Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has reached every state in our country, the outbreak has prompted changes everywhere. Not only are we facing public health challenges, but the closing of schools and businesses has put tremendous strain on community resources. However, there are things we can do to help:
- Donate food, money or time to food banks
There is an increased demand for food right now as many people have lost their jobs. Families everywhere are struggling to put food on their tables.
Call your closest food pantry to find out the latest information about their food collection process. With most organizations, you can make a no-contact food donation by dropping off items outside or taking advantage of a pick-up process. Monetary donations are another efficient, no-contact method to consider. Or give your time by volunteering in-person to sort food and make deliveries with organizations such as: Paul’s Pantry, Feeding America and Operation Community Cares.
- Support hospitals and medical care facilities
Access to protective medical supplies is at an all-time low. Hospitals and healthcare facilities are struggling to find enough N95 respirator masks, disposable gloves and gowns, disinfectants and other supplies. Many of these organizations are even accepting handmade masks made of tightly-woven cotton to make ends meet. Contact one of your nearest hospitals or medical facilities, such as Aurora at Home Hospice, to donate funds or ask how you can contribute supplies you may have on hand.
- Give blood through the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage due to donor cancellations at this time. Medical illness and injury does not stop in times like these and thousands of blood recipients are waiting for donations to come in.
The American Red Cross emphasizes that donation is a safe activity. Their safety protocols have been further enhanced to include temperature checks before entry, spacing of donation beds, and the sanitizing of donor areas after every collection.
- Donate to our local COVID-19 Community Response Fund
The Community Foundation of the Fox Valley Region and United Way Fox Cities have partnered to establish this fund which will quickly administer both short-term and long-term grants to community organizations which are most in need of help.
Whichever way you choose to give, know this, your efforts will make a difference. Let’s band together as a community and get through this storm. We’ll beat the odds, together.