2020: A year of loss — Fundraising and fursuiting for charity in the midst of a global pandemic — by Joe G. Bear
by Dogpatch Press Staff
Joe Goria (Joe G. Bear) last wrote about the 2019 ALS Walk.
Charity events canceled: “What A Difference A Year Makes…”
That statement couldn’t have been more truer than THIS year. I don’t believe any of us would have predicted that 2020 would plunge us into a global pandemic not seen in over 100 years, and that our way of life – our ‘normal’ would change so remarkably in a short period of time. To be honest, this year has brought me closer to my own mortality, so I’m grateful to be safe and healthy (so far…)
As the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the United States in early March, affecting all major in-person events from concerts, sporting events and for many of us in “The Fandom,” furmeets and furry conventions – the most devastating casualty of this pandemic have been to people’s jobs and their own livelihoods. We all know someone or an entire family who has suffered greatly these last few months, and it’s heartbreaking. We should also mention those who are employed in our healthcare system, especially furries who have worked under extremely difficult circumstances in hospitals across our nation. “Thank You” for your dedication and service.
Even with the promise of important vaccines being rolled out this month and well into 2021, the after-effects of 2020 will still be with us for some time – especially for one major aspect of our society that can never take a backseat. Charities and Non-Profit organizations like March of Dimes & The ALS Association have been hit particularly hard as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the cancellations of in-person donor drives and events like “The March for Babies” in Los Angeles and “The Walk to End ALS” in Orange County, CA.
Hardships inspire a personal commitment to help.
The “2019 Walk to End ALS” was Joe Bear’s first major charitable event. The success of Furries coming together to remember and support one of our own, Tony ‘Dogbomb’ Barrett was the light that brought a purpose to fursuiting beyond a weekend convention – an ‘enlightening’ that gave me determination to continue the cause. It would be supporting the amazing folks at The ALS Association, and the upcoming 20th Anniversary “Walk to End ALS” in November, 2020. Plans were being finalized for the event when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in mid-March.