Want to help out? Here’s seven ways to support others during the pandemic

Want to help out? Here’s seven ways to support others during the pandemic

Words by Maggie Zhou

There’s never been a better time to lend a helping hand.

At the best of times, it can be all too easy to get swept up in our own dramas. We live in a very individualistic society, so we’re used to putting our needs and desires at the top of our to-do lists. But a global pandemic is bound to shake things up.

When confronted with an all-consuming crisis, it’s easy to feel powerless. But if this shitshow has shown us anything, it’s that we’re stronger in numbers. Start with what you have and focus on what you can do.

Stay home and encourage others to do the same

Graphs and figures don’t lie. To slow the spread of the virus, we all must do our part to flatten the curve. Restrictions on social gatherings, retailers and house visits vary state to state and change regularly. Ditch your mum’s conspiracy theory-riddled WhatsApp group and only listen to reliable sources, like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Australian Government’s Department of Health.

Join your local Facebook community group

Without a physical shoulder to lean on, a sense of community needs to be fostered, now more than ever. Join your local online community space and lend a digital hand to help those in need. Find out who needs groceries delivered, help with childcare, what essential items are lacking or who just needs a chat over a fence. Or consider dropping handwritten letters in mailboxes with your name, number and a friendly reminder letting people know you’re around if they need help.

Support local businesses

Just as we rallied around Aussie small businesses affected by our recent bushfire season, we should continue to try and support our local economy. If it’s financially viable for you, back your usual locals and buy that takeaway coffee or that new record you’ve been chasing. Purchase gift cards to later spend from service industries. It holds more than just monetary value – it’s a gesture that says, “You’re gonna make it through this, and I’ll be there on the other side”.

Donate money to relevant organisations and charities

A number of appeals and charities are assisting disadvantaged Australians at this time. While finances are tight for all, consider donating to one or more of these notable causes.

  • Support Act is Australia’s music industry’s charity and is aiming to raise $1 million to help provide crisis relief and mental health support
  • Support the Australian Red Cross‘ efforts to help those who are most vulnerable in the community.
  • Melbourne International Comedy Festival‘s donation page to help all those comedians and support crew affected by the crisis.
  • WHO’s Solidarity Response Fund continues the work of those preventing, detecting and responding to the global pandemic.
  • Unicef’s Coronavirus Appeal is supporting children and families facing the threat of the virus.

Donate blood if you can

The need for blood donations is urgent – with increased safety measures in place, blood donations are still considered an essential service. Check out Lifeblood for more information on more information on their eligibility criteria.

Adopt or foster a pet

While cuddling up to a furry critter may seem ideal in isolation, the RSPCA is warning against impulse adoptions and have since tightened their adoption processes. But if you’ve got the right reasons in mind, this can be the perfect time to introduce a new member into your family, whether you’re adopting or fostering.

Give supplies to foodbanks

As a result of the great toilet paper hoarding saga of 2020 and the frantic panic-buying of groceries, Foodbank Victoria has had a shortage of supplies. While social distancing means the public cannot directly donate physical goods, every $1 you donate online allows them to provide two meals to someone in need.

Sydney’s Italian eatery, Fratelli Fresh, is donating 650 meals every week to healthcare workers at the frontline of the virus through its initiative, Feed the Front Line. Businesses and the public can also donate meals for $10 a pop.

This article was originally published via Fashion Journal.