The chaotic times during the COVID-19 pandemic have left a lot of us feeling lonely, bored or unable to help. If you’re healthy and able, there are many ways you can support your community during these times. Below are just a few examples of how you can get involved while still maintaining a safe social distance and taking necessary precautions.
Donate to your local food pantry or food bank
The pandemic has left many people out of work, unable to afford food for their families. You can help by making a monetary donation to your local food bank. You could also start a food drive and collect nonperishable goods to donate to a food pantry.
Support small businesses
Many small businesses are struggling to make ends meet due to a lower number of sales and having to temporarily close down. You can support these businesses by purchasing gift cards to use at a later date. Many businesses have also implemented online shopping options so you can order items from home. You can also support local restaurants by buying gift cards or ordering takeout. Many restaurants are changing their takeout processes to ensure safe social distancing and health measures.
Support a COVID-19 relief fundraiser
Many reputable organizations have started fundraisers to help those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis. Research one that resonates with you and volunteer time or make a monetary donation to the cause.
Support the elders in your area
Elders are part of the most vulnerable population at this time. You can support them in many ways. Reach out to elders in your area and ask if you can go shopping for them. They may be unable or afraid to go to the store. You could also volunteer for a local program such as Meals on Wheels to deliver food.
An easy way to support elders is to contact your local nursing home or retirement facility and see how you can support the residents from afar. Many of them are unable to see visitors, but would love getting mail. Have your kids draw or paint a picture and attach a positive note to send to the facility.
Make masks or donate supplies
Many cities and counties are now requiring that citizens wear masks in public spaces. Frontline workers are also in need of reusable face masks. If you can sew, make some masks to donate to your local hospital or community members. Here is a quick guide to get started. If you don’t sew, you can donate fabric, elastic and other materials to someone in your community that can sew. Identify those people by reaching out to friends and family or looking on social media.
Join AAIA 20 minutes of community prayer every Friday
The Association on American Indian Affairs holds a virtual 20 minutes of shared community prayer every Friday. Check their Facebook page for times and each week’s focus of prayer.
Follow the guidelines
Most importantly, try to limit your time outside of the home. Follow the guidelines laid out by the Center for Disease Control and do what you can to protect yourself and others. Check the guidelines laid out by your county and city as well.
Outbreaks like COVID-19 can be stressful. If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others:
-Visit the Disaster Distress Helpline or call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
-Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233