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Here's How to Support Small Businesses and Nonprofits Now

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March 26, 2020

There’s no doubt this is a hard time for everyone. We rounded up some ways that you can give back and help those in need – from donating money to checking in on your family and friends.

Organizations accepting monetary or other assistance:

✸ American Red Cross. The org is urging those who are healthy and eligible to donate blood or platelets to avoid potential shortages.

✸ CDC Foundation. The nonprofit is associated with the US gov’s CDC. You can donate to its emergency response fund, which helps support local and state health departments, as well as fund personal protective equipment around the world.

✸ Direct Relief. The humanitarian aid organization is working on getting oxygen for US patients and protective gear for health care workers.

✸ Feeding America. Food banks around the country are running out of supplies, including reportedly canned goods and disposable containers. This org has a nationwide network of local food banks you can donate money to ($1 = at least 10 meals).

✸ International Medical Corps. The global humanitarian organization is working with the World Health Organization to provide training and treatment services in dozens of countries.

✸ Meals on Wheels. Seniors are more likely to get seriously sick from COVID-19. You can donate money or help deliver meals (some local chapters have a no-contact protocol) to those who are elderly and staying indoors.

Other ways you can help out your local community:

✸ Reach out. Stay in touch with family, friends, and neighbors with phone calls or video chats. Especially those who are older or have underlying health conditions (since both groups are more at risk of getting seriously sick). As well as health care workers and first responders in your circle. Ask if you can drop off food or run errands for them.

✸ Donate items to homeless shelters. The homeless population is especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 outbreak, since they can’t self-quarantine. Homeless shelters may need essentials like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectant wipes. And those working there may need items like gloves, masks, and other protective gear.

✸ Buy gift cards. Many local businesses, from restaurants to hair salons, are expected to take a financial hit from a slowdown in business. Buying a gift card (many let you do it online) means they bring in revenue, and you can save the gift card for another day.

✸ Be a good neighbor. Add yourself to Nextdoor's Help Map. It's an interactive map of your neighborhood where you can mark yourself as someone who can pitch in for neighbors who need it ... even from a safe social distance.

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