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Nonprofits continue to navigate pandemic life

book bank nonprofit
Posted at 10:22 AM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 12:22:55-05

As the pandemic enters its third year, nonprofits across the country are continuing to navigate uncharted territory, while at the same time, trying to stay afloat.

Stephanie Ybarra runs Baltimore Center Stage, one of the countless nonprofits hit hard by the pandemic. They have emerged to the delight of audiences once again. But cast and crew members are exhausted.

"Our morale on any given day goes from low to 'meh,' with a few bright spots, but it’s a really challenging time," Ybarra said.

As COVID drags on, Ybarra and her colleagues are feeling like a lot of Americans right now: stuck in a sort of limbo and wondering what’s next.

"The number of times I’ve come to my colleagues and they’ve talked me off the ledge. It’s tremendously helpful in not feeling so isolated," she added.

For nonprofits across the country, the answer to that question, "How are you doing?” seems to vary by the day.

"Tired doesn’t even begin to describe it. I’m depleted, exhausted," Ybarra said.

For Mark Feiring, who runs the Maryland Book Bank, the last two years have been a lesson in flexibility.

"I think everybody who survived this knows we have to have options in our back pocket at the drop of a hat," Feiring said.

It’s certainly not the story Feiring would’ve written, but there has been a bit of a silver lining.

"I feel like we’ve taken our licks and we’re trudging ahead," he noted.

This is part of a series of stories examining the question, 'How are you doing?' where we check in with people from different walks of life to see how they’re handling the pandemic