During this incredibly difficult time, it’s easy to focus on all of the darkness, pain and suffering going on around the world and within our own communities.
People are suffering and dying of Covid-19, others have lost their jobs, while others are struggling because their businesses were forced to close or their hours were cut. People all across the country are struggling to pay their bills and feed their families. There are people who struggling with addiction and/or mental health, while others are living in fear and/or dealing with desperate loneliness. We’re all living in such uncertain and stressful times and most of us are unsure about what lies ahead for our lives, our health, our families, our friends, our businesses, our nation, and our world. But amidst all of this, there are heroes among us – those that are working to stop the spread of Covid-19, those that are saving lives, those that are caring for people in need, those feeding the hungry, those delivering food and critical items, those that are stocking our grocery store shelves, and those making sure that everyone is taken care of throughout this difficult chapter of our lives.
These are the heroes. Look for the heroes. They are all around us.
Mister Rogers once famously said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Look for the helpers.
We have the opportunity during this time to be the helpers, to support those in need and to support the heroes who are currently working to save us and to save our world.
Here at 1 Girl Revolution, we have been honored to get to know so many incredible people around the country who are making a difference in the world, and through them – we have gotten to know about so many others who are doing the same. While we know so many people are currently quarantined and at home for “shelter in place”, there are so many things we can all be doing from the comfort of our own home to support those in need and the heroes who walk amongst us.
We can all do our part, and it’s oftentimes the small things that can make the biggest difference. So, we at 1 Girl Revolution, decided to put together a list of ways that YOU can help others and make a difference in the world during this difficult time, most of which – you don’t even have to leave your house to do!
Here are 15 Things you can do to GIVE BACK and help others during this difficult time:
1.STAY HOME. First and foremost, if you can, stay home and self-quarantine.
- STAY CALM and try to help others stay calm as well. In this stressful and uncertain time, we should strive to stay focused and calm during this time.
2. CHECK-IN WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. Make sure that everyone is doing ok and that they have everything they need.
- If you know someone with addiction or mental health struggles, make sure you’re supporting them in any way you can. Make sure they know that they’re not alone and that you’re there for them if they need anything.
3. DONATE BLOOD. We are currently facing a severe blood shortage and it is expected to get worse with the Covid-19 outbreak. Every two seconds someone is in need of blood and one blood donation can save up to three lives. Donate blood and if you don’t know how/where – visit the Red Cross website.
4. DONATE MEDICAL SUPPLIES. Hospitals and medical care units are in desperate need of personal protection equipment and supplies. Look around your house and if you have any of these unused items, please call your local hospital and ask where the best place to donate them is.
- Personal protection equipment and supplies needed: new or unused disposable face masks, N-95 masks (sometimes called respirators), eye protection including face shields and safety goggles, disposable gowns, disposable gloves, disposable surgical caps, disposable foot covers, wipes: bleach and antimicrobial, hand sanitizer, etc.
5. BUY LOCAL. SUPPORT LOCAL RESTAURANTS AND BUSINESSES. Concern for public safety has caused many restaurants and stores to close, indefinitely, and while others have been able to remain open for carryout, online, and delivery orders – they have all taken a massive hit during this time. Many local businesses, employers, and employees are uncertain about the future of their businesses, they are struggling to pay their bills, and support their families. We can play our part to support them!
- Order carryout or delivery from local restaurants or buy giftcards for future use.
- Buy giftcards from local businesses who are closed during this time – hair salons, nail salons, therapists, other stores, etc.
- Buy online, if a local store or business owner has an online shop.
- Buy giftcards and donate them or give them to family, friends, neighbors, or others who may be going through a difficult time right now.
- Also – if you know anyone who is currently out of work or who may be struggling to make ends meet, check in with them and ask if you can drop off a meal or groceries or find out what else they may need.
6. TIP WELL. Service workers who have been able to keep their jobs during this time are still taking a major hit financially, since they don’t have the usual tips they rely on. So, if you order carryout or delivery, or have groceries delivered – tip more than usual.
7. GIVE A GIFTCARD TO A NURSE, DOCTOR, OR OTHER MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. We all know them and we should find creative ways to support them during this time – even if we don’t need to see a doctor. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are working around the clock to treat their usual patients, as well as testing for and treating Covid-19 patients.
- Buy a few gift cards to local restaurants or stores to have on hand and bring with you if you need to go to a doctor appointment or visit the hospital or ER.
- If you know a medical professional, consider sending them a giftcard to a local restaurant or business. Better yet, give that person a couple of gift cards and ask them to share the love with others at the hospital.
- The best part about this is you “kill two birds with one stone” — buying local and supporting a medical professional.
- Don’t underestimate the power of a giftcard for a doctor or nurse to get takeout after a really long shift or a nice meal at some point in the future.
8. GIVE TO THE HOMELESS AND DONATE TO HOMELESS SHELTERS. Call your local homeless shelter and see what they need, whether it be food, cleaning supplies, water, etc. Find out what they need and donate those products. Also, share that information and encourage others to donate as well.
- And while you’re at home, make little packs that include: a bottle of water, nutrition bars, wash cloths, bar soap, fresh fruit or fruit bars, and because of our situation if you feel so inclined – a couple of dollars. Keep these packs in your car and pass them out to homeless people you encounter or donate to a homeless shelter and they can distribute them.
- This is a great activity for kids and families who are homebound.
9. BUY GROCERIES FOR THE ELDERLY AND THOSE AT HIGH-RISK (whether on Amazon or Shipt or elsewhere). As we know, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for Covid-19, so if you can – consider buying groceries or picking up their prescription(s) from the pharmacy, or anything else that may be a necessity. Check in with elderly family members, friends, neighbors, and others to see if there is anything you can do to help them.
10. COMMUNICATE WITH THE ELDERLY ON A DAILY BASIS. Not from time-to-time, but everyday. While elderly people are one of the leading targets of Covid-19, they are lonely, scared, and need reassurance that they’re not alone and that they are loved. Call your elderly family, friends, neighbors, and others as often as you can to check in.
11. WRITE LETTERS TO ELDERLY FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND NEIGHBORS, AND SEND LITTLE NOTES TO YOUR LOCAL RETIREMENT COMMUNITY. We have more time on our hands, why not consider writing little notes of love and support to people you know. And if you have children, have them draw pictures and send those along as well. You could really brighten someone’s day.
- (Note: Please use a sponge and water to seal the envelope and consider spraying with Lysol to be safe.)
- Call your local retirement community and ask if there’s anything that they need that you can donate and/or where to send a letter or postcard.
12. TEXT OR CALL A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER EVERY DAY. Make a list of people you want to check in with and make a commitment to text or call at least one person everyday. Don’t underestimate the power of a call or text message to someone. We need community more than ever.
13. FOSTER AN ANIMAL. If you are able, please consider fostering an animal from a local animal shelter or animal rescue organization. So many animals are in need of a safe place to live during this difficult time and animal rescue organizations need the support of local individuals who can help care for these animals in need.
- And if you have the resources and ability, consider adopting an animal from a local shelter or animal rescue organization. Many organizations are cutting adoption fees, in hopes that they can find more animals their forever home.
14. DONATE TO YOUR FAVORITE CHARITY, PLACE OF WORSHIP, OR OTHER ORGANIZATIONS YOU LOVE. Because so many are homebound at this time, organizations, places of worship, and other nonprofits are in desperate need of support. Please donate to organizations you care about.
15. SHARE WHAT YOU CAN, WHEN YOU CAN. BE KIND. LOVE MORE. If you have extra food, toilet paper, water, or anything else essential – give what you can to someone you know or donate it. There are so many people who are in need of so much at this time, so remember to share what you can, be kind, and love more.
What are other ways you’re giving back during this time? Email us at [email protected] and let us know. We want to continue to grow our list!
LISTEN to the special episode of the 1 Girl Revolution podcast, where host and founder of 1 Girl Revolution, Kate Bryan, discusses the Covid-19/Coronavirus crisis, the 15 ways you can help others and make a difference in the world during this time, 3 ways your kids can give back and help others during this time, and some of the stories of incredible women who are helping those in need and supporting our heroes during this difficult time. Listen below.
The 1 Girl Revolution podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and wherever you find your podcasts.
Irish-american Kate Bryan writes and podcasts from Detroit