COVID-19 has impacted all of our lives. The disruptions caused by school closures, remote working, and cancellations will continue for at least a few weeks, maybe longer. Social distancing forces us to be apart just when we’d benefit most from being in community with others. We may find ourselves a bit stressed or anxious and want to know how to assist. If you are asking, “what can I do?” here are a few ideas for where you can find purpose through this crisis.
High Needs Volunteering
HandsOn Greater Richmond has compiled a list of volunteer opportunities related to getting food to people who are in need. This includes FeedMore and Richmond Public Schools. Go to: www.handsonrva.org/highneeds to sign up.
Check on Neighbors
Being mindful of social distancing, we can still check in on the people around us. Drop off a note with your contact information, make sure they have access to accurate information and ask if they need any assistance (such as an errand or someone to pick up medications). It’s through a neighbor-to-neighbor approach that we will come through this disruption stronger than ever.
Get to know the facts about COVID-19, the importance of social distancing, and your own risk factors.
Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/
Virginia Dept. of Health: www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus
Richmond City Health District: www.vdh.virginia.gov/richmond-city
Our shared role in public health and why we all must be vigilant and take personal responsibility: www.flattenthecurve.com
Our local health providers that care for the medically vulnerable and underserved are especially stressed at this time and will continue to be at risk as the virus continues its course.
Health Brigade (formerly Fan Free Clinic) www.healthbrigade.org
Crossover Health Ministry www.crossoverministry.org
Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund
This fund will be managed by the Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond, which provided seed funding of $500,000. The fund will provide grants to nonprofits that are focused on immediate needs of people who are most vulnerable at this time. www.cfrichmond.org
Assistance for Food Workers
Just about every sector is experiencing negative financial impacts due to social distancing, especially our local restaurants. The Holli Fund, established in honor of long-time food writer Hollister Lindley, provides crisis assistance to local food workers. www.hollifund.org
The American Red Cross is in dire need of healthy people at low risk of virus exposure to give blood at this time. It’s recommended you pre-schedule your appointment, which is easy to do on their website: www.redcrossblood.org
Above are just a few ways to alleviate the hardships that this crisis is causing. As time goes on, we’ll learn of more ways to pitch in, and we will be happy to pass those along. In the meantime, be safe, stay healthy, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it yourself. We’re all experiencing this together, and we will get through it together!