The COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the globe, creating difficulties of all kinds. As tough as these circumstances are, here's one thought to take comfort in: the most challenging times show us the depth of our fellow citizens' kindness, as well as our own capacity for helping those in need, knowing every effort makes a difference.

Given my 16-year tenure at The Motley Fool -- during which I have frequently had a hand in our philanthropic efforts -- I can personally testify that The Motley Fool's members include some of the kindest and most generous folks around.

So many truly understand that The Motley Fool's purpose -- to make the world smarter, happier, and richer -- not only helps them build financial resources for their own security and well-being but also empowers them to give back to causes they care about, often within their own communities.

No joking matter

April Fool's Day is generally something akin to an official holiday at The Motley Fool, complete with an outlandish annual joke meant to impart some serious financial lessons in a playful way.

This year, though, in light of the coronavirus crisis, The Motley Fool decided to postpone the prank and instead pledged $1 million to Health Research, which has been working on the COVID-19 (the disease caused by the novel coronavirus) response in hard-hit New York state.

You can learn more about our decision here, and perhaps even consider joining us in contributing to Health Research, a non-profit that's managing the purchase of medical supplies, implementing field hospitals, and providing food, housing, and transportation to medical workers and volunteers.

A New York City skyline facing the Empire State building

Image Source: Getty Images

Of course, right now the country is not only facing imminent health concerns, but also acute financial need as we take the difficult but necessary steps to practice social distancing to flatten the curve of severe COVID-19 cases.

We've been delighted to hear about our members' heartwarming efforts to help those impacted by COVID-19, in a variety of ways. (To add your own, please email Foolish@Fool.com.) Here are just a few:

  • "My wife who started sewing when she was eight years old, happened to notice many yards of elastic and material in her sewing closet. So she started making masks for the nurses/people at the senior homes where she is a hospice volunteer, as well as for a school bus driver friend who is delivering meals to school kids at home. Word got around and now others are others are asking for her 'professionally done' masks!" – Murph
  • "Thank you for this touching message this morning. Not only did I make a significant donation this morning to Health Research Inc., but also your message inspired me to seek out the COVID Emergency response fund of our local hospital here in Loudon County. Thank you for inspiring me to follow my values." – Neal
  • "One thing I have continued doing is paying my home cleaner 'vacation pay.' This is not a pay now, do the work later. This is money to help them survive. I would ask that anyone with the luxury to do so pay their sole proprietor, small business even if they are not receiving a service. They need this money to pay for food and pay their rent. People like your housekeeper, handyman, hair stylist, etc. It's important to let them know you appreciate them and you are not only helping them mentally/emotionally, you may be helping them survive. Not tax deductible but will pay you big dividends in knowing you helped your fellow human being through this." – Jane
  • "Every year, we give to The Lowcountry Food Bank, where you can turn $1 into six meals. In anticipation of the stimulus checks and the trying times we find ourselves in today, my wife and I decided to contribute an additional $2400 to this great cause. We love you guys and the culture you promote." – Jake
  • "With no paycheck, how do you feed your family? Your local food bank is there to help, not just now, but whenever hard times hit an individual. Our local food bank, Feeding South Florida, is where our donation went this last week and another this week to our favorite restaurant to be distributed as 'tips' for all the servers who have served us in the past and would now if only they could." – Mary
  • "The wife and I gave $5000 to support Health Research Inc., the company the Fool is donating $1 million to today to help fight the virus's impact in the New York area, which is getting hit hard... We were able to do this in large part because of the hard work done here [in The Motley Fool community]... I've been a proud Fool for 20 years and it's days like today that make me feel the most proud of wearing the jester cap." – Dan

Again, please consider donating to Health Research to support New York during this difficult time -- or supporting an organization in your local community through volunteering or donations then sharing your story with us at Foolish@Fool.com.

Thank you to all the folks who, either directly or indirectly, are helping to cushion the blow to people impacted by COVID-19. Together, we can not only steel ourselves to stay home and flatten the curve of COVID-19, but we can virtually reach out to help those in need too.