How Can I Help?

This unprecedented pandemic has now reached every U.S. state and has touched communities in ways that would have been unthinkable just a few months ago. As our brave healthcare workers fight the fight on the frontlines, there are things you can do to help your communities as well.

Stay at Home!

The number one thing you can do to help your community and our brave healthcare workers is to stay home. Need groceries, use a delivery service. Need to grab something at the store, call ahead and see if they offer curbside pickup. Have to go to the bank or the credit union, download their mobile app instead. Want to visit a family member, use Skype or Facetime. Only go out if you absolutely have to.

Donate Blood

Due to the cancellation of blood drives and the closing of some collection centers, the US is facing a severe blood shortage. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to maintain a sufficient supply. Contact these organizations to help:

Help Non-profit Organizations

One of the best ways to help is to donate to organizations that have the infrastructure in-place to assist communities during a crisis. Not everyone is able to donate now, but if you can afford to, here are a few to consider:

  • The CDC Foundation - Supports the critical work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently the CDC Foundation is raising emergency response funds to enable the CDC to respond better during this crisis. You can donate on their website.
  • The Center for Disaster Philanthropy - Assists nonprofits working in areas identified as having high numbers of affected individuals and those working with vulnerable populations. Some of their work includes helping health-care workers with purchases of masks, gowns, gloves and other protective equipment; supporting quarantined and vulnerable individuals; and hygiene promotion campaigns to limit the spread of the virus. You can donate at their website.
  • Meals on Wheels - Delivers nutritious meals to the country’s most vulnerable seniors. Your donations will help replenish food supplies, subsidize additional transportation and personnel, and enable tech-based efforts to check in on isolated elderly recipients. Visit their website to help.
  • Direct Relief - Helps equip doctors and nurses with lifesaving medical resources. The organization is delivering protective masks, exam gloves and isolation gowns to health-care organizations in areas with confirmed covid-19 cases. Visit their website for more info on how to help.
  • Feed the Children - this children focused organization works with thousands of partner agencies across the country including food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and churches to provide food and needed resources for children. Make a donation on their website or call 1-800-627-4556 to donate much needed items.
  • The Children’s Inn at NIH - A residential “Place Like Home’’ for families with children participating in leading-edge research studies at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. While the NIH takes care of the child’s medical needs, The Inn tends to the child’s heart, soul and spirit. Visit their website for more info on how to help.
  • Friends of Patients at NIH - Provides Hope by giving emotional and financial support to patients receiving groundbreaking and life-saving treatments at the NIH. Visit their website to help. You can donate on their website.
  • Special Love - Giving a community of support to cancer families, made up of other patients and families who know and understand the trials and triumphs of the cancer experience. Visit their website to help.

Don’t see your charity of choice, feel free to explore Charity Navigator to find charities in need of support during this crisis.

Donate Your Stimulus Check

As the government’s stimulus checks begin to hit accounts all over throughout the country, the money will help millions of Americans survive this crisis. But if you are in a position where you don’t need the stimulus money, consider giving it to someone that does or donating it to one of the worthy organizations listed above.

Support the Arts

When you think of artists, you probably think of the rich and famous, but most artists are not rich or famous. With no concerts, art galleries, shows or plays, many of these artists are struggling. Now is a great time for you to support your favorite artist by buying their work online, subscribing to their online content or by supporting them through an organization like CERF+. Their covid-19 response fund is a safety net for artists who contract the virus and are suffering severe health impacts. You can donate on their website.

Support Local Restaurants

Restaurants have been some of the hardest hit businesses during this crisis. If you want to help them, you can order delivery through an online delivery service or even donate to a restaurant's employee fund. Many restaurants have started funds like these to help support their out-of-work employees until they are able to reopen. Want to know if your favorite restaurant is delivering or has set up an employee relief fund, the best way to find out is to visit their website. One other great way to give a local restaurant a much needed infusion of cash, is to buy gift cards from them. This gets them much-needed cash now and it gets you a great meal for the future.

Help a Furry Friend

Because animal shelters in cities across America have closed and adoptions have slowed dramatically, you can help our furry friends by adopting a pet. Most shelters have online adoption services where you can check out photos or videos of amazing pets that need a home. Don’t have a lifestyle that accommodates a pet, use your time inside during the crisis to consider becoming a foster parent to a pet. Who knows, you may fall in love and end up keeping your new quarantine buddy. The Best Friends Animal Society has a site where you can search for organizations near you that need help.

These are just a few of the things that you can do to help out during the crisis. Can you think of any other things that people can do to help, leave them in the comments below.