The Non-Linearity of Need, Pt. 2

3/21 UPDATE: Thank you to all of you who participated in the poll. Next week we’ll be sending an extra $3,500 to Save our Children in Elyria, Ohio. AND we received a pledge from a packmember to support the next in the list with an additional $1,000, which was the Issaquah Food Bank.

AND we’ve gotten notices of pledges (which we are trying to continue capturing in the comments below) to send along any fiscal stimulus directly to these and other local charities.

AND we learned that a long-time reader and packmember will be matching our $10,000 commitment to giving to community organizations 4-to-1. That’s $40,000. Incredible.

We are so grateful for all of you – and the work together isn’t done just yet. Keep looking for ways to connect with and help others.

Full Hearts.

Ten days ago we asked the Pack for the organizations they believed would step in the gap for the unique, cascading needs of certain especially vulnerable parts of our community as part of the Covid-19 pandemic and the policy response.

You came through with 13 more great recommendations from around the country – and in the UK. Thank you!

We have another request.

We want to hear stories about how you and people you know are helping. Have you or others been giving? Tell us about it. Are you or someone you know a health care professional on the front lines? Tell us about it. Are you in food service? Working grocery lines, keeping our supply chains going or otherwise keeping all of us warm and fed? Tell us, so that we can tell everyone else and prod them to action. If you’re a subscriber, drop it in the comment section below. If you’re not, send an email to [email protected].

Here’s something else we want to do:

  1. We – the partners at Second Foundation – will give $6,500 ($500 each) to the organizations you brought forward (listed in the poll below). Thank you.
  2. To get to an even $10,000, we want you to tell us which you think most needs another $3,500. Call it paying any US government helicopter money forward. Tell us where you think the need is greatest and we’ll send that, too:

3/21 UPDATE: The poll is now closed. Thanks to all who told us where you felt the need was greatest.

Finally, if you are a financial or other professional who has been blessed with plenty, we’re asking you to make the pledge to pay forward any cash you receive from the US government, too. Tell us, then tell us more about the organization you’re pledging it to. We will share it here and on social media to prod others into action.

This is America. Here we do this thing from the bottom up.

Let’s make this Our Finest Hour.

To learn more about Epsilon Theory and be notified when we release new content sign up here. You’ll receive an email every week and your information will never be shared with anyone else.


  1. Ben/Rusty - First, thank you for your generosity and that of the other partners at Second Foundation. We and several other donors each donated $1,000 last week. The funds were used to help with delivering meals to kids and their families as SOC shut down due to the virus. The meals the kids receive at SOC is often their only real meal for the day. Again, thank you for the donation! #OurFinestHour

  2. BTW that is me in the green polo serving up Christmas dinner. I cooked 12 Prime Ribs to serve to the kids and their families! it was a huge success.

  3. Thank YOU for what you are doing! 12 prime ribs! Next pack gathering in your neck of the woods once we’re through all this!

  4. Sounds good. Souls vide and then season and used a torch to sear. My neighbor helped with the cooking and Fligner’s Meats in Lorain priced the meat at his cost and then only charged me 50% of that! Not to mention a lot of helpers.

  5. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    Just heard from a full-hearted Pack member that he’s in for $1,000 to the runner-up in this poll! #OurFinestHour

  6. I’m 23 and graduated this past December. I was lucky enough to find a job in an industry that I loved and where remote work was already part of the culture. I’m therefore in a position to donate 200 CAD to a local food bank (Moisson Montreal). Thank you Ben and Rusty for everything that you do.

  7. Do you check the [email protected] email address? I have sent two emails there over the past two weeks and have not seen a confirmation email. No need for recognition, just want to make sure the information is getting to the right place.

  8. We are blessed , of course any money we receive from govt we will give to others. We have been tipping 50% on all our take-out orders and have continued to pay some local business as usual even though we are not using their services presently…I don’t know if that really counts though.

    On another note I was supposed to get married tonight. ??‍♂️.

  9. Avatar for Tanya Tanya says:

    Rusty and Ben, this post brought tears to my eyes, thank you and Epsilon Theory SO MUCH for your generosity. So far I haven’t done anything physically (my partner is 71 so he’s in the high-risk category, so I’ve been trying to limit my exposure so I don’t get the virus and transmit it to him).

    But I gave to the two organizations I mentioned – Food Bank of NYC and West Side Campaign Against Hunger, gave to the employee fund for Marc Forgione’s eponymous restaurant (which is my favorite restaurant in the world) and his reastaurant Peasant, bought gift certificates from Reverence (a completely different and stunning dining experience by Chef Russell Jackson) and Fieldtrip by chef JJ Johnson, both in Harlem, and made a direct donation to Rick Younger who plays Mr. Duvall in the musical “Mean Girls” on Broadway. If anyone needs a mood pick-up, follow him on Facebook and see his “Low Budget Morning Breffus Show” where he cooks breakfast and sings, it’s a total riot especially since his daughter LoLo has been making guest appearances. And he takes requests! Appreciating joy where you can find it is so important.

    I am just so worried about the small businesses in New York City, really everywhere, but here they are what gives this city its character. These are not faceless nameless corporations, they are actual people, friends and acquaintances that have finally succeeded in achieving their dreams, only to have it greatly threatened. It was already a problem to be honest, there were no longer any Irish pubs in my my neighborhood as of about two years ago. Also the airline industry, I’ve become quite an avgeek – Ben you are spot on imo regarding the corporate entities, but the people whose dream it was to become an airline pilot or a flight attendant who are now being affected by this is brutal.

    On a more positive note, I absolutely love the “pay it forward if you can” concept with the stimulus check, which if I’m not laid off by the time I get it (I don’t expect to be, but everything now is unexpected, ok, not death and taxes, but…) I commit to doing that. I just feel whatever I do, it’s not going to be enough.

    But I am thankful for my partner, for friends and family and social connections, for great food and drink, for comedy, for music, and for being a member of this pack. I do still believe somehow, we will get through this.

Continue the discussion at the Epsilon Theory Forum

4 more replies


Avatar for bhunt Avatar for rguinn Avatar for Tanya Avatar for markjroach Avatar for lpusateri Avatar for Flat_Arthur Avatar for thierryb1996 Avatar for mwpierce

The Latest From Epsilon Theory


This commentary is being provided to you as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. The opinions expressed in these materials represent the personal views of the author(s). It is not investment research or a research recommendation, as it does not constitute substantive research or analysis. Any action that you take as a result of information contained in this document is ultimately your responsibility. Epsilon Theory will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information. Consult your investment advisor before making any investment decisions. It must be noted, that no one can accurately predict the future of the market with certainty or guarantee future investment performance. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Statements in this communication are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements and other views expressed herein are as of the date of this publication. Actual future results or occurrences may differ significantly from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements, and there is no guarantee that any predictions will come to pass. The views expressed herein are subject to change at any time, due to numerous market and other factors. Epsilon Theory disclaims any obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or views expressed herein. This information is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of any offer to buy any securities. This commentary has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. Epsilon Theory recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a financial advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.