How Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos Are Helping Homeless Kids Get an Education During COVID-19 Pandemic

"It makes a difference forever," the Live with Kelly and Ryan host tells PEOPLE of giving to charity

Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos recognize how fortunate they've been to quarantine at their Long Island, N.Y. home with kids Michael, Lola and Joaquin amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"We realize how lucky we are — for all of us to be together like this is probably never going to happen again," Consuelos, 49, tells PEOPLE in the cover story for this week's Family Issue. “This time has been so horrible for so many people."

For more on Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now, or subscribe here.

While sheltering in place, the couple thought about a charity they’ve long worked with: WIN, which provides services and safe housing to homeless women and their children in New York City.

Family Issue cover
Mark Consuelos, Kelly Ripa and their kids Michael (left), Lola and Joaquin on the cover of PEOPLE's Family Issue.

“We were watching our kids, with all of their technology, and Mark and I said, ‘Learning remotely is so difficult . . . how are they possibly doing this at WIN?’" Ripa, 49, recalls. "Sure enough, they didn’t have the Wi-Fi, tablets or other things they needed."

RELATED VIDEO: Like Mother, Like Daughter: Kelly Ripa and Lola Consuelos

So in March, Ripa and Consuelos donated a $1 million to the New York governor’s office and WIN, and gave another $500,000 to WIN in May. Ripa calls WIN's impact "awe-inspiring."

"It certainly made us stop complaining about spotty WiFi or kids not having a graduation ceremony," the Live with Kelly and Ryan host says. "Those things look really small really fast."

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Kelly Ripa</a> and Mark Consuelos charity
Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos at a holiday charity event.

She also encourages others to donate if they possess the means to do so.

"We hope other people who have luckier circumstances like we do will help people living below the poverty line,” says Ripa, whose oldest son Michael, 23, graduated virtually from New York University in May. “It makes a difference forever.”

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