(STL.News) COVID-19 is more than just a health pandemic, it is also an unprecedented social and economic crisis with far-fetching economic, social, and political effects. Everyday day, many people are losing jobs, leaving them with no means to meet basic needs.
Social distancing, staying at home, wearing masks, and hand-washing or sanitizing have become the new normal. People’s focus is on how they can keep themselves and their loved ones safe from the pandemic that is taking the world by storm.
While you concentrate on yourself, have you thought about what you can do to help the people worst hit by the pandemic in your community? Let’s take a look at ways you can help others in St. Louis.
Pandemics such as COVID-19 affect people’s feelings, security, and hope. Some people are currently feeling hopeless not knowing what the future holds for them. Even your next-door neighbor may be distressed from the situation.
How often do you check on your friends and neighbors? While most of us are thinking about ourselves, it is essential to take some time to check on how others around us are faring on.
Donating other necessities like food, clothing, and water will also go a long way in helping someone in distress feel more at peace. Donor and charity organizations have come up with emergency funds drive where you can contribute some money to help them run their activities. Such organizations are better placed to reach those in need than you, so you can entrust them with your cash. Mental support is also essential at this time.
If you know anyone who is going through mental instability as a result of the pandemic, you can help them find mental support facilities. Most hospitals, for instance, are offering guidance and
counseling sessions to individuals and families affected either directly or indirectly by the pandemic.
Personal Protective Equipment Donation
Protective equipment is not just important for front line workers. Everyone needs masks, sanitizers and some might require ventilator. Not everyone can afford these tools, which is why some billionaires and tech giants have been donating millions of dollars toward COVID-19 relief funds.
The St. Louis County Police Office of Emergency Management is calling upon individuals and organizations to donate personal protective gear. Organizations and individuals who are able to
donate such equipment can email the organization.
Items that are currently needed are surgical masks, Nitrile gloves (latex-free), booties, safety glasses, sanitizing wipes, N-95 Masks, medical gowns, goggles, disposable coveralls, face shields, and hand sanitizers. The county does not accept open packages or used equipment, so ensure you do not tamper with whatever you wish to donate.
Housing the Homeless
You can also help the homeless find shelter. Since accommodating them in your home may be a challenge, you can take the initiative to talk to facilities offering homeless shelters and services for the needy in St. Louis.
Among the renowned facilities you can consider are Gateway Homeless Services, St. Patrick Center Shelter for Women, and St. Louis, and Sunshine Mission Emergency Homeless Shelter.
Alternatively, you can provide daily or weekly meals and protective gear now that they vulnerable than everyone else. If you have the means, you can also get a couple of families out of the streets by paying their rent for several months.
Platelet and Blood Donation
With the restriction of movement, many blood drives within St. Louis have been canceled. Social distancing has also made it hard for most people to visit blood donation centers for blood donations. Currently, St. Louis has a critical need for platelet and blood. Since the two are perishable, there is a need for a continuous supply.
You can help save a life by donating blood through various organizations such as the Red Cross. You can book an appointment on their official website at least two weeks beforehand. Blood or platelet donations are a crucial activity during this pandemic. So, if you are fit to donate either or both, visit a blood donation center or hospital to do so. You will have saved a life!
Support Local Restaurants
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues and limitations on restaurants and bars set to go on for months, many establishments in St. Louis have shifted to take away services. Most of them are offering doorstep deliveries.
You can support these restaurants by ordering their carry-out meals. Some of the restaurants you can check out include Cannoli’s Restaurant, Christ Cakes, Twisted Tree, Russell’s Chesterfield, Schlafly Tap Room, Bottle works, Panda Chinese Restaurant, and the Village Bar.
Donate Funds to Gateway Resilience
The St. Louis Community Foundation and the Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District have teamed up to donate $100,000 to downtown restaurants and businesses that had to shut their doors as a result of the pandemic. You can donate money to the Gateway Resilience Fund by visiting their website.
There is a link redirecting you to the page where you can conveniently make your donation. Part from the Gateway Resilience Fund, you can also donate to the Regional Relief Fund. The funds collected are aimed at relieving the pain for individuals most affected by this crisis. It directs the resources collected to regional nonprofit organizations working with local society.
Join Others in the Fight
The pandemic took most of us by storm. Not being able to lead normal lives is challenging in its own way. While this is so, some are more affected than others. The people in dire need of basic needs or mental support require us to be there for them in the best way we can. Donating what you have will definitely help someone out there.
For others, such as caregivers, they may not need basic needs, but they require our emotional and physical support. There is so much to do to make these people relieve the stress of having to work in distressing work environments. Overall, protect yourself and others by maintaining social distancing, hand washing or sanitizing, and staying at home unless in unavoidable circumstances.