You may have already seen the effects that widespread sickness and shutdowns have had in your community due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this widespread crisis, many of our neighbors, friends and family are facing an uncertain future.
Whether they own small businesses, work for them, or are reeling from the virus itself, there’s no doubt that it’s time to step up and help.
Here are three impactful things that we can all do to lessen the burdens of our neighbors and help our communities begin to recover.
1. Donate to Local Organizations
While there’s nothing wrong with donating to national organizations, pledging your aid to local charities ensures that your help is more likely to be used responsibly. Additionally, you’ll be able to visibly see the benefit that your kindness has on your local community.
When it comes to donating, the hardest part is that there are so many deserving charities. If you feel conflicted, keep in mind that local food banks, senior citizen centers and non-profits providing meals for low-income school children are all great choices.
If you decide to donate to a national organization, be sure to use sites like Charity Navigator to make sure that the organization has been historically responsible with donations. Here’s a list of nonprofits specifically fighting COVID-19 that we really appreciate:
CDC Foundation: Combat Coronavirus
Dumplings Against Hate
Feeding America COVID-19 Response Fund
Global Giving’s Coronavirus Relief Fund
Meals on Wheels National Chapter (you can also donate locally!)
No Kid Hungry
Feel free to email us at [email protected] with any additional recommendations, and we’ll add them here!
2. Volunteer Your Time
The economic repercussions of COVID-19 will eventually affect everyone, although undoubtedly some more than others. So if you don’t have the resources to donate but you still want to help, don’t worry – volunteering is the next best thing!
Keep in mind, the CDC recommends that we limit gathering as much as we can, and we keep our physical distance whenever possible.
If you’d like to volunteer but want to remain within the CDC’s guidelines, it’s possible that you may be a good fit to deliver packages from local food banks to those in need. You’d primarily deliver the packages roadside while avoiding large crowds of people. You can also volunteer to walk dogs or go grocery shopping for senior citizens and other at-risk groups.
Some good samaritans with sewing machines are also making masks for low-supply areas, while others are dropping off cans of food at local shelters. For those with a soft spot for furry friends, fostering (or even adopting!) a dog or a cat is a huge show of support for local shelters.
However you decide to provide altruistic support, know that your gestures will be greatly appreciated by your community. The most important thing to remember right now is that no act of kindness is too small to make a difference!
3. Support Local Businesses
While everyone is impacted by this crisis, small businesses unfortunately are a huge casualty. Many people are worried about the long-term effects that the pandemic will have on the economy, our nation’s workforce, and the individual. Although there’s no doubt that we will see this impact reflected in our local communities, there is something simple that we can do to help: shop local.
When we shop with small businesses, we’re making sure that our money stays within our communities. A dollar spent locally keeps our neighbors employed and strengthens the local economy.
Here are just a few ways to support local businesses:
- Call for takeout from your favorite restaurants
- Order products from neighborhood stores instead of large corporate retailers
- Buy gift cards to keep your local spots encouraged to continue, even if they’ve had to temporarily shut their doors
- Follow a cool place on social media to show your support and increase their visibility
Big or small, business or individual, we’re all going to be dealing with the aftereffects of the COVID-19 crisis for a while. The important thing is to support your community however you can comfortably do so!
The Big Takeaway
A lot of terrible things have happened because of this virus, and our communities will be left reeling from the aftermath for a long time. That being said, the outpouring of support across the country (and the world) is proof that there’s plenty of good people among us.
Like Anne Frank said, “You can always give something, even if it is only kindness.”
Whether it’s a financial contribution to a charitable organization or a simple act of compassion, your community will undoubtedly benefit from your help!