Social distancing is one of the best ways you can help your community during this COVID-19 pandemic. But if you are in a position to give more, consider the following ideas for helping others during this uncertain time. Please also consider only buying what you need at stores so that others can also get their necessities.
How to Help Others During COVID-19 Pandemic:
- Donate money to local food banks. In Chicago that includes the Chicago Food Dispository or Niles Food Pantry.
- Buy gift cards to local businesses that you love to help get them through this tought time. You can use them later.
- Send e-gift cards for delivery services to friends, family or neighbors in need. Offer to shop for any neighbors who may be high risk. (Wipe down all package surfaces, deliver them without contact and of course wash your hands.)
- If you live in Chicago and you’re a baseball fan, order a shirt from Obvious Shirts to benefit displaced Wrigley Field employees.
- Many school districts are distributing meals during the school shutdown. Call to ask whether they need volunteers to help.
- Donate any extra diapers, hand sanitizer, period products, hand soap, cleaning supplies, toilet paper and paper towels to a nonprofit, food pantry or shelter.
- Donate blood.
- If for some reason you have masks or gloves, consider donating them to a hospital near you.
- If you know how to sew masks, consider making some to people in your community so that medical masks can be saved for healthcare workers.
- Call a hospital and ask to order food delivery for medical workers. Send snacks to people in your life who work in healthcare. In Chicago Heritage Bicycles has been delivering coffee and food to medical workers and you can pay it forward by purchasing the items to be donated.
- Be kind to retail workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. Check in on and offer to help your friends or family who work in these sectors.
- Remind anyone in your life who is not heeding CDC guidelines to please follow them.
- Shout out local businesses on your social media pages. Shop local as much as possible.
- Send virtual notes of appreciation to healthcare workers, custodial staff, delivery drivers and so many more who are keeping us running.
- Donate a mask to a medical worker or grocery store worker via GIR.co.
- Send tips for future services to your hair stylist, house cleaner, etc., if you use these services.
- Offer to have a Zoom call with friends’ kids to talk about something you have expertise in. It would be educational and fun and your friend would appreciate the help with homeschooling.
- If you have extra hand sanitizer or toilet paper, leave some out for delivery drivers. Oreave snacks and drinks, but wipe them down first.
- Donate art supplies to schools to give out to kids when they pick up their free lunches.
- Share Our Spare is helping Chicago families in need. You can shop its Amazon wish list.
- Leave our snacks, cleaning wipes or hand sanitizer for delivery workers and mail carriers.
- Donate to Cradles to Crayons’ Emergency Essentials Fund, which will help those directly impacted in Chicagoland by supplying them with essentials.
- Support the Arizona Undocumented Workers Relief Fund,which raises funds for undocumented working families who support our economy, industries, and communities (and pay taxes!), but who are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits or most of the federal disaster relief funds.
- There’s a Facebook group called Intellihelp USA where people post their requests for help for groceries and other essentials. I don’t know much about the group, but I have helped a few people on there when I could.
- Give food to the homeless (in a safe way).
Donate to organizations offering support during this crisis:
- Navajo Water Project
- Feeding America
- No Kid Hungry
- World Central Kitchen
- God’s Love We Deliver
- National Low Income Housing Coalition
- National Domestic Workers Alliance
- Meals on Wheels America
- Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
- Get Us PPE Fund
- One Fair Wage Emergency Fund
- UE Research and Education Fund
- Freelancers Relief Fund
- Journalists Furlough Fund
- Cradles to Crayons Chicago Emergency Essentials Fund
- Arizona Undocumented Workers Relief Fund
- Queens Mutual Aid Network
- Brooklyn Go Fund Me for Frontline Workers
- Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund
- Support Navajo Nation
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Marette Flora is the founder of Floradise blog and personalized gift shop. Marette is a passionate storyteller and creator. She attended the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication.
She is passionate about creating helpful and meaningful things.