If you are like me, you may be feeling powerless to change much about a global pandemic and pending economic crisis. Many people feel overpowered by dark imaginings and back into the shadows of apathy, depression, and anxiety.
One antidote is to identify local ways to channel your thoughts towards helping others. It’s a scientific fact that doing something positive for others has tangible benefits for the giver. Studies show that regular acts of benevolence make us feel better, improve mental health, and can even increase life expectancy.
Here are a few suggestions for doing good things locally during the corona virus quarantine. Guaranteed you’ll feel better when you do!
Support our frontline medical workers. The teams treating COVID-19 patients have all the same stresses and worries about this pandemic that we do, plus they are short-staffed, have short supplies, are risking their lives daily, and there is no end in sight. I have spoken with friends in the medical field, and they said the community support really does make a difference. Packing a giant basket of snacks, sending Insomnia Cookies, or catering a meal for a frontline medical team you know personally would make a dark shift brighter. You can also donate babysitting credits through Wyndy–you’ll be helping a medical worker with childcare and supporting a local startup at the same time! Find out more about how you can help on the following sites:
- Children’s Hospital
- Meals for St. Vincent’s COVID-19 teams
- Brookwood Baptist Foundation (mark your gift for the COVID teams)
- Fight COVID-19 – UAB
Give blood. Cancelled blood drives and school closures have created a real shortage in available blood supplies, according to Jess Merrill, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross. Blood banks are still taking donations by appointment and are in great need of healthy blood donors. Find a location.
Donate to a Food Bank. The Community Food Bank of Central Alabama can do more with purchasing power from monetary donations than food items, so consider giving online here. If you have pantry items that you will not be using, check out foodpantries.org to find a collection site near you.
Volunteer for Meals on Wheels. Volunteering for Meals on Wheels is a great way to make a huge impact in a short amount of time. By delivering meals, you bring nutritious food and a friendly visit to eight to 10 seniors and people with disabilities in your community.
Grocery shop for an elderly or at-risk neighbor. Our neighbors may not always ask for help when they need it. We may need to take the first step to say, “Hey neighbor, am going to the store today. What can I get for you?” The more we can help our elderly and at-risk neighbors at home, the greater chance they’ll have of getting through this. This eldercarelocator can help match you with an elderly person in your community who may be in need of periodic assistance to get prescriptions, a ride to doctor’s appointment, or essential grocery/hygiene items.
Share your expertise. There are so many avenues to share your professional experience to the benefit of others, and now is a great time to do it! Consider signing up for Momentum’s mentoring program, offering to conduct a webinar for your alma mater, or volunteer to speak to your kids’ school class. Educators are looking for innovative ways to engage students during this period of adjustment to online courses!
During.a time of crisis, we all have the opportunity to be a “first responder.” Be proactive, make it part of your routine, and reap the many personal benefits of doing good for others.To learn more about local response to the COVID crisis, visit bhamstrong.com.