If you haven’t figured out that we’re all about concrete actions for a better world—you might want to go back and listen a little more closely to our interviews. You can find all of them over on our episodes page! (Hint hint.)
If you’re like us, quarantine is hard because we’re supposed to stay home, avoid interaction, and generally avoid engaging with society. Luckily, there are still ways to remain engaged indoors and to help our fellow citizens who are less fortunate than we are. To that end, we’ve compiled a few ideas of ways to stay civically active during the pandemic.
- Give Money: We touched on the importance of giving cash directly to those in need a few weeks ago. During one of our COVID19 episodes, we talked with poverty advocates and the managing director of GiveDirectly, a non-profit that simply gives liquid cash to those who need it most. You can also check out the blog post we wrote about it. Additionally, food banks like Feeding America can provide multiple meals for just $1, so if you’re still working during this time, consider sharing the wealth. If your area has been spared with worst of COVID19, consider donating to the NYC chapter;they’re in desperate need. Chef José Andrés and his organization World Central Kitchen are also running an amazing COVID19 response program, and you can check out his informative talk with (former Future Hindsight guest) Beto O’Rourke for more info.
If you’re unsure of where you want to donate, check out CharityNavigator’s handy guide to COVID giving.
- Donate Blood: COVID19 is creating shortages of many medical commodities, including blood. If you can, consider donating blood—the Red Cross needs it badly. More specifically, if you’ve suffered and recovered from COVID19, they need your plasma. Your post-COVID plasma contains antibodies that attack the virus. It’s currently in the evaluation stages, but to continue testing, they need a supply of the antibodies.
- Make/Donate Medical Supplies: If you’re quarantining correctly, you’ve probably got a fair amount of free time on your hands, so why not use them to make something potentially lifesaving? All hospitals are taking protective equipment donations, and some are even taking homemade masks. You can learn how to make them here. Although cloth masks aren’t as effective as professionally-made ones, one thing you can do is make a cloth mask for yourself, and donate any medical-grade masks you may have to nurses and doctors. If you’ve got a 3D-printer, you can print face shields, which hospitals do need.
- Volunteer: Many non-profits are suffering from a paucity of human resources thanks to this crisis. Food banks and other essential services are finding ways to keep their doors open and their volunteers safe—so find your area pantry and see if there’s anything you can do. Meals on Wheels programs across the country need volunteers to deliver meals to the elderly. You can sign up to volunteer here. If you don’t want to go outside (we get it), consider donating your skills. Organizations need grant-writers, hotline operators, coders, and a myriad of other jobs you can do from the comfort of your couch. If you usually donate to charity or know someone who works for one, reach out and see what you can do! You can also check out VolunteerMatch for some more ideas.
- Reach Out: This one is a little more nebulous, but being there for people in your life is more important than ever. If your neighbor or friend works in the healthcare industry, consider cooking some meals for them or offering to watch their kids for free. If you live near elderly Americans, consider grocery shopping for them or giving them meals. They may also need small things like yard work or house maintenance contractors usually do. Helping those around you can also take some of the load off non-profits and other support networks, allowing them to focus on those most critically in need. Additionally, many seniors are locked down in retirement homes without visitors, but they would love to hear from you via FaceTime. Even if you don’t have a loved one in a situation like this, you can send letters via Love for the Elderly, or find a local home and ask what you can do to help
Many of us may be stuck inside, but we aren’t helpless. We can help those working on the frontlines to speed up our return to normalcy by channeling our compassion and staying engaged in our society. We are all in this together, and so we might as well act like it.
“Beto O’Rourke.” Future Hindsight, www.futurehindsight.com/episode/beto-orourke/.
Brewster, Signe. “How to 3D Print a Coronavirus Face Shield.” Wirecutter, Wirecutter, 6 Apr. 2020, thewirecutter.com/blog/3d-printer-coronavirus-face-shield/.
“Combating Extreme Poverty During COVID-19.” Future Hindsight, 12 Apr. 2020, www.futurehindsight.com/combating-extreme-poverty-during-covid-19/.
“Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).” Charity Navigator, 16 Apr. 2020, www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=7779.
“COVID-19 Response Fund.” Donate to Feeding America – Feeding America, secure.feedingamerica.org/site/Donation2?28371.donation=form1&df_id=28371&mfc_pref=T&s_onsite_promo=take_action&s_src=Y20XG3F1Y&s_keyword=food%2520donation&s_subsrc=c.
“COVID-19 Special Edition.” Future Hindsight, www.futurehindsight.com/episode/covid-19-special-edition/.
“Episodes.” Future Hindsight, www.futurehindsight.com/episodes/.
“Food Bank For New York City.” Feeding America, www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/food-bank-for-new-york-city.
Giordano, Medea. “How to Make a CDC-Approved Cloth Face Mask.” Wired, Conde Nast, www.wired.com/story/how-to-make-a-cloth-face-mask/.
“Help with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) by Volunteering Remotely or On-Site.” VolunteerMatch, www.volunteermatch.org/covid19.
“Home Page.” Give Blood, www.redcrossblood.org/.
“Love for the Elderly.” Love for the Elderly, lovefortheelderly.org/.
Ma, Michelle. “How You Can Donate Protective Equipment to Help Hospitals Fight Coronavirus.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 3 Apr. 2020, www.wsj.com/articles/how-you-can-donate-protective-equipment-to-help-hospitals-fight-coronavirus-11585323638.
“Now Responding to Covid-19.” GiveDirectly, www.givedirectly.org/.
“Plasma Donations from Recovered COVID-19 Patients.” Give Blood, www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/dlp/plasma-donations-from-recovered-covid-19-patients.html.
“World Central Kitchen.” World Central Kitchen, wck.org/.
Yu, Alan. “How COVID-19 Led to a Blood Shortage, and Why That’s Troubling.” WHYY, WHYY, 1 May 2020, whyy.org/articles/how-covid-19-led-to-a-blood-shortage-and-why-thats-troubling/.