This Saturday, October 24, is Make a Difference Day, and there are so many ways to give back and help others in need. Volunteering has proven to make people happier and healthier. Especially now, with social distancing, it is a great way to strengthen your community and create new bonds. Finding ways to give back during COVID-19 can help lower anxiety and stress, benefit your mood, and keep you busy during this challenging time.
As we watch the coronavirus on a global level, it can be easy to feel powerless. But, no matter who you are or where you are, you can make a difference. There are many ways to get involved during this time, from donating money or supplies to volunteering virtually to checking in on friends, family, and neighbors. Here are some ways to help and give back during the pandemic.
1. Start with your community
The easiest way to give back is to reach out to the ones closest to you. Friends, neighbors, fellow Compass scholars, and family can always benefit from a friendly video chat, letter, or email. Never underestimate the powerful influence that you can make just by checking in on someone. Start with those you know who may be feeling vulnerable right now. This could be your elderly neighbor, a local business owner, or your friend who suffers from anxiety and depression. Being there for others during this time is one of the best ways to be of service. And it can help decrease your concerns as well and give you an emotional boost.
2. Make a donation
Many people may not have extra funds right now, but if you do, you may want to consider donating to an organization that is helping those affected by the pandemic. Some organizations include hospitals, health centers, and national or local charities that provide financial assistance, food, or shelter.
You can purchase gift cards from your favorite local stores or restaurants during this time to help them stay in business. Or order meals online or over the phone for curbside pick up. Meals on Wheels is an organization that delivers food to older people. They are experiencing a surge in demand as health guidelines recommend that senior citizens stay at home as much as possible.
3. Donate without spending money
Food. You can help your local food banks by donating non-perishables like peanut butter, canned goods, pasta, rice, and beans.
Supplies. It can be challenging to find items like paper towels, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, etc. If you have extra, you can contact your local food banks, businesses, and neighbors to see if they are in need.
Clothing. Many nonprofit locations that have closed during this time are still accepting donations by mail. Spending more time at home could give you additional time to clean out your closet and give away clothes or items you no longer wear. These clothes may come in handy for families that are struggling to get by. Check with your local shelters, Goodwill, or The Salvation Army.