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Top 3 Ways to Safely Support Your Community During the Pandemic

A guide for those looking to support their community during the current health crisis

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In the last few months, we’ve seen the world come together to fight one of the most threatening and widespread pandemics in recent history. Healthcare heroes worldwide are sacrificing their health and safety to treat COVID-19 patients and prevent the spread of the disease.

The vast majority of people, however, are not medical professionals and don’t have the opportunity to help those with COVID-19 directly. Just because we aren’t on the frontlines of the pandemic doesn’t mean we can’t do our part in supporting our community during these troubling times.

There is a multitude of different ways in which we can safely support our community. Whether it’s through donation, supporting local businesses, or helping our healthcare heroes, anything helps.

If you’d like to help but need more information, then continue reading!

1. Donate to Those in Need

Donation box with masks

Several different charitable organizations have focused their relief efforts towards COVID-19. Various organizations accept different types of donations, whether it be food, money, or even blood. You’ll need to find trustworthy organizations in your community to determine how you can help.

How Can It Help My Community?

There is always going to be a need for supporting your community through food donations, monetary contributions, or blood donations. The current pandemic has only increased the demand for these resources. For example, blood banks have seen a limited amount of donations due to COVID-19 restrictions. Also, those who have lost their jobs due to the economic downfall caused by the pandemic may be forced to rely on local food banks to feed themselves and their families.

What Are the Safety Measures I Should Follow?

When it comes to safety measures for donations, it depends entirely on your state’s regulations as well as the rules established for each organization. Most organizations will have created new processes to comply with COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines.

Where Can I Get Started?

  • GoFundMe has established its “COVID-19 Relief Fund”. By donating through GoFundMe, your donation will be distributed to several different campaigns chosen by GoFundMe.
  • GlobalGiving has set a goal of $10 million to send healthcare professionals to locations where the virus has spread. They are also raising funds to obtain ventilators, masks, and other essential medical supplies to be delivered to healthcare heroes.
  • Feeding America is accepting donations through its COVID-19 Response Fund. Feeding America directly supports the nation’s largest network of food banks. According to their website, their contributions provide over 4.3 billion meals every year to Americans in need.
  • The American Red Cross has recently encouraged healthy and eligible individuals to donate blood or platelets at their local donation centers. If you’re interested in donating blood or platelets, you can set up an appointment at redcrossblood.org.

2. Support Local Small Businesses

Support Local Businesses

We all have our favorite local restaurant or shop that we’ve been supporting for years. Small business owners across the nation were forced to close doors for months, and in some areas, shut down entirely for the safety of the public. Now that many states have eased up restrictions, many of these local businesses have reopened, allowing you to support them once again. Unfortunately for many small businesses, the months of little-to-no business have forced them to shut down permanently.

How Can It Help My Community?

This may be the most straightforward way to support your community during the pandemic. By ordering food from your favorite local restaurants, you’re directly helping them remain open as well as pay their employees. Depending on your area, some restaurants have reopened their dining areas. However, most restaurants are providing takeout and delivery options.

As for other small businesses, many have reopened their shops to customers. If you can find a way to purchase items at a local shop versus a large department store, you’ll be helping them maintain a steady source of revenue, which they can use to keep their lights on and continue paying their employees.

What Are the Safety Measures I Should Follow?

For your safety, as well as for the protection of those around you, you should try to only order food from local restaurants for either delivery or pickup. In general, you should always be trying to limit the amount of human contact you have. If you’re going to shop at local businesses, see if they have a curbside pickup service. If not, make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing when you’re in their store.

Where Can I Get Started?

  • While it will depend on your area, you can utilize food delivery apps like DoorDash, Postmates, Grubhub, and more.
  • The Restaurant Workers Relief Program is collecting donations to help feed workers at participating restaurants.
  • Contact your local businesses to see if they’re open and how you can purchase their goods safely. Again, please ensure you’re practicing social distancing and wearing a mask if you have the opportunity to shop in-store.

3. Help Healthcare and Essential Workers

Super doctor and nurse wearing medical masks and cape

Our healthcare heroes and essential workers are still on the frontlines of COVID-19, while the majority of us are safely quarantined at home. Healthcare workers and medical professionals are working on overdrive to help flatten the mortality curve. They’ve somehow managed to persevere through supply shortages and staffing issues.

Besides our healthcare heroes, essential workers are working harder than ever to maintain society’s normal functioning. Truck drivers, supermarket employees, delivery drivers, and postal workers stayed at work while we had the benefit of working remotely. We owe our deepest gratitude to both our healthcare heroes and our essential workers for their efforts throughout the pandemic.

People across the nation are sending meals, medical supplies, and gifts to hospitals and local businesses to help these individuals. If you even have the opportunity to thank someone for their efforts, it could make all the difference.

How Can It Help My Community?

Healthcare heroes and essential workers are putting their health at risk daily as they continue to work amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we should do anything we can to help make their jobs easier or make their lives better.

There have been severe shortages of medical supplies and PPE in our hospitals since the pandemic began. Without the proper medical supplies and PPE, our healthcare heroes are at a much higher risk to COVID-19. Several fundraisers are accepting donations that will be used to create more medical supplies. You can also donate PPE, including masks, eye protection, and face shields.

What Are the Safety Measures I Should Follow?

If you’d like to donate masks or PPE, please check with your local hospitals or authorities on how to go about donating.

Where Can I Get Started?

  • Mask Match is a volunteer group that collects N95 masks and surgical masks and distributes them directly to workers in need.
  • Donate PPE have put together an outline of what equipment is needed in cities across the United States. They also provide information on how people can safely donate items like masks, gloves, gowns, goggles, etc.
  • Check with your state’s public health department to see if you can help at hospitals feeling the strain. Many retired healthcare workers have taken it upon themselves to return to work.
  • Leave gifts for your mailmen or delivery drivers thanking them for their services.
  • Generously tip your food delivery drivers who are putting themselves at risk to retrieve your meals.
  • Call your local police and fire departments to see if they’d be willing to accept food from local restaurants. You’d be killing two birds with one stone by doing this!

We’re In This Together

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The last few months have been difficult for all of us, and the future remains uncertain. However, one thing we continue to do as a society is to come together to help one another in times of need. Now more than ever, we must do all that we can to support our community. We hope that this guide has provided you with the resources you need to make a difference in your community.

Remember, we’re in this together.