When you feel the most helpless, you still have power to do the most good.
As we move into social distancing and self-quarantine, it’s natural to feel isolated. Staying away from people, though necessary, doesn’t fulfill our need to take action, to do something in the face of this crisis.
Fortunately, even in isolation, you can help the most vulnerable among us. Because we are never truly alone in our community.
Here are five things you can do to continue to fight for a stronger community in the face of COVID-19:
- Support United Way’s year-round efforts to help families in crisis. If you haven't made your annual gift, there's no better time than the present. Every day, more than half a million people in Northeast Florida – almost 40 percent of our region’s population – struggle to afford basic necessities. While Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund provides immediate relief to those affected by COVID-19, United Way also supports year-round efforts to help families in crisis every day. Consider making an additional gift or increasing your gift to United Way to enable our swift response to community challenges.
- Donate to Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund. Your gift supports community resources that serve struggling families in Northeast Florida. Workers are losing wages and tips due to event cancellations and business closures. Kids who rely on free- and reduced-price meals at school risk going hungry. As food pantries and other community resources are inundated, donations to Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund help ensure these vital services stay open and accessible.
- Stay connected with your friends and family. According to Scientific American, loneliness is as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Even during isolation, modern technology allows us to stay connected. Checking in on friends and family is more than polite right now -- it’s essential. And don’t forget elderly neighbors or those living alone.
- Continue to volunteer. From sewing face masks for health-care workers to sorting food for families in need, you’d be surprised by the difference you can make despite social-distancing.
- Direct people to United Way 211. United Way 211 is working on the front lines of the pandemic. Expert 211 call specialists provide real-time information on social services and other resources to those in need. If you know someone struggling or looking for a source of reliable information, tell them to dial 2-1-1 or 904-632-0600.
Even in these uncertain times, no one is powerless to make a difference. Small acts, threaded together across the country, can change the course of the pandemic, bolster those facing economic challenges and protect the most vulnerable. Thank you for choosing to make a difference.