As we continue to watch the Coronavirus pandemic on a global scale, it’s safe to say that, for many, this holiday season will be very different from those before. However, if giving back to your community is one of your holiday traditions, there are more opportunities than ever to safely help your local area.
Not only does giving back to your community reinforce ties with your local network, but the act of doing so may lower your own stress and anxiety, boost your disposition, and give you a sense of purpose and focus during these unprecedented times. No matter your situation, there is a way in which you can help out. See our list below with ideas to help you get started on giving back this holiday season!
Make a Monetary Donation
While there are many people without the means to make a monetary donation, if you are one of the lucky ones with extra funds, consider donating to an organization that is making a difference to the pandemic. Check with local nonprofits, food pantries, shelters, hospitals/hospital associations, medical networks, or schools to see if you can make a financial donation.
Other possibilities for making a financial donation include donating to those who have lost jobs due to shutdowns, essential workers, and families impacted by the death of a loved one via online crowdfunding sites, such as GoFundMe, or donating directly to the National Foundation for the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.
Make a Donation without Money
If you do not have the money to make a monetary donation this holiday season, there are still a number of organizations that you can help. A number of local nonprofits, schools, businesses, and medical organizations are accepting donations of food, cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), clothing, and computers.
Another way in which you can donate is by donating blood or plasma. Donated blood is needed now more than ever, and blood donation agencies have committed to the highest standards in safety. And if you have recovered from the Coronavirus, donating plasm could save the lives of those currently suffering.
Support Local Business
While the local business community has worked hard to open up safely over that past 9 months, there are still a number of businesses facing reduced profits and hardships. This holiday season, consider doing your shopping at local shops. Many have created new eCommerce sites that allow you all the convenience of bigger stores, while still supporting your very own neighbors. Another great option is buying business cards to local establishments to use at a later date or give away to family and friends as holiday gifts.
Donate Your Skills and Time
This is a great opportunity to get creative with how you can give back. Know how to sew? Many hospitals are still accepting donations for homemade masks. Come from a business background? A number of businesses would benefit from legal advice, financial services, and marketing expertise such as web design or social media help to meet clients in the virtual world. And for those parents who have children attending school virtually, a tutor can be a lifesaver. Offer up your skills on social media, in local neighborhood groups, and amongst family and friends. You never know who you can help out!
Volunteer SAFELY in person or virtually
There are a number of organizations that still rely on in-person volunteers to continue their work. Contact these organizations and see ways in which you can assist. Many of these organizations are taking more volunteers to drop items off at individual homes or moving volunteer shifts outside to ensure a safe volunteer workspace for all. If you are someone who would feel more comfortable volunteering from the safety of your own home, there are options for that, too! Organizations like Meals for Wheels are asking for volunteers to check on senior citizens by calling them on the phone. Other programs, like Be My Eyes, pairs the blind and visually impaired with at-home volunteers to help them, over video chat, with everyday tasks.
Provide Support for those Struggling with Mental Health
Another area in which you can give back from the safety of your home is by providing mental health support. With so many in the community feeling isolated, Crisis Call/Text lines are looking for volunteers to assist with the surge of outreach for mental health support. In addition, services such as Health Hero Hotline allow you to leave messages of support and gratitude to healthcare workers.
Check-in with Your Sphere
One of the easiest ways to give back is by checking in with your own sphere. Take the time to make phone calls, and offer assistance to your loved ones, neighbors, friends, or co-workers. You can offer to run errands or holiday-gift shop for those who are health-compromised or older to help them avoid any potential crowded stores, offer to make meals for someone who has been impacted by Coronavirus, or simply offer good conversation to those you care about. We promise whatever you do, the gesture will be appreciated.
Continue to Practice Community Safety Restrictions
Lastly, we urge you to continue following the local public health guidelines. Making an effort to keep yourself healthy and keep those around you healthy is a wonderful way to give back to your community during this challenging time. Please do not underestimate the help you are providing by helping to slow the spread of the virus down.
We hope that you and your loved ones have a wonderful holiday season!If you have any additional tips about giving back this holiday season, please let us know in the comments below.