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COVID-19 has taken a society that is more connected than ever and disconnected us physically. It is strangling the economy and creating feelings of uncertainty and fear for everyone. It’s hard to not be paralyzed thinking there isn’t anything you can do to have a positive impact during this crisis. However, there are ways you can support those who need it the most. Following are six ways to help others during this healthcare crisis:

  1. Help get medical supplies shipped to where people need it the most. The humanitarian organization, Direct Relief, has been shipping oxygen concentrators all over the world. These devices can help patients breathe using equipment at home instead of being in a hospital on a ventilator.

Since January 1, Direct Relief has provided almost $1.5 billion of medical aid, 260 million doses of medicine, 7.3 million pounds of supplies, almost 27 thousand deliveries. They have helped support almost 2,000 healthcare providers.

Go to Directrelief.com to learn more and see how you can support this organization.

  1. Volunteer with Meals on Wheels. Many older American’s depend on Meals on Wheels for regular food delivery and the demand for this service is only going to increase as this crisis continues. Older adults are at an increased risk and many are heeding warnings to stay at home. The isolation that comes with that can have long-term effects. The interaction with someone from Meals on Wheels can provide much needed social interaction even if it is just a quick “hello” and “have a nice day.”

Many Meals on Wheels chapters also keep in touch with area patrons through “telephone reassurance” programs.

To volunteer in your area, find your local Meals on Wheels provider here.

  1. Donate money to a reputable nonprofit. A great resource for non-profits is Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator provides ratings on charities and measure how effective they are in getting money into the hands of the people they serve. So, when you look at local or national organizations, you can find the ones that will be good stewards of your money.
  2. Support local food banks. As coronavirus has spread, American’s have emptied store shelves, stockpiling non-perishables and leading to grocery stores not having enough to donate to local food banks. But, as businesses shut-down or furlough and/or lay-off employees, food banks will see an increase in the requests for food assistance.

Food banks are able to purchase food at discounted and bulk rates that are sometimes much cheaper than the retail store prices. Monetary donations to your local food bank can make the biggest impact on your local community when it comes to food insecurity.

Feeding America

Second Harvest of East Tennessee

  1. Give blood. The American Red Cross is urging healthy adults to donate blood or platelets. Some worry that there is going to be low blood donor participation that could lead to low availability at hospitals. According to the Red Cross, there is no indication that COVID-19 can be transmitted through blood transfusions.

Find a donation center or blood drive here.

  1. Help people who are experiencing homelessness. People who are homeless are at significant risk to get sick from coronavirus. In general, they have poorer health and often have weakened immune systems from pre-existing conditions. Plus, most are uninsured and are less likely to seek medical care.

Reach out to your local homeless shelters and organizations to see what items they need most. We have some great charities here in Knoxville such as KARM and Volunteer Ministry Center, who you can help support not only during this crisis, but in the future as well.

Source: Market Watch