The spread of the novel COVID-19 has forced more closures and stay-at-home orders than we have seen in our lifetime. Most of the news this month quickly inundated us with frightening stories and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is, for many, difficult.
However, research shows that when you help others during a crisis it can, in fact, lift your own spirits. Helping others, especially through a difficult time, can instill a sense of purpose within yourself. Therefore, as quickly as the coronavirus has spread, similarly so has the desire of many to aide those in need.
Here are a few ways that you can help others during the coronavirus pandemic.
Donate to Your Local Hospitals
Look for groups who are virtually organizing for those that need it most now – our health care professionals. Doctors, nurses, hospital staff, EMTs, firefighters and police officers must go to work every day in order to fight this virus. Most do not have adequate equipment currently to keep up with the demand and are working straight 12-hour shifts with no time to eat.
One local New Jersey mom created a group that has raised a considerable amount of money in just a few days. The Front Line Appreciation Group on Facebook (FLAG) grew to thousands of members who all donate funds to help to serve Madison, Chatham, nearby Morristown Medical Center and local urgent-care facilities. The organizers use funds donated to support local area restaurants by ordering and delivering food. There is also a local FLAG of Summit group serving Overlook Medical Center.
If your local area doesn’t have an organized group like this, consider starting one of your own!
Hospitals are also all calling for urgent supplies such as masks, gloves and gowns. If you have any of these supplies, call your local area hospital to coordinate drop off.
Help the Elderly
Since it’s the elderly population who seems to be most at risk to contract the coronavirus, perhaps you know of a few elderly people who live on your street or in your neighborhood? Consider reaching out to them to see if they need assistance with grocery shopping or in picking up a prescription. They may just want to hear your voice on a phone call or find comfort in you reaching out to them to offer friendly words of encouragement. If you have children, encourage them to draw a picture or write a card for you to send to a nursing home nearby. Currently, nursing homes are not allowing visitors – even family members – to visit them. Spread some brightness and cheer their way via a friendly note.
Donate to Local Food Banks
During the coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately there will still be many people – if not more – who will need to rely on food banks to eat. Many people during this crisis have or will loose their jobs and income and may turn to their food banks for meals. Consider visiting your local food bank's website or social media feeds to find out their greatest need. On your next quick shopping trip online or in the store, look for a few of those items on their list and drop it off at the food bank’s location.
Donte Funds to Reputable Causes
Search for reputable nonprofits in which to donate funds to those who are combating coronavirus. Perhaps it’s your local area United Way or Red Cross or Global Giving office. A local nonprofit has also been established recently to combat the pandemic called the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund (NJPRF). Search the news or internet and find a nonprofit whose because you feel closest to and donate.
However you choose to help others during this novel pandemic, rest assured that by doing so, you’re also helping yourself. In this time of uncertainty about our health, by banding together around those who are fragile, it will ultimately make us all stronger in the long run to face the future.