Typically, GivingTuesday takes place immediately after Thanksgiving. But with so many facing desperate need in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a new campaign launching on May 5 called #GivingTuesdayNow.
Betsy King and her Golf Fore Africa charity are gathering together some of the most generous hearts in golf to promote the day. On Friday, May 1, King will be joined by Lorena Ochoa, Juli Inkster, Angela Stanford, Katherine Kirk, Amy Olson, Azahara Munzo and Kendall Dye for a live one-hour Q&A video chat at 2 p.m. ET. The Zoom call will be open to the public.
The 64-year-old King, a 34-time winner on the LPGA, is in the midst of a five-year pledge to raise $10 million to bring clean water to 200,000 people throughout Zambia. She personally pledged $1.3 million to help accomplish the goal. Golf Fore Africa is well over the halfway mark to that $10 million goal, but donations have dried up completely in the wake of COVID-19.
“The need is more dire than ever,” said Golf Fore Africa board member and LPGA player Kendall Dye. “We’re still talking about hand washing and hygiene, and we thought we’d be flying cars by now.”
All of the participants on Friday’s call have personally raised money to fund at least one well in Africa. Several have their own charity initiative as well.
King’s main fundraising event in Phoenix was canceled last month along with one that was set for late June. She has postponed the event in Houston around the U.S. Women’s Open to Dec. 14, one day after the championship is now set to conclude.
The COVID-19 virus is only now beginning to impact Africa, and the World Health Organization has warned that the continent will become the next epicenter of the virus.
Dye has been traveled to Africa twice and has seen the needs there firsthand. With basic sanitation being at the heart of coronavirus prevention, clean water has never been more vital. Of course, it’s important to raise funds for local and national needs, Dye said, but it’s also important to remember the poorest of the poor.
“Nobody expected this pandemic,” said Dye, “but we can’t forget the least of these.”
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