As we watch the Coronavirus pandemic play out on a global scale, it’s easy to feel helpless. But no matter who you are or what your situation, you can make a difference. Even if you’re quarantined at home, there are still many ways to get involved and give back, including donating money or supplies, volunteering virtually, and checking in on people who might need support. There is always something you can do to help others. And by helping others you will also help yourself. Research shows that volunteering makes you happier and healthier.
- Start with your community
- The easiest way to give back is by reaching out to the people you know. Neighbors, friends, co-workers, and relatives can all benefit from a friendly text or video call. It may seem like a small gesture, but don’t underestimate the positive impact of checking up on someone. Start with those who might feel vulnerable right now. This could be your elderly neighbor who is cut off from their social connections or your friend who suffers from anxiety and depression. Providing a touchstone for someone during this time is one of the best ways to be of service. And it will help ease your own anxieties as well and give you an emotional boost.
- Make a donation
- While many people don’t have extra funds right now, if you’re one of the lucky ones who do, consider donating to an organization that’s making a difference during the pandemic. Some possibilities include hospitals and health centers or national and local charities that provide housing, financial assistance, or food.
- Give blood
- Fewer people are donating blood at this time, which means the Red Cross is facing dire shortages. And as coronavirus cases continue to increase, the number of eligible donors has dropped. While many of us have been warned against “nonessential” errands, the Red Cross and other blood banks have remained open with safety precautions in place.
- Practice social distancing and self-care
- Don’t underestimate how much you’re helping by simply following public health guidelines. Even by just staying at home as much as you can and practicing social distancing when you do go out, you’re making a vital difference in your community.
Source: Anne Artley. Reviewed by Melinda Smith, M.A.