In these times of uncertainty, you have the power to do good for many.
As we social distancing and self-quarantine becomes the new normal, it’s easy to feel isolated. But we are never truly alone in our human community.
Because we are at our best when we step up to help each other.
Here are five things you can do to fight in the face of COVID-19:
Donate to United Way of Madison County's COVID-19 Relief Fund.Your gift supports community resources that serve struggling families. As unemployment spikes, it’s harder than ever for many people to cover the rent, keep the lights on or feed their families. Kids who rely on free- and reduced-price breakfast and lunch at school risk going hungry. As food pantries and other community resources are inundated, donations to United Way’s COVID-19 Relief Fund helps keep vital relief services accessible.
Direct people to 211. The 211 network, covering nearly 95% of the U.S., is working on the front lines of the pandemic. Expert 211 specialists are providing real-time updates on the virus and what to do if someone is sick but does not have health insurance or a medical provider. People who’ve lost wages or jobs are getting referrals for food, rent, utilities and other vital needs. If you know someone who is struggling, or just looking for a source of reliable information, tell them to call, text, chat 211 or visit 211.org.
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 toiletries.
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.