What began as a viral outbreak in China has now turned into a multi-faceted crisis around the world. In addition to thousands dying from the deadly virus we have unemployment, poor health care access, and with shutdown/lockdown orders, risk of depression, anxiety, addiction relapses, obesity, and isolation to name a few.
Many want to help, but feel they can’t due to “stay-at-home orders” or financial strain. So depending on your current situation, here is a wide range of ways we can help eachother throughout this crisis.
Food Bank Assistance
Food banks across the country are struggling to meet the needs of local grumbling tummies. In addition to homeless and undeserved populations they regularly serve, now millions more have lined up at distribution centers needing food and supplies.
Feeding America Food Bank Network projects they will need an additional $1.4 billion dollars over the next 6 months to supply food to the hungry.
Southern Nevada’s Feeding America partner, Three Square, has been supplying local residents 1.3 million pounds of food a week.
$5 can help feed a family, so a fundraising page has been set up to help Three Square here.
Feeding America has a secure donation page found here.
Canned Food Drive/Food Collection
If you can’t donate money to your local food bank, organizing a neighborhood food collection with social distancing measures can be easy.
Designate a garage as a drop off site, for example, and neighbors can schedule drive up drop offs. Food must be packaged and bagged, with the bag only being touched once clean gloves are warn, and recipients of the drop off locations wear gloves when bringing in the bags to the storage destination.
The same holds true with clothing. While we’re home on lock down, find rarely used clothes or goods that could help a family in need. Hold a neighborhood or church collection and arrange for pick up or drop off with your local charity, even if its after the lock down.
Salvation Army is serving the needs of not only the hungry but also providing hydration and snacks to first responders. Donations can be made here.
The need for blood has jumped exponentially, and many have been unable to hold drives or regularly donate blood and platelets. Your blood donation can save up to 3 lives and is easy to do, even under lock down measures. Local blood banks take social distancing into account and offer easy and comfortable ways for you to give your lifesaving donation.
To make an appointment visit Vitalant, American Red Cross, or your local blood bank.
Help a Senior
Many seniors are at high risk for COVID-19, so getting groceries or prescriptions at their pharmacy could be scary and dangerous. If you are not ill and have clean gloves and a mask, you may be able to help get essential items others can’t.
Phone/Text a Friend
Being isolated can wear anyone down, and hearing the voice of a friend can turn a gloomy day bright. Use our “social distancing” time to enhance bonds instead.
Keep Those Funny Posts Com’n
Many of you are under-credited with the amount of cheer you share with your humorous social media posts. I can honestly say I smile each day when I go online and see a funny meme posted on Facebook. So keep it up, it’s very much appreciated!
Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.