be dramatically undercounted.
As a new variant spreads through the country, thousands are dying needlessly from a lack of basic medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), oxygen, and more. Many relief agencies are on the ground working to get supplies to health workers, while others are bringing food and other support to families who have lost their incomes.
Daily, as we see images of mass cremations, desperate families, and people suffering in overcrowded hospitals against the backdrop of this brightly colored country, many givers are wondering how they can share the love of Jesus by helping India in its time of crisis.
Here are five ways you can help now
- Pray: Oswald Chambers said, “We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense.” In this case, we need to go on the offense in prayer against the coronavirus and the havoc it is wreaking in India. Numerous charities have wonderful resources to help guide you. For example, IMB.org has a downloadable prayer guide and very detailed prayer list with both broad and very specific requests, and Mission India sends a daily prayer email each day.
- Grant now to a specific relief charity: If you have a Giving Fund at NCF (also known as a donor-advised fund), it’s likely that you have an available fund balance for times like this. You can easily log in to your fund from your phone, tablet, or computer 24/7 to quickly recommend grants to a relief charity working in India. If you don’t have a Giving Fund at NCF yet, learn more or open one today.
- Transfer money to the India COVID Relief Fund: If you have a Giving Fund but don’t know where to give, you can request a fund-to-fund transfer to the India COVID Relief Fund (Fund #3720911). Our friends at TrustBridge Global will help by distributing all donations in the fund by the end of May to up to five Christian charities, each with a clearly defined COVID relief budget and on the ground in India now.
- Give and grant over time: It’s important to remember that the need for support doesn’t end when media coverage dies down. As time goes by, donations slack, and relief efforts and organizations struggle. No one knows how much time, hard work, and money it will take to recover after the pandemic is under control. You can make a difference by setting up a recurring grant from your Giving Fund to provide ongoing support during the critical months or years ahead.
- Give non-cash assets: If you really want to step up your support over the long-term, consider giving non-cash assets. Appreciated securities are a simple and quick way to get started. (Business interests and real estate are other options that require advanced planning.) These types of tax-efficient donations may help you reduce or eliminate capital gains taxes, so you can give more to provide relief through your granting.
Photo: Rhema for the Nations