Now, this is a story all about how our lives got flipped turned upside down…
Yes. 2020 has been a weird year. And this new normal of social distancing is going to be a big adjustment for all of us. In order for us to all stay safe, we need to do our part, stay at home and try to flatten the curve. Unfortunately, this means a lot of businesses have been ordered to close, thousands of people have lost their jobs, and there’s a lot of uncertainty in our country right now.
The good news? It’s highly likely that you (yes, you, who’s reading this from the couch right now!) can do something to help out with relief efforts. Here are a few ways on how to help others during COVID-19.
How to Help Others During COVID-19
Unfortunately, coronavirus is threatening the overall U.S. blood supply. And not to mention, there’s already a blood supply shortage in this country.
As of March 18th, 4,500 of the planned blood drives by the American Red Cross have been canceled, which resulted in 150,000 fewer blood donations. Red blood cells are also only viable for 42 days, so it is essential to keep the contributions coming. (Source)
Giving blood is one of the best things you can do right now for this country. Not to mention, it’s free to do so! If you want to find a donation center near you, you can check out the American Association of Blood Banks locator, or America’s Blood Centers and Red Cross’ websites.
Volunteer With Meals on Wheels
Seniors are the most susceptible to COVID-19, and the CDC recommends that they stay at home and take extra precautions at this time. Meals on Wheels is an organization that supports the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. Their team offers nutritious meals, friendly visits, and safety checks to seniors living on their own.
Have a car? Have a friend with a car? See if your local Meals on Wheels chapter needs additional volunteers at this time. If you’re not able to deliver meals, you can also donate money to support their efforts.
Give to a Nonprofit
If you can donate financially, there are plenty of nonprofits out there that could benefit from your donation.
Are you looking to donate to a reputable nonprofit? Look up groups on Charity Navigator and CharityWatch. These charity watchdogs vet organizations asking for donations so that you can give back with confidence.
Support Your Local Food Bank
I’m sure you’ve noticed plenty of empty shelves at the grocery store this week. Because people in this country have been stockpiling excessive amounts of food, food banks have started to see fewer donations from grocery stores.
There are a few different ways you can support your local food bank during this time. Before dropping off bags of canned goods at your local food bank, I would give them a call to see what their needs are. Some are looking for in-person volunteers, non-perishable goods, or merely a financial donation. You can find your closest food bank here.
Support Small Businesses
Small businesses need your support now more than ever to stay afloat. Here are a few ways you can do so:
- Buy gift cards for later
- Order takeout or delivery
- Reschedule appointments rather than cancel
- Support them on social media (like, comment and/or share their posts)
- See if your local gym/fitness studio is offering online classes
- Tip, tip, tip!
Do you have any tips on how to help others during COVID-19? Let me know in a comment below!
Photo by Tom McGovern