With a majority of American public systems and privately owned businesses closed, it’s no surprise that there are going to be those who need a helping hand in the days to come. If you find yourself in a position to give back, here’s a comprehensive list of organizations that are on the front lines of this pandemic.
Feeding America is a nationwide organization that harnesses support from local communities to the federal government to keep low-income families supplied with food. Right now, its biggest concern is children whose schools have closed, cutting off a source of healthy, free meals. Feeding America also has a running list of food banks across the country, if you’d like to donate closer to home.
Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels delivers food to seniors—safely, per CDC guidelines, as older folks are at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19—and makes sure they’re not left on their own while the country hunkers down. You can donate to the national branch or call up your local Meals on Wheels provider to see how you can help.
According to medical researchers, the half-million homeless people in America are at a higher risk of contracting coronavirus, and shelters around the country have been advised by the CDC to conduct screenings. Meaning, the already-stressed shelter system will need more assistance than ever. Look to this directory of homeless shelters to find one near you.
American Red Cross
The coronavirus outbreak appears to be keeping Americans from donating blood. Hundreds of blood drives have already been canceled, but if you’re healthy and still have access to one near your home, the Red Cross is asking that you schedule a time to donate. To be clear, there is no evidence that coronavirus can be spread through blood, and Red Cross employees will employ stringent safety precautions.
To make more of an impact in your area, shop locally online, or help small businesses by buying gift cards to use for later. Similarly, a staggering amount of local artists and performers will lose a portion of their income due to quarantine and social distancing. Look to your favorite artist’s Patreon or GoFundMe pages to help support them. In our greatest times of crisis, it’s the banding together of people that will ultimately see us through.