We have all been told the best thing we can do during this coronavirus pandemic is to stay at home, unless we are essential workers who are needed to keep basic services functioning. Being stuck at home makes many of us with giving hearts feel helpless and hopeless. With a crisis going on outside, we want to help our communities survive and thrive during this difficult time. You might be asking, what can I do to help others during this pandemic besides sitting on my couch watching Netflix?
The internet has opened up so many ways to volunteer your resources and time without leaving the comfort of your home. We thought we would put together a few suggestions of ways you can help your community, so you feel like you are doing something valuable (although staying at home is very helpful on its own!). Here are a few of our favorites:
- Mask Match. If you have any spare face masks, even homemade, this website helps you donate spare masks to healthcare workers who need them, without having to leave your house. Maybe you have a few extra masks from a painting job or own a nail salon that is currently closed, Mask Match allows you to donate any unused masks to front line workers that desperately need them. The site helps you drop ship them from the comfort of your home. If you are a healthcare worker in need of mask, the site will help you get connected with those that have them as well.
- Meals on Wheels. Seniors are currently the most at risk of suffering from the serious consequences of COVID-19. Meals on Wheels delivers meals and support to seniors to ensure they don’t go hungry and aren’t left behind. Without leaving your home, you can donate food or make a financial donation to support local seniors in your community.
- Donate to a local food bank. Since there has been so much panic buying in the last few weeks, many food banks are lacking donations right now. If you do have any extra canned goods or other non-perishables on hand, consider donating them to those who are at risk of going hungry.
- Crisis Text Line. Volunteer to be a crisis counselor via text message to those in need via a secure app. The program will provide training on how to help others move from a hot moment to a cool moment via active listening and creative problem solving. Crisis volunteers are especially needed during these challenging times.
- Love for the Elderly. Social distancing guidelines have put the elderly at even greater risk of isolation and loneliness. This organization sends handwritten letters of affirmation and compassion to elderly people living alone or in assisted living facilities. These letters are even more important now, as many older adults are separated from their families and friends due to COVID-19 guidelines.
- Be My Eyes. This smartphone app connects people with vision to those with low vision or blindness, allowing them borrow your sight to solve simple daily problems and gain independence. You can help a low vision person with simple tasks like checking expiration dates, reading instructions, or navigating a new space.
- Bookshare. Bookshare connects people with reading challenges with books in various formats to help them overcome those barriers and enjoy reading. They need volunteers to help proof their digital library online.
- Donate to a non-profit. Many non-profit organizations are working to fight the coronavirus just as much as any government. Consider donating money to these organizations to help fund their efforts.
These are all great organizations that can help you stay connected to the larger community outside your four walls, without leaving your house. In every situation, even while stuck at home, look for ways to help bring positivity into the world.