There’s no denying the current global pandemic has impacted our lives in so many ways. Millions have lost jobs, thousands are sick and have died, and our frontline medical workers are underprepared with protective gear and equipment. We are separated from our friends and family and there doesn’t really seem to be an end in site. It’s easy to feel helpless, but there are still several ways you can volunteer and help out your community. This is the time to come together and reach out a helping hand. It’s an opportunity to show a little compassion and give back.
Mutual Aid Network
Mutual aid groups have popped in cities everywhere. They are volunteer community members running errands for elderly and/or immunocompromised conditions. Search online to find volunteer groups in your city!
Check On Your Neighbors
Don’t be shy! Check in on your neighbors (by leaving notes on their doors!) asking if they need anything. Your neighbors who have preexisting conditions or are elderly will greatly appreciate it. Do you live near families? Are they single parents? Maybe the parents are essential works. Volunteer to help with their grocery runs. No act is too small and a kind gesture goes a LONG way.
Volunteer Your Skills
This is what I’ve been doing! My skills include writing and I’ve been offering free tutoring sessions to college students and young professionals who need help with essays or resumes. I also offer job searching tips and career advice. So many students are struggling with the transition to online classes and may not be in stable or safe environments at home all day. If you can help them with their schoolwork, reach out to your network and volunteer as a tutor. Reach out to teachers you may know and ask how you can help!
Countless nonprofits around the world are working hard to implement programs, mobilizing efforts for everything from delivering meals to homeless children to providing PPE to frontline hospital workers. Please consider making donations to organizations such as Meals on Wheels, No Kid Hungry, or your local food banks. Check out CHARITY NAVIGATOR for a comprehensive list on places accepting donations.
If you have fabric, a sewing machine, or any tailoring skills, make masks for your community!
Support Small & Local Businesses
If you’re able to, purchase gift cards from your favorite cafes, delis, grocery stores, florists, hair salons, and other small businesses. If you can’t spend them now, gift them to your local cashiers, mail carriers, and others providing essential services within your community.
Stay TF Inside
Don’t go out. Even if your local parks are open and your elected officials aren’t taking it seriously… just don’t do it. There is great evidence the virus is ready to spring back for a second wave, especially come fall, and going out puts you and those around you at risk. If you MUST go out (only for essential errands) wear a mask and stay six feet apart.