Updated: Apr 23
by Tori (She/Her)
With the current situation concerning COVID-19, it’s difficult for us to find connection with others, let alone do community service. This disconnect can feel disheartening, frustrating, and isolating. I’d argue that now is a more important time than ever to reach out and help others.
Helping others can ultimately help you by having something to do, rather than feeling anxious about the state of the world. It does, however, require some creativity to do so. I’ve compiled some ways to help others while still staying safe and healthy and continuing to practice social distancing.
Write a letter or make a card.
This is a very simple way to make someone’s day. You can write a letter to a friend, grandparent, cousin, or anyone else you think might enjoy getting some mail. If you want to get especially creative, you could print a card from your computer, draw a picture, or make a mini-painting on watercolor paper. Anything that makes the note more personal is even better!
Make monetary donations to charities.
This may not be available to everyone, especially if you’re struggling financially. However, there are plenty of websites to help others in need if you feel comfortable doing so. Food banks are organizations that always need donations, especially now. Simply look up your regional food bank’s website, or you can even donate to a food bank in a specific area that you might now live in.
NYC Food Bank: https://www.foodbanknyc.org
Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY: https://regionalfoodbank.net/donate-money/
Donate supplies to healthcare facilities.
If you have masks or latex gloves, there’s likely a healthcare facility by you that could use them! N95 masks, in particular, are extremely important to keep nurses, doctors, etc. from being exposed to the virus. Here are some ways to donate materials (from the NY Times):
NY Department of Health: https://apps.health.ny.gov/pubpal/builder/survey/nys-covid19-tracking-offers
SUNY Downstate: https://www.downstate.edu/health-alerts/
AFYA Foundation: https://afyafoundation.org/covid-19/
Check in on neighbors, elderly family members, or others in your community.
See if there’s anything those around you need. Even a simple phone call asking if they’re staying healthy may help them to feel less lonely, especially if they live alone. Talk to your friends. Make sure they’re doing ok - mental health issues can often be exacerbated by this change in routine and lack of certainty. However, seeing a friendly face that cares tends to help.
Delivering groceries to elderly people or any people who are at higher risk for COVID-19 could be extremely helpful. If you feel comfortable buying supplies at a store and dropping it off on their doorstep, they would most likely be very appreciative.
All of these are great starting points to staying healthy while also helping others in the midst of everything going on. Make sure to look after yourself and, in general, the best way to help others is by being kind.