Looking for ways to give back to the community? Here is a list of ways to help while remaining safe and healthy as this all passes.
- Stay home! It is important to follow social distancing guidelines and wear a mask. Only go out if it is absolutely necessary or you feel comfortable with the risk. In turn, you are helping healthcare professionals and frontline workers by not ending up in the hospital.
“When my family and I go out I make sure to remind everyone to wear masks and we only go to the park when it’s not crowded. Doing my part and following the rules will help lessen the spread of the virus,” Victoria Zilins (’20) said.
- Donate to charities. There are plenty of non-profit organizations and charities that are using their resources to help vulnerable communities and provide materials to those in need. See this list to find a charity that speaks to you. Only donate if you are willing.
- Say “thank you.” Although it may seem insignificant to you, this small task can mean wonders to those risking their lives to keep you safe or provide you with essentials. The next time you see the mail person or grocery store cashier, say “thank you.” Share messages of gratitude for essential workers on social media. If you know a healthcare worker personally, let them know how much they inspire you; it will brighten their day.
- Check on your neighbors. The elderly and people who live alone may feel especially lonely during isolation. They may have no family close by or friends to talk to. As a neighbor, you can easily knock on their door or call and (from a safe distance away) make sure they are holding up okay. Maybe coordinate a time everyday where you can look over the fence and chat. Offer to mow their lawn or pick up some groceries. This will make your neighbors feel loved and cared for during these dark times.
- Keep in touch with your friends — virtually. Although it is tempting to use your new-found free time to get together with your friends, doing so can endanger them and others. In today’s world of technology, there are endless resources to help you safely stay in contact with your friends. Try video chatting, emailing, texting, or even sending a letter in the mail.
- Support local businesses. Small businesses have been hit especially hard during this pandemic. Instead of opting for Domino’s, get takeout from the family-run pizza place down the street. Invest in gift cards or merchandise from your local business to help boost their income and relieve financial strain, keeping the business open.
- Take a Zumba class. Many fitness instructors are continuing to provide classes online via Zoom. By taking their classes you are helping them stay financially stable and also keeping yourself in shape. Check out local instructors @christina.teresa_zumba and @vickyloveszumba on Instagram to learn more.
- Use your talents for good. Now that the school year is coming to a close, lots of us will have free time galore. Instead of scrolling through TikTok for hours, use your talents to brighten your community. Good at sewing? Make some face masks to donate to hospitals or give to your neighbors. Can you draw? Make a poster thanking your local heroes to put on your lawn. Have no talents but got chalk? Write a nice message on your sidewalk. Be creative!
- Give blood. Hospitals nationwide are in dire need of blood as blood drives are cancelled due to COVID-19. The American Red Cross continues to conduct blood donations nationwide, following safety measures on an appointment basis. If you are healthy and of age, consider donating some blood to help those in need of transfusions or surgeries. Use this website to find a blood drive near you.
- Take care of yourself. Believe it or not, you are an important and valuable member of society! Try to get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet, get some fresh air and sunlight, and limit your screen time. Both mental and physical health are essential in maintaining a stable mindset and well-being, especially during a pandemic. Keeping yourself healthy is the first step in keeping the community healthy.
- Start or participate in a local fundraiser. The Westhill Angels recently conducted a GoFundMe for Stamford Hospital. The group welcomes new volunteers as they continue community service projects. Get involved here. Westhill students also created Puzzles With a Purpose to raise money for Inspirica, a local homeless shelter. Learn more here.