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How to support your community safely during COVID-19

By Cheryl Parquet | April 11, 2020 | 4 min read | Community Health

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If someone told me at the beginning of the year that I, along with 98% of my colleagues, would be working from home full time, I wouldn’t have believed them. Three and a half months later, this is now the new normal for many of us.

COVID-19 has completely changed the way we go about our daily lives in America. Necessities we took for granted just three weeks ago are almost impossible to find and purchase. Many of us are facing hardships that we never expected to experience.

Now more than ever, we must stand united and be there for each other as we battle this pandemic. Eventually, we will overcome this. But it’s important to remember that while things have changed drastically, our most vulnerable friends and neighbors still need help.

How can I help?

Nonprofits providing essential support continue to operate. While most of us are practicing social distancing, these organizations still need our support to get their work done.

You might be wondering, “What can I do to help?” During this COVID-19 outbreak, volunteering has changed – but the need hasn’t decreased.

I’m proud to work for a company that encourages employees to give back to our local communities. Time after time, I’ve been so thankful for the passion and dedication that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina employees have for serving our community. While we’ve halted events during this period of constant change and uncertainty, we have worked with our partners to understand the financial and hands-on needs in the community.

Individuals can still find ways to help their communities safely. Organizations are making the necessary safety accommodations based on CDC guidelines and best practices. These practices include hygiene processes and guidelines for social distancing in large groups. Nonprofits rely greatly on volunteers, especially in times of crisis.

Support a local food bank

Organizations such as food banks, the InterFaith Food Shuttle, and Meals on Wheels are committed to serving those in need and are currently open and looking for volunteer support.

Many of these organizations, like the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, outline the precautions they’re taking on their websites.

They’re also sharing some creative ideas you can use to help your community during this time, like hosting a virtual food bank.

Donate blood

The American Red Cross has a critical need for blood donations.

Healthy individuals can still donate blood even in areas that have issued shelter in place declarations. The Red Cross is following thorough safety protocols during the COVID-19 crisis.

If you don’t feel comfortable volunteering, consider making a financial contribution. Need more ideas? Check out this list of 12 actions you can take to drive health in the time of COVID-19.

Let’s not forgot our neighbors and fellow citizens. Give back. Communities matter.