As we try to maintain a sense of normalcy during this abnormal time, we recognize there are so many whose lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Think about what resources you have and how you can help spread positivity and make someone’s day brighter.
1. Help Your Local Nonprofits
Many nonprofits have limited financial reserves to carry them through lean times ahead, putting them in a difficult spot. If you have the financial means, consider making a donation to them directly to get through this tough time.
If you have extra time, consider volunteering. Due to health and safety considerations, many regular volunteers, particularly those who are at higher risk due to age or medical conditions, will need to restrict their usual commitments leaving nonprofits shorthanded. Reach out to local charities and ask how you can best support them with your time, keeping your safety in mind. There are often helpful things you can do from your home or via social distancing.
Share local volunteer opportunities and guidance about where people can give to help those impacted. Seeing your example will help those in your network to realize that they can take action too.
2. Give Blood
Due to the cancellation of many blood drives, the American Red Cross is seeing a blood supply decline. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to maintain a sufficient supply. Find a blood drive near you where you can donate safely.
Right now, the American Red Cross encourages healthy, eligible individuals to schedule a blood or platelet donation appointment at redcrossblood.org to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and avoid any potential shortages. Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood. The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need of transfusions.
3. Check in on Friends and Family
Social distancing has led to a dramatic decrease of social interaction that many people thrive off. We can’t go to coffee or dinner with friends right now but you can still call your friends and family or video chat. Everyone can use some virtual face-to-face interaction from our homes.
If you have elderly friends and family check in and see how they are doing or if you can help bring them groceries or supplies to leave at their doorstep. Sometimes people just need someone to talk to, especially those who live alone – lend a listening ear. This outbreak can bring anxiety and overwhelming emotions for many. Sharing how you are coping and keeping busy during this time may spark a new idea for someone else.
4. Buy Gift Cards
As so many local businesses, bars and restaurants have been forced to close, the best way to show your support is to buy a gift card. Having some income from the gift cards could be the difference to help a business get back up and running again.
Support local restaurant who are offering carry-out food service. This is one way they can keep a portion of their business open and employees employed. Don’t forget the tip! These restaurant workers are still putting food on your table. Show them you appreciate them by leaving a generous tip.
5. Thank Our Essential Workers
Medical professionals, first responders, grocery store workers and so many more are at the front lines every day risking themselves for the lives of others. Show them your gratitude! Many restaurants and individuals have arranged meals to be delivered to make these workers’ busy days a little brighter. Additionally, for healthcare workers, Direct Relief is accepting donations to focus on providing protective equipment for healthcare workers around the world. On a local level, research the hospitals in your area and see if they have a fund in place for COVID-19 support or are accepting donations of supplies.
The simplest way to thank someone is also the easiest way – just say thank you and be kind.
The best way everyone can help is to stay home. Social distancing is difficult and against our normal nature but it can be crucial to flattening the curve and getting us back to our every-day normal. Together we are #WisconsinStrong.