During this time of uncertainty it was initially hard for me to imagine how I could be helping others while stuck at home. However now more than ever, it is important to come together and support one another. Our hope for the future can be bright if we all learn to lift each other up in times of distress. I have recently discovered a few ways to give back during quarantine whether that be on local or national levels.
1. Offer to pick up an elderly persons' groceries
Because older people are more susceptible to COVID-19, many are afraid to leave their homes but have no one else to get groceries for them. Try calling an older neighbor of yours and offering to pick up their groceries. It will surely brighten their day!
2. Purchase gift cards
Many local businesses are struggling with little to no customers. Lots of stores are now offering online gift cards that can be used at a later time. This way, we can support our local businesses and enjoy shopping with the gift cards after quarantine. For example purchase a gift card for the local coffee shop or restaurant you typically go to.
3. Offer to tutor
With parents working from home, many are struggling to balance their own work while teaching their children. Additionally, children might not be getting the proper help they need with school being closed. Try calling a neighbor and offering to tutor their child. You can even tutor virtually!
4. Donate to RMH
Although Beta Epsilon wishes dearly that we could have our spring philanthropy event, we are still accepting donations for the Columbia Ronald McDonald House. The house is still providing support for many families during this time and all proceeds raised will go towards meals and household items for our local families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Morgan, a current guest staying at the local Ronald McDonald House in Columbia, South Carolina says
“Being able to stay at the RMH during the COVID-19 outbreak has provided my family with a safe and clean place to stay. The closure of outside guests makes me feel safer because it lessens the risk of the virus entering the house. It means everything to be able to remain close to my little Soren and still be able to have my oldest son and mom staying in the house as well.”
5. Give blood to the Red Cross
The Red Cross is currently facing a severe blood shortage as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Many people rely on donations from the Red Cross to stay alive. 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to coronavirus concerns, resulting in some 86,000 fewer blood donations. Despite quarantine, you can still donate blood to help save someone's life by scheduling an individual appointment with the Red Cross. This can be done online or via phone call.
6. Food Banks
With the closure of schools, many children who would typically receive free meals from school are now hungry. The organization No Hungry Kid is deploying funds to make sure these kids are still being fed. They are accepting donations on their website. Many more organizations such as Meals on Wheels and Feed The Children are raising money for similar causes.
7. Call a loved one
Try giving a family member or close friend a call! Having to limit social connections has been harder on some and you never know when a family member might need to talk. If this virus has taught us anything, it is to not take anything for granted so pick up the phone and express your gratitude!
8. Donate to hospitals
Many hospitals are facing shortages of essential supplies such as face masks, hand sanitizer, wipes and gloves. If you have an excess of any supplies, your local hospital may appreciate the donation. Some hospitals are even requesting homemade face masks. Try calling your local hospital or donation center to see if you can co tribute!
9. Write a Letter
While stuck at home, most of us have a little extra time on our hands. Try to take this time to write a letter to someone you have been thinking about. A handwritten letter can be so much more meaningful than a text and may brighten someone's day more than you know!
10. Stay at home
The most crucial and impactful thing you can do during this time is to stay home in order to keep others safe!