An NPQ Interview with the Grinch

Dr. Seuss’s classic character, The Grinch, is featured in the latest comedic video from filmmakers Key Ideas and the Human Services Council, whose portrayals of interactions between nonprofits and their funders are always excruciatingly on point. Here, we ask him some additional questions.

Mr. Grinch, we understand that you, yourself, have recently had something of a revelation about the value of caring and sharing and that occurred in a town with quite a legacy of activism—Whoville. But New York is a whole other kettle of fish. Are there lessons from Whoville that you think need to be better embodied in New York’s nonprofit sector?

I left Whoville for New York City because of the nonprofit sector. Groups here in New York completely embody the Whoville spirit of working together to better our communities. Just like the residents of Whoville, New York’s human services sector doesn’t need fancy things to get the job done, they make joy out of what they have. I’m honored the sector has welcomed me into their family. Now, just like my fellow Whos, the sector finds joy in everything they do, but some of these government practices, budget cuts, and lack of recognition for how important our workers are trying to shrink my heart! The thing that I think we all learned from when Whoville was almost destroyed because it was not being heard is that every voice matters no matter how small.

Have you heard from Mayzie the Lazy Bird lately? Does she know her children need her?

Well, Mayzie was still in Palm Beach when the pandemic hit, and Florida isn’t really handling the pandemic response so well, so I think she really learned her lesson! Luckily, her baby is still safely with Horton, social distancing in the jungle, and they Zoom with Mayzie all the time.

What’s on your list for what you hope to find under the tree for nonprofits in New York this year? Are you committed to not stealing it?

Listen, if we can’t get our list, I might have to resort to my old ways! Under the tree this year, we need to see fair and living wages for our workforce. 80 percent of our workforce is women, over half are people of color, and they are paid poverty level wages for the lifesaving work they do. During COVID, they have been out there keeping facilities open and keeping our families around the globe—including Whoville—safe and fed.

Next, we need Governor Cuomo to stop withholding 20 percent of our contracts and pay all human services organizations fully and on time. We are out there in communities still doing lifesaving work like checking on seniors, delivering meals and keeping residential facilities open, and we need the Governor to prioritize the sector. We can’t deal with another Sour Kangaroo not believing the dire straits we are in!

And we need the federal government to come through with a relief package that has aid to localities so Whoville and New York can continue to fund services as well as stimulus checks for all our creatures, great and small! Now you have me sounding like the Lorax, but he had the right idea! I’m happy to be a member of HSC and continue our advocacy because like he said, “We’ve GOT to make noises in greater amounts!”