Times of uncertainty are also times to consider how we might support and help others. In the face of the global pandemic, you may be wondering how you can help family members, your community or others.
We offer six suggestions for supporting one another now and at other times.
Because of health and safety considerations during the pandemic, many regular volunteers have been unable to fulfill their usual commitments to help nonprofits.1 This has left organizations shorthanded as they try to provide critical services.
You can still reach out to local nonprofits and ask how you can best support them with your time. Some may be in need of helpers to deliver food, make phone calls, complete grant writing or perform other activities that can be done while observing social distancing guidelines. You can fill an important role by picking up some of the slack that many nonprofits are experiencing.
Check on your neighbors
Do you have neighbors nearby who are elderly or with health conditions that may require them to stay at home? Especially if you have not seen them leave their homes in some time, you may want to call or text your neighbors to be sure they are not in distress. If you are comfortable doing so, you can also check on them personally.
Ask your neighbors if there is anything they need. Your offer will provide them with reassurance that they are not alone, and you may be able to provide a much-needed service, such as a grocery delivery or another simple errand.
COVID-19 is creating new needs while placing added financial pressure on many nonprofit organizations. Most fundraising events have been canceled for the foreseeable future, and donors are expected to dial back their usual assistance because of economic uncertainty.
This confluence of circumstances means that, for those in a financial position to donate, this is an important time to consider a gift to your favorite organization. Donors can make the greatest difference during the pandemic by helping medical groups or supporting organizations that serve the most vulnerable populations. However, all nonprofits will appreciate your support during this unusual time.
Give the gift of life
COVID-19 has meant a drop in those willing or able to donate blood, according to recent information from the American Red Cross.2 Especially with the re-start of many elective surgeries at U.S. hospitals, the nation’s blood supply is reaching critically low levels.
Blood collections have long followed high standards for safety and infection control, and are considered safe even during disease outbreaks, the Red Cross says. Because volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need of transfusions, it is important to consider donating if you can.
Remember those on the front lines
As some parts of our country begin to reopen, it’s important to remember the many people who have helped us get through the pandemic. Grocery store clerks, nurses and doctors, teachers, delivery people, Postal Service workers, firefighters and a lengthy list of others have continued to work — sometime placing themselves in danger — on our behalf.
We can all find ways to express our gratitude, without assuming that others have already done so. Some groups have done so by providing meals for frontline medical workers. You can send a gift card to the hairdresser who will be waiting for you after the pandemic, or support your favorite establishments by purchasing gift cards that can be used once those businesses open. You can also add a thank-you note to go with your tip to delivery people. Just remember that if these gestures involve the exchange of physical money or goods, you will need be sure that any items are safe, clean and exchanged with a minimum of personal interaction.
Take care of yourself
The first few months of 2020 have felt like an emotional roller coaster for many of us. This is an especially important time to remember the oft-repeated airline phrase about securing our own oxygen masks before assisting others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention3 encourages us to find ways to reduce our own stress to ensure we don’t become ill, anxious or overly upset about the events that are out of our control. Different coping methods may work best for different people. Suggestions include making time to unwind with games, puzzles or any activity you enjoy; eating healthy, balanced meals; exercising regularly; getting enough sleep; and taking deep breaths or meditating. Connecting with others and speaking about your concerns or anxiety is another proven way of helping yourself, as long as you are able to remain physically distant.
Remember, you don’t have to be a doctor or nurse to make a difference by helping others. As distant as we are from each other, one thing is certain: We are all in this together.
1 Charities Face Growing Need in Pandemic Without Volunteers. US News & World Report. 24 March 2020.
2 Joint Statement on the Nation’s Blood Supply. American Red Cross. 28 May 2020.
3 Coping with Stress. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 30 April 2020.
This material is being provided for educational and informational purposes only. Information contained herein is believed to be reliable, however; we can make no guarantee as to its accuracy or completeness. The information in this publication is not investment or securities advice and does not constitute an offer. Neither the information nor any opinion in the publication constitutes a solicitation or offer by D.A. Davidson or its affiliates to buy or sell any securities, options, or other financial instruments or provide any investment advice or service.