Heartline Ministries and the CARES Act
Charitable Giving in the COVID-19 Season
This is certainly a scary time for everyone! There are many unknowns. Here is what we do know. The team at Heartline is watching the government responses to COVID-19 in both Haiti and the United States to best understand how we can protect our teams and ensure we do our part to minimize spread and flatten the curve of infection in our communities.
We are thankful to report that at this time, we have no known cases of COVID-19 in either of our teams (US/Haiti) including our partners at Papillon Marketplace and Petite Palm.
On March 27th, the US House unanimously passed and the President later signed into the law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act is the third law enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the full text by clicking here. Along with providing significant funding for governments, businesses, hospitals, schools and social support programs, there are key provisions of interest to non-profits who rely on donor funding. In today’s update, we’d like to share a provision that incentivizes charitable contributions.
The CARES Act lifts the limitations on charitable contributions by individuals who itemize, from 60% of adjusted gross income to 100% and for corporations by increasing the limitation from 10% to 25% of taxable income. Donations to donor-advised-funds would not qualify for the increased deduction. (Section 2205)
The CARES Act also creates a new above the line deduction (universal or non-itemizer deduction that applies to all taxpayers) for total charitable contributions of up to $300. (Section 2204)
As with any financial guidance, we recommend that you discuss any changes to your giving with your tax professional. We wanted to share these changes with you as they are mutually beneficial to you and Heartline.
At this time, we are watching our giving stream carefully and are experiencing a downturn of about 25% versus April 2019. An increased tax benefit means that if you are able to give to Heartline during this time, you will not only be supporting critical ministries in Haiti, but will also receive a bigger benefit at tax-time.A win/win.
We know that many of you are already feeling the wide-reaching effects of this global pandemic. If your giving is impacted, we understand that. Please know, as you pray for us, we are praying for you – after all, we are one family. Conversely, if you are able to support Heartline and continue to do so, thank you! Heartline is funded primarily through individual donations and your giving in any amount keeps us investing in Haitian families every day. Your generosity funds payroll for over 65 Haitian men, women, and families. Additionally, while things are different in Haiti as a result of the shutdown, we’re still able to deliver bread to prisoners, the children’s home and we’re working on solutions for students. We’re also continuing to administer family assistance to existing relationships and of course, the Heartline Maternity Center which continues to fight against one of the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality in the world.
Our mission to invest in Haitian families is more important than ever. Thank you for your generous support.
Addendum to the HL blog
As you likely know, social-distancing in Haiti is a very difficult request. Practically speaking the vast majority of the population will have little chance of meeting the request of the government to try and stay further apart in this time of COVID-19. You can learn more about how the virus is affecting Haiti and Heartline Ministries by reading our updates here on the Heartline blog.
Haiti, a developing nation, functions much differently than we are used to in the US and Canada. With no refrigeration, a daily market visit is essential to feeding your family. Markets are crowded, busy and dense. Living conditions are extremely close, often lacking sanitation and access to running water. Neighbors and entire communities share access to water sources and restrooms creating additional challenges. Public transportation is the only method of mobility for the majority of the population and similar to the markets, they are crowded, busy and densely packed with travelers. In short, the conditions in Haiti aren’t conducive to positive community health under normal daily life, much less during an aggressive global pandemic. Social distancing becomes an impossibility.
Our desire and hope has always been and remains for Haiti to rise and thrive. We have been at work in Haiti for three decades, and have witnessed the strength and beauty of the Haitian people in many tough seasons.
At the Heartline Maternity Center we have made changes to the programming in order to reduce the class size and reduce gathering in large numbers.
The 70 person Prenatal Class has been divided into 7 classes of 10 people. We will be teaching and sharing the same information 7 times per week for the women that are pregnant.
In our postpartum wing we will limit visitors to one or two.
The 50 person Postpartum Class will be suspended for a few months. Rather than 50 moms and babies coming to class on Tuesdays, we will schedule individual postpartum visits with each mom at the one, three and six week mark post-delivery.
The Midwifery staff of HMC will continue to cover the MC 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and are taking all precautions possible to protect their own health.
We look forward to a day when things can return to “normal” and we pray for God’s protection and provision for the people of Haiti in this incredibly difficult time.
Addendum to HL blog
As you’ve most likely heard, the COVID-19 virus has now been identified in Haiti. We ask that you pray for our staff. Fear is high. As is common in Haiti, news is generally shared neighbor to neighbor and superstition and misinformation can often cloud the facts.
The concerns of the Haitian people are the same as many are feeling all over the world. A curfew, border closures and travel restrictions coupled with loss of work creates anxiety as families think about their next meal or keeping the basics available to their loved ones. When it comes down to it, we’re all very much the same in our needs and desires.
In response to the President Moise’s guidance, Heartline’s teams will modify how they serve and care for their community. We are committed to doing our part to stop any further spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve.
Heartline’s Discipleship and Outreach Team has suspended all ministry visits immediately. This team spends time each week with highly vulnerable populations in prisons, elderly care facilities and children’s homes. We must do our part to protect these communities.
All classes at the Heartline Education Center are canceled until further notice. Compliant with the directive of President’s orders, all students in Heartline’s partner schools will remain home until directed otherwise.
The Heartline Maternity Center has suspended large gatherings (i.e. prenatal and postpartum classroom environments) but will continue to serve all clients through individual appointments and clinics. This will allow us to carry on the mission of investing in Haitian families and providing quality care to mothers in Haiti.
Heartline’s employees and their families are of utmost importance at this time. They are at the heart of our mission and our top priority. Your loyal and generous giving will allow us to continue supporting all of our employees, as well as their families and many others who benefit from our programs. As you know, a reliable source of income is critically important in Haiti and especially now. Thanks to you, our generous Heartline donors, we can continue to care for the team in Haiti. Thank you.
These events are truly unprecedented and news changes fast. We will provide updates via our social channels and through the Heartline blog as updates become necessary. In the meantime, thank you for trusting us with your giving, thank you for praying for all families in Haiti and Heartline and know that as one big family, we continue to pray for you and the Heartline family around the world.
Like most of the world, the team at Heartline Ministries is actively watching the COVID-19 story unfold through social media, television, and other sources. Of course, we are focused on government guidance in the United States, Haiti, and most specifically, directives from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). See resources below.
In Haiti, we are thankful to report that at the time of this writing (03.19.2020), we have no known cases of COVID-19 in the country. We have been made aware that the government and local hospitals are already taking proactive steps and we are watching and listening to ensure we’re in step with the appropriate actions to minimize risk to our communities.
In the United States, Heartline has a small team of contractors and volunteers who support communications, operations, and development. This team is 100% remote. No additional steps were necessary based on recent guidance to reduce gatherings and work from home. Heartline operates remotely in the US and will continue to do so as it has always done.
We are praying for our Heartline Family all over the world as people take the necessary precautions to flatten the curve and slow the spread of this virus. Each month, our Prayer Coordinator compiles prayers and shares them with the Heartline Prayer Team via email and through the Echo Prayer App. We’d be honored to pray for you and ask that you pray with us and for us as well. The links to sign-up and/or join us on the Echo App are listed below.
Each week, Heartline Ministries employees in Haiti participate in multiple large gatherings. These gatherings occur in environments such as school classrooms, hospitals, the Heartline Maternity Center clinics, prenatal and postpartum classes, prison visits, children’s home visits, an elderly facility, and more. Additionally, we have over 250 students actively in school at the Heartline Education Center. At this time, with no reported cases, these activities are continuing. In partnership with the US team, the Haiti based leadership will continue to monitor reliable sources closely and respond accordingly and quickly.
We understand that these are unprecedented times and many have had their incomes and savings impacted. Like you, we are optimistic that we will see this turnaround as the virus runs its course. If your giving is impacted, we understand that. Please know, as you pray for us, we are praying for you – after all, we are one family. Conversely, if you are able to support Heartline and continue to do so, thank you! Heartline is funded primarily through individual donations and your giving in any amount keeps us investing in Haitian families every day. Your generosity funds payroll for over 65 Haitian men, women, and families. It allows students to attend school and receive meals and more. Your giving supports ministry in schools, churches, prisons, an elderly home and of course, the Heartline Maternity Center which continues to fight against one of the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality in the world.
Heartline has always chosen to shine a positive light on Haiti. We choose to be light and hope as it relates to sharing messages on social media and other platforms. We are not blind to the realities of maternal poverty, infant mortality or now, the overwhelming impact of the COVID-19 situation. That said, we are choosing to maintain a positive voice on social channels. We know social feeds can often be a hard place to spend time and we are opting to continue to offer a smile, a new life, a celebrated homecoming, and the faces of those who are blooming as a result of God’s amazing grace, your generosity, and your continued prayers. Heartline has always chosen to stand on the side of hope, believing and trusting in an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-loving God to carry us through the toughest situations. We will continue to focus on this hope and communicate using a voice that shares our hope for Haiti and the world.
Should we have additional news to share regarding COVID-19 and Heartline, we will post via social channels. Otherwise, we will continue to press on in Haiti, investing in Haitian families and sharing the beauty of Haiti via social media. Thank you for supporting this work. We are grateful to you, our Heartline family all around the world.
Your partner in hope,
The Heartline Ministries Team
Centers for Disease Control – United States
Centers for Disease Control – Global Health – Haiti
Public Health Agency of Canada
Ministry of Public Health – Haiti
Join the Heartline Prayer Team
Pray with Heartline using the Echo Prayer App