FYI Blog

Clients in the News – Special COVID-19 Edition

Like so many of us, Avalon clients are working from home, practicing social distancing, tutoring their kids and grandkids, and somehow still managing to move their critical organizational missions forward. Here’s what our clients are working on—and ways we can all get involved—as they work to help us all thrive during this unprecedented time.


Keeping Boston’s Homeless People Safe

Pine Street Inn is out with a comprehensive update on how the organization is working to ensure the health and safety of its guests, tenants, volunteers, and staff. From ensuring homeless people have what they need to stay safe on the streets or in shelters, to food deliveries throughout Boston, to deep cleaning its buildings—Pine Street Inn volunteers and staff are working around the clock to get through this crisis safely. Visit PSI’s website to learn how you can help.


Medical Care and Food for those in Need

Bread for the City provides medical care and food to people in need in the Washington, DC area. And of course, during these difficult times, BFC is having to work to minimize community risk. Consequently, the organization has limited some of its services and expanded others. Visit BFC’s website to read about the changes, and if at all possible, make a contribution.


Feeding Hungry Marylanders Through COVID-19

Maryland Food Bank is stocked and ready to support Maryland communities for months to come. The MFB team is working diligently to fill the shelves and provide the latest information on safe distribution practices to Maryland residents and their community partners. The Food Bank has also adapted distribution methods in coordination with schools, distributing “Grab & Go” meals at sites previously hosting MFB Summer Clubs across central Maryland. To learn more on MFB’s continuous work during this unprecedented time, donate, and or volunteer to help fulfill their mission, visit the Maryland Food Bank website to learn more.


Finding New Homes for Beloved Pets

The Humane Rescue Alliance, Washington, DC’s largest animal-welfare organization, is looking for loving homes (permanent and foster) for many beloved pets. With COVID-19 threatening both the local economy and pet owners’ health, many people are unable to continue caring for their animals. Go to HRA’s website to sign up to foster, or get more information on adopting one of the dogs, cats, or other cute critters pictured there, who are looking for a new best friend.


A Space for Refuge

Farm Sanctuary is bringing humane education to you! The Farm Sanctuary team is coming to you live on Facebook from their sanctuaries as well as introducing virtual humane education classes for pre-k to 12th grade. Farm friends of all ages are welcome to access the live programming free of charge, visit the Farm Sanctuary website to check out the live schedule.

Founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, Gene Baur, wrote a riveting piece in The Hill recently: “Coronavirus and the karmic interconnectedness of humans, animals.” In it, he describes the policies and practices that have led us to where we are—with the Earth ravaged by a pandemic, and nutritional habits resulting in poor health and disease. He concludes, “Our disrespectful treatment of other animals and the Earth has consequences, and when they are harmed, ultimately, so are we. All life on Earth is connected and it’s in our interest to act accordingly.” Visit The Hill’s website for the full article and a good dose of food for thought.


Voting in the Time of Coronavirus

As usual, the League of Women Voters has all the bases covered in terms of voting. During these uncertain times, the League’s nonpartisan election website:, has everything voters need to find out their options for participating in early and absentee voting. You can also learn how report a problem with voting, identify and contact your local elections board, and more.


Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

(Trust me, anyone under 18 knows this pigeon!) Kennedy Center Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems, author of the acclaimed children’s book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! invites you (by video) into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. New episodes every day at 1:00 will allow your kids to draw and doodle along with Mo, and watch him tell the stories of how he creates his wonderful picture books. The videos remain online in case you missed one and need to catch up. Visit the Kennedy Center’s website for LUNCH DOODLE. And while you’re there, you can revisit taped past performances at the Kennedy Center.


Looking for entertaining distractions?

The American Film Institute’s got your back. Through their AFI Movie Club, AFI has created a virtual gathering place for all movie lovers—visit AFI’s website to find out where you can watch a new film every day from the comfort of your couch featuring fun facts, family-friendly discussion and material from the AFI Archive! Check out AFI’s Movie Club FAQ to learn more. That should keep you entertained for a while!


See What the Animals Are Up to…

If you can’t get out into nature, the Monterey Bay Aquarium will deliver nature to your screen. Yes, the Aquarium is closed to the public, but its webcams are still streaming. Choose among the aviary, jelly cam (jellyfish), kelp forest, coral reef, penguins, and more to see what all the animals are up to right now. Visit MBA’s website to choose a wildlife cam.


Armchair Museum Visits

You’ve probably been meaning to get to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and now the Museum is closed indefinitely. But NMAAHC invites you to visit its website to explore its virtual exhibitions, online collections, and educational resources for a taste of what this spectacular Museum has to offer.


Help for Home-schoolers

Here’s a terrific resource if you’re trying to help your kids keep up with their studies: the Smithsonian’s Learning lab: millions of digital resources from across the Smithsonian’s museums, research centers, libraries, archives, and more. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can send an email to get help. Visit the Smithsonian’s website to get started. And one more fabulous resource for high schoolers: Society for Science & the Public’s Science News in High Schools online library, with nearly 200 teaching exercises. Visit SSP’s website for access to this treasure trove.


Performances at Your Fingertips

Another way to beat boredom and get a little culture at the same time: Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts is sharing daily updates on live virtual concerts from around the world, that you can tune into on Wolf Trap’s Twitter feed.