Supporting our local communities is essential during challenging times. The coronavirus pandemic has brought uncertainty into people’s lives, neighborhoods and communities. Many of us may be grappling with how to support each other amidst the increasing outbreak, stay-at-home orders and social distancing.
Here are a few ways to connect and make a difference in your community during this difficult time.
- Support Your Local Food Bank
Consider donating non-perishable food items to your local food bank. Contact the organization in advance to determine what items they are able to accept and how to safely drop off your donation. Financial donations are usually preferred to help restock their shelves with pre-packaged, nutritious items that can be easily distributed to those in need.
Many food banks are also distributing emergency kits to households facing food insecurity and volunteers are needed to assist in these efforts.
- Check in on Your Friends and Neighbors
Showing concern to those in your community by conducting virtual wellness checks on your friends, family and neighbors can bring others comfort and relief, especially those who are elderly or isolated in their homes. If possible, consider offering to help an elderly neighbor with their grocery shopping or assisting with other errands. With today’s technology, there are many ways to stay in touch and help each other cope with the stress of the pandemic (texts, calls, video chats, etc.).
- Explore Remote Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteering is an excellent way to utilize your skills and get directly involved in relief efforts. Platforms like All for Good, VolunteerMatch, and GivePulse allow you to search for virtual service opportunities that you can fulfill from the comfort of your home.
- Donate Supplies to Local Healthcare Providers
Healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus response are in need of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, latex-free gloves, soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes. Contact your city or local health agency to check what items can be accepted and where to donate.
- Offer to Teach or Tutor
Many families are experiencing extreme hardships such as job loss and housing uncertainty. Areas with school closures face the added challenges of remote learning. Consider reaching out to a current or former teacher or offering to help parents in your community with their student’s schoolwork.
- Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
The most important thing you can do for your community during this time is to follow the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We can best keep each other safe and healthy by following basic guidelines such as wearing a mask, observing social distancing and washing our hands thoroughly.