• Stephanie Saunders

Beyond Bucks: 5 Ways to Give Back During a Pandemic


As Covid-19 continues its spread, the outpouring of care, support, and direct aid coming from all corners of the world is both beautiful and revealing. It tells us a lot about who we are as humans: When crisis hits, we reach out, offering hope in the form of service, donations, and lots of TLC. Yet, as the virus destabilizes people’s lives and our global economy, we can feel helpless, not sure how to move forward effectively. If you're struggling to figure out how to help out, take these 10 ideas as a blueprint for community action. They all promote safety, are simple to implement, and help fortify our collective spirit.

Donate N95 Masks and Other Urgently Needed Supplies

An N95 mask is a particulate respirator that filters out at least 95 percent of airborne particles. It is the gold standard for the medical profession, and we are sadly lacking in supplies. So, if you have N95 masks, donate! For 100+ masks, try contacting your state’s department of health first. You can also call your local hospital or give sealed masks to a health professional you know. Even a single mask passed along to an ER worker can save lives.

Give to Charities Serving At-Risk Communities and Those on the Front Lines

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by others' needs at times like this, so focus on one or two organizations whose mission you can rally behind.Virtual tip jarsare popping up all over the States, as service workers are some of the hardest hit by government-mandated store and restaurant closures. Also consider giving to medical care providers and others on the Covid-19 front lines. Charity Navigatoris a helpful tool for matching your hard-earned dollars with some worthy causes. 

Lending a Hand

Whether it's big or little, acts of kindness goes a long way. Check in and support.

Nonprofits who offer food delivery also use the delivery as an opportunity to check on people – whether it’s through handmade cards, a phone call or text with delivery. People are leaning on vast social networks to have friends, or friends of friends, check on and support elders and the vulnerable populations in different cities. Let’s call upon each other to help those in need pick up prescriptions or deliver supplies.

Reconnect to your professional network

Just because we’re working from home, doesn’t mean our companies and organizations can’t find ways to give back collectively. Whether it’s skills-based volunteering or a corporate donation, we’re stronger together. Ask your employer about matching donations – many companies will match your contribution to a nonprofit, and a number of them are increasing the match amount for COVID-19 responses.

Volunteer Virtually

There is so much to be done – and you can do it from home. Points of Light's websitehas resources to connect you with virtual volunteer opportunities, to DIY at home projects, resources for volunteer safety if you’re on the front lines, or connect you with the Points of Light Global Network affiliate in your community. Organizations are pivoting how volunteers engage and there are so many options.

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