The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are much more than people getting sick. Millions of people have lost their jobs, applied for unemployment, and cannot afford to buy food right now. Businesses have been forced to close and medical personnel have been running short on face masks, blood donations and other supplies.
While there is help through the US stimulus checks and applying for SBA loans, we may ask ourselves, “what can I do to help?”. It is easy to feel helpless when we see people suffering.
There are some ways we can provide relief and boost people’s moral during this time, and in return feel boosted ourselves. Here are just a few listed below.
Donate Blood Safely
A serious blood shortage has affected the American Red Cross, however in gratitude to volunteers, many immediate needs of patients have been met. Plasma donations are needed especially from people who have recovered from COVID-19 as they have antibodies that will attack the virus.
Many blood banks, including the Red Cross have strict precautions in place to protect donors and themselves while drawing blood. Consider donating your blood through the American Red Cross to support those in need.
If you cannot give blood, consider a Red Cross car donation to help them in their vital work of saving lives.
For those who simply cannot afford to buy food right now, food banks and food pantries have become a vital source in helping families. Donate food or money to your local food bank to help those in your community. If you don’t have the means or money to donate to your local food bank, you can gift an unwanted vehicle to Elk Grove Food Bank who has been helping to feed the hungry since 1974.
People over sixty are the most vulnerable during this pandemic. Many are unable to go to the store for food due to illness or disability. The Meals on Wheels program has experienced a lowering in government funding, affecting many older people who have relied on this help.
To help this crucial need, consider a money donation to Meals on Wheels by ACC, or if you have a vehicle you are not using, donate a car to Meals on Wheels. Your donation supports this non-profit group in helping seniors receive non-perishable meals.
Support Local Businesses
All across the country, millions of services, bars, and restaurants have closed to walk-in customers. While some have remained open for pick-up or delivery, others have been forced to shut down and let go of their employees. This only adds to our Nation’s unemployment.
Here are some ways to help your local businesses stay afloat.
- Order pick-up or take out from local restaurants.
- Buy a restaurants cookbook if they have one
- Check out your local businesses websites to find ways you can make donations or buy gift cards from them.
- Create a “Neighborhood Pledge” with your neighbors to select a business to support. Encourage everyone to buy gift cards, pledge to eat there once a week, and gather donations for that company.
- When receiving a delivery, tip the driver or service worker well. Tip over the 20% to be supportive. They are likely having fewer shifts and could use the extra tip money.
By supporting your local restaurants and businesses, you can help their cash flow to weather this storm.