Just because you’re not an “essential” employee doesn’t mean you can’t help. Here are seven ways for you to make a big difference during this time of crisis:
- Keep Yourself Safe First make sure that you keep yourself healthy! Each time you wash your hands, make sure it’s at least for 20 seconds. Stay home to flatten the curve and use social distancing to keep yourself healthy. You can’t help anyone if you’re already sick, so be sure to take care of yourself!
2. Donate Blood According to the Red Cross, there’s a critical blood shortage. As more people become infected with the coronavirus, there’s less people to donate blood. Find out where you can donate blood at their website here.
3. Help Healthcare Workers There is no CDC approved way to make homemade masks, so we can’t recommend donating them. There is Mask Match, a 100% volunteer-run project designed to get medical supplies to verified healthcare workers. If you do have N95 masks at your house (used for household projects, so check your garage, your basement, closets, etc.), Mask Match will arrange for them to be sent to hospitals without you having to leave your house and they will match your donation. Don’t have any masks or gowns or gloves? You can donate money to the Mask Match as well, and help cover the cost of shipping these vital resources to those who need them most!
4. Help Food Banks and Restaurants Everyone needs food. Donate time, food, or money to your local food bank. With school closures, non-essential businesses closing, and rising unemployment claims, food banks are expecting a giant surge in demand and need your help. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your house, you can donate to Feeding America, and help senior citizens, the disabled, and children in poverty without any risk. Help support your local restaurants by ordering takeout and buying gift cards. Buying gift cards allows the restaurant to use the money now while still getting you food later, letting them stay open.
5. Help The Elderly Stuck At Home DOROT, a New York City based organization whose mission is to alleviate loneliness among the elderly and housebound, are looking for volunteers to make phone calls. After a short webinar and two personal references, you’ll be matched with a senior and talk on the phone once or twice a week, for four weeks. The phone calls take place between 10:30 am to 7:30 pm EST and at the phone volunteer’s convenience. If you’re not a fan of phone calls, try writing a letter for Love For The Elderly and send someone anonymous good wishes without requiring money or making a phone call.
6. Become A Crisis Counselor If you’re a night owl or early riser with reliable internet and your own computer, you can become a crisis counselor. Crisis Text Line is looking for night volunteers who can commit to 30 hour training and then contribute 4 hours a week. This international organization is a free hotline, open 24/7 for people in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. If you’re unable to make such a commitment, they also accept donations. Check out their United States website here.
7. Join Your Local Mutual-Aid Network All over the world, communities are coming together to help out. They’re using Google Sheets, of all things. It’s a mutual-aid tool, where neighbors can post their needs, such as groceries, pharmacy runs, translation services, etc., and others can choose to answer the call. Join yours or start one in your area here. In this invisible war, we’re all in this together. Join us in doing your part to help stop the virus! We can do it!
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