PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Here are some ways to help your community from your couch during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Prepay for services
A recent Goldman Sachs survey of more than 1,500 small business owners found that more than half of them said they didn’t think they could continue operating their businesses for more than three months in the current conditions caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Are there services you can pre-pay for from home? Your haircut, nail appointment, or local gym membership? Are there gift cards you can purchase to your favorite restaurants or stores that would defer funds and provide some relief now? Visit their website, check out the app InKind and visit HelpMainStreet.com, just to name a few.
Out of work or want to use this extra time productively? Now is a great time to volunteer says Amy Rosenberg with Veracity. You’ll keep your skills sharp, learn new things, and stay connected. Use your communications, presenting, and public affairs skills to help The American Red Cross without leaving your home; check out their volunteering section. For empathetic people who enjoy problem solving, Crisis Text Line is looking for online support. Visit these websites for more opportunities: Points of Light, Do Something, Catch A Fire, Translators Without Borders, and Career Village, to name a few.
Support local book stores
Your time in quarantine feeling like a real page-turner? You aren’t alone. Local bookstores such as Powell’s, Annie Bloom’s Books, A Children’s Place Bookstore, Broadway Books and others are getting creative and offering curbside pickup, free shipping, home deliveries and more. Or, purchase an audiobook through libro.fm or an eBook from Kobo and your purchase will support an indie bookstore of your choosing. And the organization First Book needs donations to help deliver 7 million books to children in need who don’t have Internet access or home libraries to keep learning.
Donate to food banks
Many in the community do not have enough food. Oregon Food Bank is challenging us to #EmergeStronger. From the comfort of your home, make a financial donation to Oregon Food Bank through their website. More than 860,000 people rely on the Oregon Food Bank Network each year and now, with the closing of schools and so many out of work, that number will grow. Their #EmergeStronger campaign is challenging us to match a $1 million donation they received. Every little bit helps.
Provide essentials to health care workers. Organizations such as DirectRelief.org are providing protective equipment and essential medial items to health workers responding to COVID-19 globally and need financial donations. According to their website, in the U.S., Direct Relief is delivering protective masks — along with exam gloves and isolation gowns — to health care organizations in areas with confirmed COVID-19 cases. As they say, giving is good medicine.
Stay home, stay healthy. Be mindful of federal, state, and local guidelines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us to wash our hands often for 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol when soap isn’t available. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. Maintain safe distances from others when in public and stay home when you’re sick. Encourage others to do the same and continue to try to find enjoyable ways to pass the time.
What ways are you helping the community from your couch? We want to know. Get creative. It feels great to give back and it’s something we can all do. This is a group project.