In times of uncertainty, coming together to help is essential to the well-being of our local communities. If you’re looking for ways to support those in need during the coronavirus outbreak, there are several ways you can lend a helping hand without even leaving your home. Reach out to neighbors. Donate what you can. Stay at home to protect the health and safety of others. These are all ways you can help do your part. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can help others amid the coronavirus pandemic.
We know how important it is to stay connected to each other and to acknowledge, support and thank the people around us, especially right now. From providing inspiration to our community, to supplying equipment to our front lines, Shutterfly For Good is committed to making a positive impact in any moment.
Check On Your Neighbors
Stay connected with your neighbors by reaching out to them online or giving them a call or text to make sure they’re doing okay. Ask them (especially elderly neighbors) if there is anything that they need. If you have what they’re looking for, offer to drop it off at their front door so they can pick it up while maintaining social distancing guidelines. Checking in is a great way to stay connected, offer some comfort and reassurance, and to make sure that your neighbors have everything they need.
Donate Your Money And Time
One of the best ways you can help people is by donating what you can to your community. Giving money and food to local food banks is essential during this time. If you are healthy and feel comfortable, reach out to your local food bank to see if you can volunteer your time in-person.
Coronavirus-fighting hospitals need supplies and protective gear like N95 face masks, hand sanitizer, goggles, gloves, soaps, gowns, surgical masks, face shields, and disinfectant wipes. Check your local hospital’s website for information on what they need and how you can donate supplies.
For more ways to help and information on relief funds you can donate to, follow this guide on organizations that are helping during the coronavirus.
Show Appreciation To Those On The Frontlines
So many essential workers are working on the frontlines of the coronavirus, keeping their communities healthy, safe, fed, and supplied. The service of medical professionals, grocery store clerks, police and firefighters, delivery people, sanitation workers, teachers working virtually, and more are deeply appreciated. If you have a healthcare worker or essential worker in your life, show your support by sending them a thank you note or gift expressing your gratitude.
Another way you can help those in need is by offering first responders a place to stay if you have an unoccupied living space. Giving them a place to stay can help provide comfort during these uncertain times.
Get Your Kids Involved
While your kids are at home, help them get involved with thanking our everyday heroes — the essential workers. Set your kids up with art supplies to help them decorate creative thank you notes that they can send to hospitals or stick in your front windows for all who drive by to see and appreciate.
To share their gratitude, share your child’s artwork with the hashtag #CreateThanks. Shutterfly will transform their creative works of art into thank you cards and posters and deliver them to essential organizations. Find more information and check out the #CreateThanks digital gallery here.
If you are healthy and have not been exposed to anyone with COVID-19, consider doing your part to help others by donating blood. The American Red Cross is looking for blood donors due to a blood bank supply shortage created by the recent cancelations of blood drives nationwide. To see how you can donate blood locally, try the American Association of Blood Banks locator, visit the American Red Cross website, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
Even when following social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders, you can still do your part to help others by volunteering remotely. With online volunteering, you can make a difference right from your couch. There are organizations you can join that provide virtual companionship with senior citizens. You can also find helpful student mentorship programs to assist and tutor students online. Support those in emotional distress by signing up as a volunteer for a crisis hotline. Do your research on how you can give your time to a good cause and help others through virtual volunteering.
Help The Homeless Community
People without homes are among the most vulnerable and face a significant risk from coronavirus. Rick Brown, spokesman for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, recommends contacting your local homeless shelter and homeless service organizations to find out what they need the most now. Homeless shelters are in great need of cleaning supplies, gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, water bottles, and similar items. Consult the websites and social media pages of the providers in your area to see if they have a wish list and instructions on how to make donations.
Support Local Restaurants
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, you can show your support by offering some much-needed financial assistance to the restaurant industry and small businesses without being physically present. Ordering takeout meals for pickup or delivery can go a long way in helping these mom-and-pop shops and their employees. Restaurants have been pivoting and are offering curbside pickups and takeout, and taking online orders through food delivery apps like Doordash or Seamless. Delivery services are even offering no-contact deliveries, an important precaution to preventing the spread of the coronavirus so you can order your meals safely. Make sure to tip your delivery person extra to show your appreciation.
Purchasing gift cards and certificates help restaurant staff now, and you can use your gift card when the restaurant reopens. You can also browse or search for restaurants to purchase gift cards from in cities across America at supportlocal.usatoday.com.
Take Care Of Yourself
Self-care is essential at a time like this, and ensuring that you’re taking care of yourself is also a way you can help others. Making safe and smart choices like following social distancing guidelines, washing your hands, and educating yourself with the rules set by health care officials helps keep the people around you healthy. When you stay home, you are doing your part to help others.
There are so many ways to help people during the coronavirus pandemic. Whether you’re donating money, volunteering your time, or practicing social distancing to protect others — you’re doing your part to make a difference. For even more information on coronavirus, make sure to visit our related resources below: