Ways to Help During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Everyone is affected differently during this time. Some people feel it more than others including workers who can’t call out sick, older people, and individuals who cannot afford quality healthcare or have access to it.
The coronavirus has reshaped our routines and how we live our day to day lives. Schools have shut down, employees are asked to work from home (if they can), and sporting events have been postponed or canceled until further notice.
This shift in society has caused chaos in grocery stores and everyone is rushing around to meet their own needs. Individuals and families are stocking up on supplies for the chance of quarantine. However, there are some groups that will feel this crisis more than others.
Regine A. Webster, the vice president of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy said, “the most vulnerable among us will be hit the hardest and take the longest to recover. Remember there will be physical health, mental health and economic impacts of the pandemic long after the initial outbreak.”
The most important action we can take as individuals to stop the spread of COVID-19 is washing our hands properly, social distancing, and staying home if we are sick.
Beyond these measures, there are other ways we can help, volunteer, or offer resources to those in need.
During this health emergency, the supply of personal protective equipment is critical. Face masks are a necessary type of personal protective equipment to help protect from droplets expelled by a sneeze or cough as patients seek medical care.
It doesn’t matter if you can sew or not, we will tell you how you can help.
If you can sew:
You can make a huge difference by sewing face masks that can be worn, washed, and reused. This helps preserve the supply of professionally manufactured personal protective equipment.
- NEW tightly-woven, breathable cotton fabric or another tightly-woven breathable fabric blend. You can make them in any color or pattern you want
- Elastic Banding
- You may use any instructions you find on the internet to make your facemasks. Here are some of the tutorials we recommend.
If you cannot sew:
You can still help those in need by donating materials needed to make masks and the organization will find someone that can make the masks.
Where to donate face-masks:
There are multiple organizations requesting donations. If you go to this website they will provide you with a list of organizations in need of mask donations. You can use the filters to find an organization in your community in need. You should contact the organization directly to determine their needs. Plus, this directory is updated frequently, so check back for new organizations added to the directory.
If the link doesn’t work, copy and paste this link into your browser
Meals on Wheels Volunteer
Meals on Wheels helps deliver meals to older people who are not able to leave their homes. This company is anticipating a spike in demand during this outbreak. Health officials have recommended individuals over the age of 60 to take precautions and stay home since they are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus. Isolation for those individuals can be extremely difficult and have long term damaging effects.
Healthy volunteers are needed for some Meals on Wheels chapters to make deliveries during the outbreak. Some other chapters are keeping in touch with seniors from a distance through their “telephone reassurance” programs.
To volunteer in your community, you can find local Meals on Wheels providers by clicking this link.
If the link doesn’t work, copy and paste this link into your browser https://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/find-meals?mod=article_inline
According to the research group, Candid, corporations and philanthropists across the world have donated about $1.3 billion into addressing the coronavirus crisis thus far. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation alone has committed up to $105 million from Microsoft.
The result of the spread of the coronavirus has left industries no other choice besides laying their employees off. It’s important to note that you do not have to be a billionaire to make a difference. Charity Navigator and CharityWatch have lists of vetted charities working to address the outbreak around the world.
Blood donations or platelets are requested by The American Red Cross. They are looking for healthy people who are feeling well to help donate.
You may be asking, is it safe to donate blood, or are blood drives testing for the coronavirus?
Chris Hrouda, the president of the Red Cross Blood Services said, “as fears of the coronavirus rise, low donor participation could harm blood availability at hospitals, and the last thing a patient should worry about is whether lifesaving blood will be on the shelf when they need it most.” According to The American Red Cross, there is no evidence that the coronavirus can be transmitted through blood transfusions.
You can find a blood drive or donation site near you by clicking this link.
If the link doesn’t work, copy and paste this link into your browser https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive?mod=article_inline
Help the Homeless
There is a significant risk for individuals without a home right now due to coronavirus. In general, they have poorer health, often lack sleep, and often have weakened immune systems due to preexisting conditions. They are also the least likely to be insured.
Rick Brown, spokesman for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council said, “Because of this, they are at significant risk — much more so than they actually are to pass COVID-19 to people with healthy immune systems, like many people with housing.”
It is recommended for individuals like you to contact your local homeless service organizations and homeless shelters to discover what they need most.
Donate to Your Local Food Bank
Store shelves are being wiped out of non-perishables as Americans brace themselves for self-isolation. Intense stockpiling has decreased food bank donations from retail and grocery stores. Feeding America is a network of 60,000 food pantries and meal programs nationwide along with a network of 200 food banks.
A COVID-19 response fund has been set up by Feeding America to help build an inventory of food boxes to distribute.
We understand that volunteering at a food bank in person is ill-advised since we are told to practice social distancing, but it is recommended for you to call one of the food banks in your area to ask what their needs are. You can donate to them online and raise awareness by sharing it on social media.
To find a food bank in your area, click this link.
If the link doesn’t work, copy and paste this link into your browser https://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank?mod=article_inline