Living in the new normal of the coronavirus pandemic can be a constant source of anxiety, but it has also created new opportunities for community and charitable giving.
Here are a few simple yet meaningful ways to give back during these uncertain times:
1. Support your local restaurants
Quarantine is the perfect excuse to order in and not feel guilty. But be sure to pay attention to where you’re ordering from – if you’re torn between a chain restaurant and local favourite, choose to support the smaller business.
2. Check in on elderly neighbours
Elderly people are among the most vulnerable to complications from coronavirus. If you know someone who is elderly and is currently isolating at home, consider checking in to see how they’re coping (taking the proper safety measures). See if they need anything done around the house or offer to pick up some groceries for them.
3. Get food to people in need
Donate money or food directly to local food banks and community shelters. Do an online search to see which organisations operate in your area and get in contact to find out what they need and how to deliver it safely.
4. Donate blood
The need for blood never stops and, at a time like this, it is more important than ever to ensure stocks remain strong. Blood plasma in particular has been identified as a potentially potent weapon against COVID-19 as health authorities work to treat patients who are most ill.
5. Share positive news
If you hear a positive news story or see something online that puts a smile on your face – whether it be a picture of a cute dog or a motivational quote – share it with your friends and family to brighten their day.
6. Order meals for healthcare workers
It’s as easy as ordering a handful of pizzas and delivering them to your local hospital. Frontline healthcare workers are so busy taking care of us that many of them might not have had the chance to shop for themselves. A few slices of pizza can go a long way.
7. Foster an animal
The coronavirus pandemic is putting an immense amount of stress on animal shelters. Call your local shelter to find out what supplies they need and if you’re self-isolating at home, find out if you can foster a rescue animal for a few weeks. You can ride out quarantine together.
8. Purchase gift cards from small businesses
If coronavirus restrictions have you skipping a trip to your local coffee shop, restaurant or retail store, consider purchasing a gift card you can redeem later.
9. Pay it forward
It could be as little as paying for a stranger’s morning coffee or even their groceries. Everyone is facing economic hardship right now so just a few dollars can make a difference.
10. Support the arts, music and cultural sector
Throughout history, the arts have provided a constant respite in times of crisis. With galleries and theatres forced to close their doors and artists forced to cancel their shows, these industries need support now more than ever.
Instead of asking for a refund for a void ticket, offer up the price of your ticket as a donation, exchange it for a performance later in the year or convert it into a gift voucher. In the meantime, you can take a virtual tour through some of the world’s best museums.