7 Ways to (Safely) Help Your Community Right Now
With so much uncertainty in the world, it’s only natural to feel stressed. For many people, one of the easiest ways to combat stress is by doing something productive. But if you’re not out there serving your community as an essential worker, what can you do to help? These seven ways to help out can make a big impact while keeping you and your community safe.
It’s very rare that staying home can be considered helping your community, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to make a difference by doing nothing! Many individuals suffering from COVID-19 suffer from mild to no symptoms, so when they go out into the community, they may unknowingly spread the virus. While some people recover from the virus easily, for others, it is deadly. Staying home not only reduces the likelihood that you’ll catch the virus, but it also slashes the risk that you’ll spread it. To do your part, stay home for all but essential activities. Check out the CDC website to learn more.
Donate to Food Banks
Since so many schools are canceled, many children who received free or reduced lunches at school may not be getting the food they need. To make matters worse, many adults who relied on their work to provide for their families have lost their jobs. This leads to an increased need for food banks. Donating food or money can help members of your community who are struggling. If you want to want to keep your distance from other people, you might consider calling ahead to see if you could leave your donation outside.
Many local businesses have a low profit margin, so they may be particularly hard hit if they get less business or need to shutter their doors. If you need supplies, consider buying them from local stores that remain open.
You might also check in with your favorite local businesses to see if they sell gift cards or certificates. Some businesses sell these through their websites, while others might be able to if you give them a call. This extra money could help keep small businesses afloat until the crisis is over.
Blood banks are experiencing severe shortages. Many individuals are social distancing, and they are hesitant to give blood. The Red Cross asks that the following groups wait to give blood: people who were in contact with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient, people who recently traveled to heavily affected regions, and people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. However, the Red Cross encourages healthy, eligible individuals to donate. If you are concerned about your safety, you may want to read more about Red Cross donation safety protocols.
Pick Up Groceries for Elderly Neighbors
Because they are considered at a higher risk, many older individuals are hesitant to go shopping. However, they may still need basic essentials. If you still go into stores, consider reaching out to any elderly neighbors before your next trip. You can buy things for them while you pick up your own items. Then, drop them off by your neighbor’s door or in their garage so they can pick them up without interacting.
Foster a Pet
Many animal shelters are short-staffed. While workers try to meet the basic needs of all the animals, they may not be able to give them as much personal attention as usual. Fostering an animal can help relieve shelters and give you excellent company to hunker down with.
Reach Out to Others
During these stressful times, people you know may need someone to talk to. If you know someone who you think might feel lonely or isolated, giving them a call or sending them an email may help them feel less disconnected.
What are you planning on doing to help your community during the coronavirus pandemic? Share your ideas in the comments section below!