News and personal accounts of the devastating impact on the new Coronavirus on the United States has left many of us feeling powerless and overwhelmed.
If you aren’t a health care worker or other essential employee, you may be wondering how you can help.
First, take a moment to be grateful to be at a place where you can think that way. Many people are in pure survival mode and don’t have the financial, mental or emotional means to help others or even themselves. The fact that you are willing and able to think about aiding others is a huge privilege.
So you want to do something, but what? The numbers are overwhelming, you may not always know what to believe, or where the help is truly needed.
I have felt this way myself. I was saddened by the impact of this virus, and was searching for some way to make a difference.
Luckily, I was able to find answers within myself, through the magic of positive social media and via my own family, including someone who is an expert in philanthropy.
But, even with all this knowledge, where do you start?
For me, tangible good you can feel starts within your community. Because of necessary social distancing measures, many local businesses are suffering. You can support your favorite neighborhood restaurants and shops by purchasing gift certificates to use at a later date, order curbside take-out or contactless delivery, or see if they have an online shop and buy from there.
If you are searching for a non-monetary way to help, consider volunteering to deliver meals to needs families, grocery shopping for seniors or posting encouraging signs around your neighborhood.
Pick The Cause That Means The Most To You
Most of us don’t have millions or even thousands of dollars to give away freely, yet there are so many causes that need funding, making it difficult to prioritize where to give.
Start by asking yourself which cause(s) mean the most to you. Maybe you want to support hospitals and healthcare workers. Or, perhaps you are called to give to organizations supporting members of the “gig” economy (think Uber drivers, wait staff, etc.) Then again, your heart might be called to serve victims of domestic abuse and violence. This virus is impacting many vulnerable communities, and any way you choose to help matters.
Giving Can Take On Many Forms
While monetarty donations are often most needed, supporting those impacted by the new coronavirus doesn’t have to cost much if anything at all.
Sending cards to health care workers is a simple and inexpensive way to offer encouragement to those on the front lines. You might even consider sharing some kind words on your local hospital’s Facebook page. And, of course, there are our first responders who are putting themselves out there to keep us safe. A thank you to them is always appreciated.
Suggestions On How To Help
If you are still at a loss, here’s a short list of causes and other ways you can show your support. This by no means an exhaustive list, and please feel free to share your suggestions in the comments.
Donate A Meal To Service Workers
Zaro’s is sending meals to first responders and healthcare workers in the Bronx, N.Y..
Sanctuary For Families
New York-based organization helping victims of gender-based violence and their families
One Fair Wage Emergency Fund
Supports tipped and service workers
I Support The Girls
Non-profit which works to bring bras as well as menstrual hygiene products to those in need.
For ways to help both during this pandemic and beyond, check out the Blogging for Better section on this website.