We created a list of ways that anyone—especially those fortunate enough to work from home—can help respond to COVID-19.
During this global crisis, one thing has become incredibly clear to all of us: how much we need each other. From buying gift cards to your favorite local restaurants to reading to nieces and nephews on FaceTime, there’s so much we can do for each other—even when we’re not physically together.
At Slalom, we’re grateful to be able to help our clients navigate through these unprecedented times. Some of us have the privilege of helping healthcare organizations and public sector agencies respond to critical needs. The rest of us are proud to help organizations in other industries adapt to rapid change.
But many of us want to do even more. So we put together a list of ways that anyone—especially those of us fortunate enough to be able to work from home—can support our communities, local businesses, and each other right now.
We recognize that not all these ideas will work for everybody, but we hope you’ll find something that inspires you—because no thoughtful action is too small.
- Follow health and safety recommendations from your public health agency to the best of your ability. This is the most important thing you can do to help reduce the impact of COVID-19. The World Health Organization is a good place to start if you’re not sure where to learn more.
- Support your coworkers and teams. For many, that means getting great at collaborating and leading remotely. We created a free e-book with advice on how to stay connected remotely. Click here for an instant download.
- Use a meal registry service like Meal Train to organize meals for essential workers in your area.
- Be mindful of your online ordering habits and purchases. While ecommerce is essential for health and economic stability right now, every delivery increases risk and may leave others waiting longer. Consider what you really need, how often you need it, and how quickly you need it.
- Give blood. With many blood drives canceled and having reduced turnouts, some areas are struggling with shortages. Here are a few resources to learn more: American Red Cross, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, Canadian Blood Services, NHS.
- Buy digital gift cards to your normal services (haircut, house cleaner, etc.) that you can use later. Or continue paying for these services as you normally would, if you can afford to.
- Cheer in support of healthcare workers. What began with Brits applauding for healthcare workers has continued with efforts like #Solidarityat8.
- Donate some or all of your canceled vacation budget to a not-for-profit organization.
- Send a distant loved one a personal card telling them how much you appreciate them. Gratitude has proven mental health benefits and builds the positive connections we all need right now.
- Make and donate fabric face masks. These are not a substitute for high-grade medical masks, but in the face of shortages, some healthcare providers are requesting them as a last-resort option. Here’s an interesting article about making masks more protective.
- If you have access to a 3D printer, you can make masks and shields for hospitals.
- Be aware that racism and scapegoating often rise in a crisis, including this one. Use any privilege you have to speak up if and when you can.
- Donate to your local food bank or organize a food drive in your organization.
- Rally for restaurants by purchasing gift cards or ordering delivery.
- Reach out to your favorite local businesses. Find out how you can help—by buying a gift card, organizing/supporting a fundraiser, ordering online, etc.
- Give a gift card (see 8, 18, and 19) to a mail carrier, delivery person, driver, doctor, nurse, or anyone who’s risking their health to help meet essential needs right now.
- Help build and maintain a sense of community by saying hello or smiling when you pass people on the street (at a safe distance, of course).
- Support domestic abuse shelters, charities, crisis hotlines, and advocacy groups with donations or virtual volunteering. Many are inundated with requests. Here are a few resource lists: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (US), NHS (UK), Stop Family Violence (CA), and Lifeline (AU).
- Explore opportunities to volunteer virtually, from calling seniors in your area for conversations on the phone, like this project in Chicago, to helping the United Nations tackle sustainability challenges.
- Renew or expand your membership with a museum or arts organization that has been forced to close its doors.
- Buy tickets to a virtual arts performance or donate back any refunds you may have received for canceled shows. We’re inspired by the Social Distancing Festival, a collection of live streams and videos of all kinds of art, all over the world.
- Reach out to your local homeless shelters to see how you can help. Homeless shelters across the country are facing volunteer shortages and increased operating costs.
- Support fundraisers and Patreons for individual artists or creators.
- If you feel comfortable doing so, volunteer physically. The National Health Service in the UK recently called for 250,000 volunteers. Many other organizations, such as meal delivery not-for-profits and food banks, need extra help and are implementing safety precautions for volunteers.
Please note that this list was generated by Slalom employees to support our communities. Links are provided for information and inspiration only. No partnership or endorsement is implied.