When natural disasters strike, there are a host of ways for individuals to give back and help out their communities. However, in the case of COVID-19 when we are told to practice “social distancing,” it is significantly more difficult. Because of this, we have compiled a list of ways to assist your communities in the face of this global pandemic, while still helping to “flatten the curve” and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Here are some ways to help out:
- Support local restaurants: Many restaurants are still open, but rather than offering customers the option to dine in they are offering curbside pick-up or delivery. Restaurants are going to continue to be hit hard by the pandemic, so we encourage you to still support your favorite local restaurants and order meals to-go. Don’t worry, you can still maintain proper distancing by paying by credit card over the phone and asking for delivered food to be left on your porch, or that food being picked up by you to be placed on a table outside the restaurant.
- Donate money/non-perishables to local food shelves and other charities: Charities are doing their best to provide high-risk individuals with the food and other provisions they need to get through this difficult time. And while many charities, including food shelves, are limiting the number of volunteers in order to prevent COVID-19 spread, you can still donate canned goods, hygiene products and money to help organizations make sure people are getting the supplies they need.
- Donate blood: There is a significant need for blood, so if you’re able to give then this is one of the best ways to help out your community. Check with your local Red Cross, blood center or clinic to see what their requirements are. But remember to hold off on donating blood if you are feeling ill!
- Reach out to friends and family: We are social creatures, and social isolation will begin to take its toll very soon. One of the best ways to give back is to reach out to your friends and family to see how they’re doing. Schedule video chats or regular phone calls organize virtual parties or find multi-player apps that allow you to socialize from a safe distance.
- Stay inside: While it may feel like this is the opposite of helping but staying inside and avoiding going out is actually the BEST way to help out your community. By practicing social distancing, you are helping to prevent the spread of the virus.
- Offer assistance to at-risk neighbors: If you are healthy but have a neighbor who is elderly, immunocompromised or has other underlying health issues, see if there are ways that you can help out. This may include picking up essentials for them or checking up on them, preferably over the phone. See if they need prescriptions picked up or are in need of resources.
- Don’t hoard: We hope this one goes without saying, but with the toilet paper shortage currently going on, it’s worth mentioning. Many individuals cannot afford to purchase essential items in bulk, so please only buy what you need in order to leave enough supplies for others. Have extra? Donate them to a local food shelf, charity or an individual you know who is running low or in need.
While these times are uncertain, our hearts are full seeing communities working together to make sure everyone is staying healthy and safe. Finding ways to give back may take some creativity, but we encourage you to support your communities in any socially-distanced way you are able.