COVID-19: How Can I Help?

Right now, millions of us are stuck at home and feeling hopeless and helpless. While we pray for better days ahead, we have some time to focus our energy on doing greater good.

With schools and businesses closed, many families are going without food and paychecks. We have our healthcare workers who are working endlessly to save lives and they need food and supplies to stay safe and healthy. We have a massive blood shortage, we desperately need volunteers. Add in the need for support counselors, equipment, and numerous other resources, there’s a way for everyone to do their part.

No matter how you can help, monetarily or not, here are some ways to give back during these scary times.

Make Sure People Are Fed

Feeding America: Donations to the COVID-19 response fund will help food banks support the most vulnerable communities affected by the pandemic with their nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 panties.  You can donate here or find your local food bank here.

Boys & Girls Club of America: Funds are used to provide groceries to children, as well as academic support, which is much needed during this time. You can donate here.

No Kid Hungry: Funds provide free access to meals for children in need. They recently provided $5 million in emergency grants to help schools and communities. You can donate here.

Feed the Children: Partnering with several agencies, including food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and churches, this organization makes sure no child is left hungry. You can make a cash donation here. If you want to donate food or hygiene items call 1-800-627-4556.

Ronald McDonald House Charities: Housing may be affected during this time as they try to make room for healthcare workers. Donations will help to continue providing meals, housing and support for families of children with serious illness who must be away from home. Search for in-kind donations being accepted by your local chapter. You can donate money here.

Health Aid and Protection for Medical Personnel

COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund: This was created by the United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation to support the World Health Organization in their effort to help at-risk countries monitor the spread of the virus, testing and vaccine development, and protective equipment for medical workers. You can donate here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The institute created an emergency response fund where you can give to local health departments, global efforts and protective gear for medical workers.

Direct Relief: The organization has made supply deliveries to the United States, China, the Caribbean and South America, specifically to help medical professionals protect themselves from COVID-19. You can donate here.

Partners in Health: The organization helps provide patients in developing countries with long term, dignified care. It will use donations to test more than 200,000 people, help international governments coordinate and help local community health workers find the right course of treatment. You can donate here.

Americares: The organization is putting its efforts into delivering supplies, leading support groups and skill-building workshops for healthcare workers all around the world. You can donate to them here.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):  They take any supply that you or your company may have of protective equipment or other medical equipment using this online form to propose what you are offering. May local local-term-care facilities and homeless shelters also need PPE, including hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, and disinfectant wipes so make sure to call those places in your area.

National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources: This association will collect inventory from businesses and delivers to schools, churches and non-profit organizations. Businesses can donate their goods by filling out this form or by calling 1-800-562-0955.

Salvation Army: Through its nationwide outreach, the Salvation Army ensures people have access to food, shelter and child care. Outreach includes food pickups, community-based food delivery, and meals at Salvation Army facilities. It also caters to first responders with hydration and snacks. You can donate here.

United Way Worldwide: By supporting local United Ways and the 211 network, a free emergency support service, that helps support communities struggling due to COVID-19. Funds help by helping families connect with food panties and aiding those in financial distress. You can donate here.

For the Children

Save the Children: Your donations will train health teams worldwide on how to protect themselves and prevent further spread of COVID-19. They are also providing protective equipment and other supplies front-line health staff need. In addition, they are protecting children and families that may be separated due to quarantine. You can donate here.

First Book: They deliver 7 million books to children in need. With schools closed down, many children are forced to do distance learning and many may not have a computer or internet service at home. Others may not even have a book to continue their reading skills. You can donate here.

Photo Credit: First Book

Mental and Emotional Support

National Disaster Distress Helpline: It provides 24/7, free and confidential emotional support to people affected by natural or human-caused disasters across the United States. Your donation will help them to build up their support team, support Helpline callers and texters, and help people get through this difficult time. You can donate here.

No Money Required

Donate blood: The American Red Cross has announced that there is a massive shortage of blood donations. Our medical professionals desperately need blood and platelet donations. If you are in good health, this is a great way to help your community. To find a blood donation location near you, you can visit the Red Cross site and make an appointment to donate platelets or plasma. And yes, the Red Cross is taking every precaution to ensure that you remain safe from COVID-19 when you go to donate.

Don’t hoard: We all want to make sure we have enough household items on hand but take only what you need.

Support local businesses: If you’re not in a position to spend extra money to support local places, one thing you can do is help promote them. If you follow them on social media make sure to like and share their posts. They will appreciate it!

Report price gouging: Many are taking advantage of the situation and charging an unreasonable amount of money for inexpensive items such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer. You should file a complaint with relevant government agencies, such as your state attorney general’s office if you witness any price gouging.

Foster a pet or volunteer: May local pet shops and shelters are having trouble getting staff to come in and care for the animals. And many of these animals need a loving home. Pet therapy can be a wonderful thing!

Grocery shop for a neighbor: If you are heading to the grocery store, make sure to ask any neighbors who may be alone, have preexisting conditions or be elderly. They will appreciate it and it will keep them out of harms way.

Share your experience: Want to help during this pandemic? Diabetes Daily donated our rapid research platform to help leaders respond to this pandemic.  Your anonymous insights on symptoms, social distancing, masks, the economy, and more will be analyzed by a talented group of epidemiologists and public health experts and shared publicly. Please take this 3 minute survey here.

If you happen to be a mental health or another health-related professional, you may want to volunteer your services. Look online for local opportunities to serve.

If you’re experienced in engineering, software development, etc. , there may be a need for your expertise in your area. Click here to learn more.

In times of crisis, it is so nice to see the world come together. People have been donating their time and money to help the lives of many. We can all be sure to contribute in some small way.

In what ways have you helped during the pandemic? Share and comment below!


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