In one way or another, we are all finding ourselves affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this is a time filled with fear and uncertainty, it is also a time for us to come together as communities (while safely keeping our distance).
During these trying times, you may find yourself wondering what, if anything, you can do to give back and help others. We've combined a list of 6 ways to give back, while following safety guidelines:
Donate to your local food bank. With thousands of people suddenly finding themselves without work, there is a greater demand than ever on your local food bank.
If you have food you can spare, donating to the food bank is a direct way to help someone in your community who is struggling right now. Find your local food bank here.
Donate to Meals on Wheels which provides meals to many of the nation's senior citizen population.
Support small, local businesses. Especially businesses that employ low-wage workers. Many restaurants, bakeries and cafes are offering pick-up or delivery service, and supporting them can help keep these small businesses afloat through this hard time.
Offer assistance to the most vulnerable people in your community. If you're not a high-risk individual, you could offer to do the grocery shopping and run errands for elderly or immune compromised individuals to lower their risk of exposure.
Just be sure to keep social distancing and other safety precautions in mind for yourself while you're out.
Foster or adopt a pet from the shelter. Animal shelters and rescue groups are finding themselves needing to reduce services and cancel fundraisers, but they still need to care for the animals.
The Humane Society of the United States suggests that you can help by adopting or fostering a pet, reducing strain on the shelter. Check with your local animal shelter to see how you can donate or help.
Help to "flatten the curve". The most important thing you can do to help others right now is to keep them and yourself safe and healthy.
Prevent the spread of the virus by washing your hands frequently, practicing social distancing, avoiding gatherings, and staying home as much as you can.
Stay safe, friends.
The Rice Love Team