There are currently thousands of people around the nation who are suffering greatly due to the Coronavirus Pandemic that has swept the globe. However, there are many ways for others who are not as affected to help those in need. This includes healthcare workers, blood centers and plasma banks, restaurants and grocery stores, mail services, as well as those who are sick, poor or elderly.
From job loss, food insecurity and lack of funds, these times can be very difficult for those of us at home and those who continue to work. There are many ways to help others by simply asking what you can do to help, encouraging others to stay motivated, and learning what you should and should not do to help reduce the spread!
If you are wondering what it is that you can do to help give back to your community during a time of need, this is the place for you! Try taking advantage of the extra time that you do have by making donations to local food banks and animal shelters, or even volunteer at a hospital or find a way to interact with others.
Remember to practice social distance from a safe space of at least 6 feet apart! We have included direct links for donations and other ways to support people in the community as well as simple ideas that just about anyone can do!
Donations and Support
You can help support blood banks and plasma centers in big and small ways during the coronavirus pandemic by continuing to donate! This is especially important for people who have previously been diagnosed with COVID 19 and have since recovered. Read more about how you can help below!
American Red Cross Blood Bank
Blood donations are always important and always needed. At the moment, blood drives have been cancelled. However, the American Red Cross is encouraging those with scheduled blood, platelet or AB Elite plasma donation appointments to keep them as planned.
Attending your scheduled appointment is a way for blood clinics to prepare for the duration of the pandemic by maintaining stable supply.
America’s Blood Centers, It’s About Life
America’s Blood Center (ABC) has recently partnered with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority as a way to help support local blood banks across the nation.
They want to draw attention to the importance of blood and plasma donations as this could be a potentially life saving treatment method for those who are critically ill with COVID 19. This is an opportunity for people who were previously diagnosed with COVID 19 and have successfully recovered from the virus to donate their convalescent plasma, which now contain antibodies for the virus!
If the above applies to you, contact your local blood or plasma bank to see if you qualify and how you can help out. Find more information about the joint proposal and agreement here.
American Red Cross Plasma Bank
Currently, the American Red Cross is seeking assistance from people who have previously recovered from the new coronavirus. Past patients are being asked to donate their convalescent plasma to help current COVD 19 patients. Those who have recovered from the virus now contain an antibody in their plasma that can be used to attack the virus.
To qualify, you must meet these specific eligibility requirements as described below:
- Be at least 17 years old and weigh 110 pounds. There are additional requirements for those who are 18 years or younger.
- Must be in good health and generally feel well, even if being treated for a condition.
- Lastly, you must have a prior, verified diagnosis of COVID 19 and are now completely symptom free having recovered.
A donor eligibility form can be completed online via the Red Cross web page, or visit the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) web page to learn more.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
The Center for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) of the United States is working hard to find a way to help those who are currently suffering from the rampant COVID 19 coronavirus. The CDC Foundation has created an Emergency Response Fund which will allow the CDC to focus on needs around the world and establish a quick response to critical emergency situations. Help support the foundation by making a donation!
Ways to Help out Food Banks, Soup Kitchens, Shelters and More
There are many ways to try to give back and help those in need throughout our communities by making food donations, necessary material items such as clothing, and even monetary donations to help support the establishments discussed below. What is something you think that you can do to assist those in need?
Feeding America Food Banks
If you are looking for a way to support local food banks in communities in your area and across the nation, Feeding America has established a Coronavirus Response Fund designed to help those suffering financially with food insecurities. People all across America are trying to find ways to cope with abrupt school closures, health risks and more.
The COVID 19 Response Fund is a national effort program that has worked closely with government leaders to ensure guidelines for the federal nutrition program are being met for the children. The fund is also helping to build up the inventories of foodbanks nationwide as necessary. Read more about what Feeding America is doing to help those affected during the pandemic on their webpage.
No Kid Hungry Organization
The No Kid Hungry organization understands that there are currently millions of children across the nation in need of healthy meals as a result of the pandemic school closures. By supporting the No Kid Hungry Response to COVID 19, the organization is able to find ways to help schools and communities feed needy kids.
Meals on Wheels
Local Meals on Wheels programs around the country are seeking support from community members. Recently, the Meals on Wheels COVID 19 Response Fund was launched in an attempt to support demands needed by local communities.
By donating to the program, you will help ensure that senior citizens in your community and others around the nation are receiving the things that they need most!
Reach out to your local Meals on Wheels to see what types of unique essentials are most needed. You can also reach out to the friends and loved ones in your life who may be older. See how you can help them during this crazy time.
The Covenant House is doing everything possible to ensure that homeless youth have a safe place to come to when they are in need. Especially now more than ever before, it is important for places like the Covenant House to receive the support they need in order to continue the great work they are doing for the young people across the country!
You can support this cause in 3 ways:
- Gifts that Save Lives – This is for individuals who want to give a gift donation to a needy child at the establishment! For example, donating just $50 will feed 3 new residents for 1 day.
- Partnerships with Impacts – This is an opportunity for companies to partner with the organization with a program that is dedicated to helping homeless young people find a way out of homelessness and enter into the beginning of their new, productive lifestyles.
- Or, simply donate!
The Little Pantry
What began as a small way to help community members in immediate need has quickly evolved into something much bigger since the beginning of the pandemic. Around the country, there are multiple locations listed where you can find these Little Pantries to help feed neighbors. Leave what you can, take what you need!
How to Support Animal Shelters Locally and Nationwide
We can not forget about our furry companions that live in our homes as well as the ones who live in shelters around the country. Animals and pets alike are also needing just as much help now as ever before! The organizations included below are working hard with support from the public to ensure that all animals are being properly cared for.
There are many ways to help support local pet stores, pet hospitals, veterinary centers and most importantly animal shelters during this time. Try contacting those in your area to see how you can help. Ask about temporary foster, adoption opportunities, and items that are needed can be donated.
The Dodo: The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Help Animals Right Now, Caitlin Jill Anders
Animal shelters rely heavily on their employees and volunteers to assist with caring for the animals. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, reliability quickly became a main concern. However, there is still a way for people in the community to help these shelters during this transitioning time! As described by The Dodo, the biggest thing for people who are looking to help to do right now would be to offer foster care to your local shelter! If interested, it is as simple as searching for pets that are available to foster. Or, you can simply contact your local shelter or rescue as well.
Make sure that you are prepared to take in a pet before making the decision to do so. Not only is this a great idea to alleviate some of the strain on resources for shelters, but this is also a great opportunity for these animals to sleep in a warm and cozy home surrounded by love. Remember, each program is different so be sure to research and ask questions!
The Humane Society of the United States Animal Shelters
The Humane Society has launched a COVID 19 Relief Fund that is designed to support animal shelters as well as rescue groups and other organizations currently being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Local shelters are doing all that they can to assist the community with a lot of help from the humane society’s funding and distribution strategies.
The relief fund is not only going to help animals in shelters around the country, but will also help to ensure that pets will be able to stay with their owners as well despite any circumstances.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
The ASPCA is a national nonprofit that is staying very active in their response to COVID 19 with recovery and relief efforts around the nation. The organization’s main concern is focused on the safety and health of their employees as well as the animals that they care for.
Recently, the organization launched the ASPCA COVID 19 Relief and Recovery Initiative. This was based on a $5 million commitment from the ASPCA dedicated to help animal welfare organizations and pet owners alike.
If you are able to and are looking for a way to help, donate money or food to the organization in order to help support them during the pandemic. This effort will also help to better prepare the organization for other types of emergency situations.
Support Medical Professionals and Healthcare Workers
Those on the frontline include emergency responders, EMTs, emergency care workers, nurses, doctors, surgeons and so many more important individuals who are needed now more than ever before. There are so many ways to help support these individuals, including donations and volunteering.
Necessary medical equipment that is currently needed includes: N95 respirator masks, protective gear, disposable gloves, headbands, sanitizer, liquids, soaps, disinfectant, goggles. Many hospitals and care centers are having to ration and reuse their PPE gear as there is not enough to go around.
Contact your local hospital and other healthcare centers to see what is needed and how you can help. There may also be volunteer opportunities as well. Patience and gratitude always goes a long way, try recognizing someone you know!
The American Medical Association
The American Medical Association recommends for any person with PPE, medical grade masks, or other types of protective gear to contact their local hospitals or health departments to see how they can be donated.
There is also a really great website called Getting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Our Healthcare Heroes for current healthcare workers who are in need of proper PPE gear. This is a great way for the public to view what is needed and for those who do have proper PPE gear to get it to those who do need it! This program reaches nationwide to assist with protection shortages.
Lastly, you can always make monetary donations to your local hospitals, clinics and other healthcare locations in your area.
An organization called Frontline Foods was established recently as a way to raise funds from the community to help support local restaurants that are working to feed the healthcare workers on the frontline. With your tax deductible donation, volunteers then match local eateries with a frontline facility in the area.
It is explained that 100% of donations go directly towards supporting the restaurants involved. With your help, healthy meals are being served to those battling the coronavirus head on.
Food for Heroes
Included in the COVID 19 Emergency Relief Fund for the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is an important program known as Food 4 Heroes in order to provide hot meals for healthcare and other essential workers safely. By making even a small donation of $10, your generosity will guarantee a meal for one of the individuals working the coronavirus frontline.
Another great way to help out is seeing how you can volunteer as a healthcare worker or become a part of the task force in your area.
The Direct Relief fund was created as an organized approach to ensuring protective gear and critical care medications to healthcare workers and medical facilities across the United States. The fund partners with public health authorities, nonprofits and other businesses in the nation to provide these necessities. See how you can help!
Support the Arts and Performers
From writers, to painters, dancers and musicians, there are many different areas in the art world that are currently suffering from the pandemic as well. However, there are still many ways to help support these different artistic expressions and the talented faces behind the work!
Artistic Relief Project
The Artistic Relief Project was established to financially support artists, musicians and performers who have been impacted by COVID 19. Donations to the project will be dedicated to offer relief to various artists and individuals with immediate short term help by providing a one time stipend while exploring other potential longer term options as well.
Book Industry Charitable Foundation
The Book Industry Charitable Foundation represents supporting booksellers and comic book retailers with assistance from community donations. The people receiving this help have been affected by COVID 19 due to medical costs, risk or eviction, disaster assistance and so much more. Supporting these store owners will make a huge difference in the outcome of the future of their stores!
Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID 19 Emergency Assistance Fund
The COVID 19 Emergency Assistance Fund was created as a way to support actors and other theater workers by collecting community donations and then matching every dollar collected! This fund partners with the Actors Fund for important service programs, like financial assistance, health insurance expenses and more! Funds are made available to all those in the performing arts and entertainment industry.
Support Local Restaurants and Small Businesses
Currently, there are countless restaurants, fast food establishments, diners, gas stations and more that have been closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many individuals have been temporarily displaced and are without any source of income at this time. However, there are locations that are working hard to create delivery and carry out options to serve their customers that are safe for their employees and the general public!
Not only are there several restaurants around the country that are working hard to restructure the way their operations work, but they are also trying to accommodate their own living expenses as well as the cost to remain open at this time.
You can always call the restaurant to order an order for delivery or take out, most even have ordering options available online. Try buying gift cards to use for future purchases or when you can visit the establishment once it reopens! Remember, it is always a great idea to support the local diners and restaurants in your area.
Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation
The Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation launched the RWCF COVID 19 Emergency Relief Fund supported by donations made from the public. The funds made in this relief effort will be directed as follows: 50% for direct individual relief, 25% for nonprofit organizations assisting those in crisis, and 25% for zero interest restaurant loans.
It is a great time to shop online, both locally and nationally. However, it is always a great idea to try to support local small businesses in your area, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Try looking into your favorite brands and see if they are having any specials during this crazy time!
Another simple way to support your favorite small businesses is as easy as liking, sharing, or commenting on their social media posts regarding products and similar things. Word of mouth can be a very powerful tool, especially in today’s society!
Who is Most Affected by the Coronavirus?
It is a scary time in the world right now, but it is very important to remember who is it that is being affected most by the COVID 19 pandemic. The poor, the sick, the elderly and children alike are just some examples of individuals who are either affected in some way by the coronavirus or run a very high risk of contracting the illness themselves.
The youth are still developing their immune systems. The elderly are struggling to fight the virus due to already existing conditions, poor immune systems and immunosuppressants. Immunocompromised people, like cancer patients, those on dialysis, and people with COPD are the ones that may suffer the most in the end.
There is also a large part of the population who do not have insurance, or even the ability to pay for medical care. It is important to ask what you can do to help.
Try helping your neighbors if you can by offering to make a trip to the grocery store for them, offering to babysit if you are able, or simply checking in with other people in your life.
Reach out to family and friends via text, email, phone call or video chat. Try to keep in contact with coworkers, employees and others you encounter daily. Routine is important!
You Can Still Volunteer and Here is How
Try contacting your local food banks, pantries and kitchens to see if there are ways for you to volunteer and help out. You can also volunteer your time through virtual companionship through an online community dedicated to people supporting people. This is another great way to interact with the elders in your community as well, through video chat, as many homes have closed their doors to visitors as a safety precaution for residents.
Another great idea is to become a volunteer for a crisis text line working as a counselor anywhere in the world. This is a remote position that anyone can give a try. Remember to listen actively, collaborate to find a resolution, and prepare a safety plan!
Lastly, there are many organizations that are working to help people with medical costs. Try doing some research to see what organizations are trying to help out in your community! This could be a great opportunity to help someone out, anonymously or otherwise, knowing exactly what it is that you are helping them with.
Other Ways to Help Your Community
These are some more ideas for ways that you can give back to your community, most of which you probably have not even thought of yet! Try thinking out of the box, but remember to practice social distancing and careful hygiene practices.
A great way to start would be by looking into ways that organizations that are working to help others afford their bill costs, including necessities such as water, electric and heating. There are also many people and families who are unable to afford enough food. There is always the opportunity to pay it forward, like donating extra pantry items to shelters and food banks.
If you own or run a business, now might be a great time to offer home positions to those newly unemployed, if possible! Due to the rise in unemployment, this may be a great opportunity to reach out to others in your immediate area, in your state or around the country by offering them a job. This new source of income could be the thing that changes everything for them!
Lastly, it is important to still support and find enjoyment in museums and performers of the art world. Although you may not be able to physically visit, try taking a virtual tour of your local museum. You could maybe even virtually tour one in Chicago, or better yet one in the heart of Paris! The options are endless, see what you can find!