Going through rough times can put us in a state of helplessness and hardship. This past year and even now, whether it’s the effects of the global pandemic or the devastating storms that have affected individuals with few to no resources, have created a sense of worry and concern for others. Our thoughts drive towards how we can give safely despite our economic status. In this article, we will look at five different ways to give back in a safe and budget-friendly way.
Donate to a food bank..in person or virtually.
Having little to no access to food assistance has been one of the biggest downsides during these times for families or for anyone. Even organizations that work to provide for those with no food, are also faced with set-backs during the pandemic. According to Feeding America, around 51% of food volunteers, in which the majority were elderly, faced COVID-19 complications. This has caused organizations to seek volunteers who are not of high-risk and who felt comfortable to help. There are different ways of volunteering that include no-contact such as mobile pantries and drive-thru food pantries. For anyone who would rather give at home, a virtual food bank is another helpful way to still contribute to those in need without stepping outside your home. You can organize a virtual food drive by taking monetary donations online. Partnering with a community organization, your local school, or workplace is also something that perfect to get more people involved. For information on how to start, you can check out organizations like Second Harvest, Feeding America, and Food Banks Canada for more info.
Become an online tutor or mentor.
During this time, while this may be a positive experience for families to help with their child’s online schooling, many parents may have a hard time assisting with their children’s schoolwork. Some parents or guardians may feel tied down to other things such as working long hours from home or their place of work, while some may not have the finances to rely on tutors or learning programs due to covid restrictions.
Volunteering as an online tutor can help a child improve in their education and can help a parent feel less overwhelmed. For ways of becoming a volunteer, there are various non-profit organization search sites such as Volunteer Match and Volunteer Canada that specialize in providing educational resources for kindergarten to high school students who do not have the means to obtain a tutor. Also, a majority of organizations do provide training and require that you are a resident of that state or province.
Support our furry friends.
With much discussion surrounding how we can be of help to those in need, we can’t forget about our furry friends, the animals. According to the Humane Society, animals suffered from the socioeconomic impacts of this pandemic. Some pet owners who have been hospitalized with covid and unfortunately have passed away; not having anyone to rely on to watch over their pets, which resulted in the pets being abandoned. There are also instances where animal shelters dealt with natural disasters such as the recent snowstorm in Texas, USA that caused many to go without water, light, or gas. A helpful way to contribute to these causes is to find animal organizations or shelters in your area that welcome monetary donations and supplies so that staff can keep animals safe.
Give back through your talents.
Do you have a passion for singing? Or what about a skill for baking plant-based treats? Showing off your skills, whether it’s playing an instrument, dancing, or creating crafts is another thoughtful way to gain funds while the comfort of your home through teaching or performing for others, virtually of course. If you have a skill or talent that you love to share such as teaching a Zumba lesson or performing a short skit, you can start crowdfunding through platforms like Kickstarter and Patreon. Not only will you be able to give back to others, but bring joy to others while doing so.
Spread the word.
Sometimes being a voice is enough. If you are active on social media or love promoting different events or programs, then spreading valuable information on resources that will help those looking for shelters, food, water, and other supplies is a perfect way to help out. Creating social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., or using your community bulletin board, is resourceful for people to notice where they can find assistance or for those who know someone that can get the help they need. To find ways on how to get started on gathering information, there are various ways such as:
- Your city’s social services agencies
- Asking friends, family members, or even coworkers where or how do they volunteer work
- Nonprofit organizations and local businesses
The unfortunate events that have taken place during this time span have affected so many people’s livelihoods. To be able to find ways to help others in need, which range from giving items, time, and money is a rewarding and humbling experience. Knowing that you are able to give back to others especially in these chaotic times and in various ways, brings a sense of gratitude for what we have, big or small.
Karen is a freelance copywriter living in New York City. When she’s not busy at the computer, she loves watching documentaries, vintage shopping, and street fairs.