Ways You Can Use Your Wallet To Benefit The Community During COVID-19
The ripple effects of COVID-19 are felt all over the world. Millions of people have lost their jobs or are facing reduced hours and less pay.
If you’ve been fortunate to keep your job and are in a position to help others, there are a few ways you can use your money to give back to your community. There are also ways you can give back that don’t include money, but rather, your time. Now more than ever we should use our resources and help whenever we can.
1. Donate Your Money
In April, the U.S. saw its worst unemployment rate since The Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking the figures in 1948. With a record 14.7% of Americans filing for unemployment, there are millions of people who suddenly don’t have enough money to cover their everyday necessities, like home payments and food.
You can donate to local nonprofits that distribute to your community or nationally, where funds are split among different parts of the country. Consider donating to:
- Food banks like Feeding America and No Kid Hungry.
- Emergency financial assistance like Modest Needs and United Way.
- Housing assistance like National Alliance to End Homelessness.
- Medical equipment to health workers like Direct Relief.
Use sites like Charity Navigator to find and evaluate organizations that are important to you.
2. Donate Your Time
If you have time to give, there are organizations and people who could use your help.
If you have elderly neighbors or know someone who would be immunocompromised if they left their homes, you can deliver their groceries or medication, or run errands to get them the things they need. Nextdoor has ways you can help those in your neighborhood but if you can reach out to those in need or ask around, you might be able to make a difference.
As millions of Americans are looking for work, you can use your time to help others on their journey in the workforce. Some people might need you to help critique their resume or fill out a job application. Some people might need you to help them navigate unemployment or applying for jobs. Others may need interviewing tips or pointers on how to work from home.
Also consider donating blood or plasma. If you were COVID-19 positive, recovered and now test negative, your plasma can help scientists find better treatment options. Your donation could save others. Along with that, blood donations are in demand for emergency rooms that treat patients suffering from the novel coronavirus.
Some healthcare professionals are traveling to COVID-19 hotspots around the country to better assist hospitals and areas that are suffering the most. Many are working on the front lines to save the lives of millions of people, and they might not have childcare or dependent care for other relatives. If you’re in a position to help those in need as they help us, consider donating your time to the families of healthcare workers.
3. Donate Your Voice
As we’re trying to stay focused at work, manage children and their schooling, and handle staying safe at home, it’s easy to find inaccurate or false information spreading around the internet. Try lending your voice to the voiceless by sharing accurate information and holding those in power accountable.
If you see false stories circulating, avoid sharing them. Try to educate your family and friends by sharing factual, accurate news stories and studies, especially when it comes to information about COVID-19. Since it’s still a very new and unknown virus, new data is released often about symptoms, treatment, vaccines and more. It’s important to be cautious when sharing updates.
You can also use your time to share the work and needs of local nonprofits. If you’re not in a position to donate, pass along donation information for organizations you care about and want to help. Try supporting local businesses as best you can. For instance, if you can buy a meal or gift card for a future meal from your favorite restaurant, you should.
Regardless of how you donate – whether it’s through money or time – remember that you have the ability to help those in your community. If you have the financial means to give money to organizations in need, consider becoming a donor. If you can support small and local businesses in your neighborhood, you could be the determining factor in a company staying open as opposed to shutting their doors for good.
If you don’t have money or time, remember your voice is also important in this time of crisis. Be diligent in finding and sharing accurate news stories. Make sure your loved ones can spot fake news. Stay away from spam and scammers and make sure others can spot fraudsters who are out to take advantage of vulnerable people. We’re all in this together and we should continue to look out for our neighbors and friends whenever we can.
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