With COVID-19 changing our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined months ago, it’s easy to focus inward and worry about ourselves. While you need to take care of yourself, there are other things you can do to help out the community at large, including:
- Checking in on your neighbors. How are your neighbors doing, especially the elderly ones on your street? A simple call or a text message can be a welcome ray of sunshine during these stressful times. Even knocking on the door of your elderly neighbors and chatting through the screen door can be just the support they need. Ask them if they need any groceries or other items you may be able to provide.
- Donating blood. Now that we’re practicing social distancing and only going out for essentials, there’s been a large drop in blood donations. The good news is, as long as you’re healthy, donating blood is still a safe activity. Simply call your local donor center to schedule an appointment.
- Limiting trips to the grocery store. Cook, eat and store your food before making that trip to the grocery store. If you have too much food, share it with your neighbors. Also, make sure to eat your leftovers.
- Making a donation. Food banks are struggling to provide necessities to needy families, so if you have extra hygiene products or food, send them their way. If you have the resources, consider donating to an organization that’s on the front lines of fighting the fallout from the coronavirus. The Baptist Health Foundation is partnering with our communities to offer two ways you can provide support – by donating commercially manufactured personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 masks, gowns and gloves or through financial donations to the Baptist Health COVID-19 Emergency Assistance fund. Your support will provide assistance to employees and patients as well as provide other essential items needed to support the health of our community. Please visit https://www.supportbaptisthealth.org/ to learn more or to make a donation.
- Feeding healthcare workers. Many healthcare workers are putting in long hours helping those infected with COVID-19 and are relying on restaurant take-out to stay nourished during long shifts. Look for a group in your area that’s supporting these efforts and consider making a donation or volunteer to help get the food to the hospitals.
- Putting your own skills to work for free. Many brick and mortar stores are struggling to change their business models and could use some help. If you’re a web designer, you could help them with their website to accommodate for delivery of their goods. If you write for a living or are a skilled photographer, help out by writing copy for their sites or by taking pictures of products to be offered online. If you’re a lawyer, consider donating your services to businesses needing legal assistance. Yoga and other fitness instructors can offer online classes to help keep the community active and healthy. Whatever your skill, look for someone in need who can truly benefit from it and help them out.
- Supporting the arts. Museums, ballets, and theaters are losing millions of dollars and the people who make those organizations thrive are suffering as well. Consider making a donation or becoming a member to help offset the incredible losses they’re experiencing as a result of COVID-19.
- Fostering animals. Many animal shelters are suffering due to staff reductions and lost volunteer sport. Call your local animal shelter to see if they need any help or, if you can, offer to foster a pet.
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If you have more questions or concerns about COVID-19, go to BaptistHealth.com or visit other reputable sites, such as the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).