April 24, 2020

Today, Adrian and Ethan discuss scams and frauds designed to prey on virus-related fears and what to watch out for. Later, we listen to Part 1 of an earlier interview with Covenant House, an awesome nonprofit committed to providing 24/7 care and support to homeless youth across the country.

While many Americans are struggling financially during these trying times, a few are thriving -- including scammers. These fraudsters use their victims' fear to their advantage, swindling them out of cash or tricking them into providing personal information. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has received more than 18,000 coronavirus-related scam reports since the beginning of the year, and those scams have collectively cost Americans around $13.4 million.

The FCC has received reports of scam and hoax text message campaigns and scam robocalls offering free home testing kits, promoting bogus cures, selling health insurance, and preying on virus-related fears. For additional information, you can visit fcc.gov and ftc.gov.

Even in the midst of a health crisis, Americans are uniquely adept at giving. There are some good charities out there helping. There are also scam charities popping up all the time.

Now more than ever, it is critical that limited charitable dollars not be wasted on scams, misleading marketing schemes, or on charities that don’t keep their overhead spending within reasonable bounds. Do your homework before donating.

The folks at GivingTuesday recently announced #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. The global day of action will rally people around the world to tap into the power of human connection and strengthen communities at the grassroots level.

On the last GivingTuesday, December 3, 2019, the global giving day generated $2 billion in giving, just in the United States, and inspired millions of people worldwide to volunteer, perform countless acts of kindness, and donate their voices, time, money, and goods. The additional giving day planned for May 5, 2020 is being deployed in response to needs expressed by communities and leaders around the world.

People can show their generosity in a variety of ways during #GivingTuesdayNow--whether it’s helping a neighbor, advocating for an issue, sharing a skill, or giving to causes, every act of generosity counts. The giving day will emphasize opportunities to give back to communities and causes in ways that comply with public health guidelines.

The past couple weeks we’ve been talking about homelessness and the increase in numbers during these times.

In total, at least 4.2 million young people experience a form of homelessness in a given year, from couch surfing to living on the streets.

"We're hearing 'stay home' right now, but what does that mean if you're a young person experiencing homelessness and what does that mean if you're a young person on your own? Shelters for homeless youth across the country are at capacity and have closed their doors.

One nonprofit working hard to make a difference is Covenant House. They are committed to keeping their doors open to provide 24/7 comprehensive care & support to homeless youth and children in the communities they serve. They are doing everything they can to accommodate the volume of young people who have been or newly finding themselves homeless.

Today, we’ll be bringing you Part 1 of our earlier interview with Covenant House Georgia.

The Covenant House mission is to serve the suffering children of the street with absolute respect and unconditional love. They empower them to finish high school, start college, gain employment, live independently, and ultimately step out into the world knowing they are prepared to be successful. @CovenantHouse

For over 40 years, Covenant House has sheltered and cared for these young people – now standing as a powerful human rights movement for homeless and trafficked youth. Their international work to fight youth homelessness spans 31 cities across 6 countries in the Americas. Covenant House's network of youth shelters provides refuge for homeless, abused and trafficked kids – and the long-term support they need to heal.

UPDATE: “How can we help you?” It’s the first question they usually ask as Covenant House. Since COVID-19, they now ask every youth who comes through our doors: Have you been near anyone sick and how do you feel right now? Today they temperature-check every youth at intake, isolate those with symptoms, provide them with masks, gloves, medical attention, and love. COVID-19 adds new layers of needs that cannot wait.

While the rest of the world closes, they open their arms wider to protect endangered youth.

Earlier, Bev visited Covenant House Georgia and spoke with Dr. Alie Redd, Executive Director and Regina Jennings, Director of Support Services.