When you feel the most helpless, you actually have the power to do the most good.
As we move into social distancing and self-quarantine, it’s natural to feel isolated. Staying away from other 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 human community.
Here are five things you can do to fight in the face of COVID-19:
Donate to United Way of Central Illinois. Your gift supports community organizations that serve struggling families in Sangamon and Menard Counties. Now, more than ever, United Ways need your support to do what we do best in the aftermath of disasters -- help communities respond, recover, rebuild and reimagine for the long term.
Direct people to 211. United Way of Central Illinois’ 211 is working on the front lines of the pandemic. Expert 211 specialists provide real-time information on social services and other resources to those in need. If you know someone who is struggling, or just looking for a source of reliable information, tell them to simply dial 211 or 1-888-865-9903.
Spare something for the food pantries. As stores run out of bulk food and toilet paper, food pantries are struggling to fill their shelves, even as more people are coming in for help. Consider donating what you can spare, especially non-perishable food and toiletry items. Click here to find out what our local food pantries and other local agencies need most and where to drop off donations.
Call your friends and family. 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 others living alone.
Take care of your mental health. If you’re stuck at home, keep busy with hobbies, try out arts and crafts, pick up an old musical instrument, organize family game nights, and step outside for fresh air and exercise. You can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself.
Even in these uncertain times, no one is powerless to make a difference. Small acts, taken together across the country, can change the course of the pandemic, bolster those facing economic challenges, and protect the most vulnerable.