How you can help others during COVID-19
By Milla Alexander / 17 April 2020
Illustration by Juliet Welshman
COVID-19 has affected people around the world on a monumental scale.
And although some are trying to convince us otherwise, coronavirus is most definitely not the great equaliser.
This pandemic has disproportionately impacted people on low incomes and from marginalised communities, and in turn, charities and non-profit organisations (NPOs) are also suffering.
But this is a time for us all to come together and do what we can to support others. While donating money isn't possible for everyone, there are many ways in which you can support organisations who are working hard to help those who need it most.
We have power at our fingertips, and while we're on lockdown, one of the greatest tools is our social media platforms. With millions using Instagram daily, one post can reach thousands of people all around the globe. Posting about a charity can increase the following and support for that organisation exponentially. When you're online today, why not think about:
- Sharing a post by a charity you follow
- Liking and tagging friends in the comments section of a post they've shared
- Following charities that campaign for a cause you're passionate about
If you're able to give money, this can help NPOs continue to support those in need. But giving money is not the only way you can donate and make a difference. Some organisations are still accepting physical donations by mail. Why not consider:
- Sorting through old clothes, books, and toys you can donate
- Looking for food or cosmetics you don't need
- Picking up some extra food or hygiene necessities on your next supermarket run to send to shelters or refuges.
Giving your time is a wonderful way to support charities. There are still several ways you can volunteer during lockdown. If you're self-isolating, you can even volunteer online. Some of the help NPOs need volunteers for are:
- Building websites and apps
- Running their social media platforms
- Calling vulnerable people who need someone to talk to
- Delivering food parcels and medicine to those in need
- If you're celebrating your birthday during lockdown, why not ask your friends and family members to donate what they would have spent on your gift to a charity you care about?
- If you're an artist, you could create a piece and sell it to raise money.
- If you're an academic or entrepreneur, offer an online seminar and share your knowledge to fundraise.
Looking for charities and non-profit organisations to get involved with? Here are 10 worth checking out:
The Outside Project is a homeless/crisis shelter & LGBTIQ+ Community Centre in response to those within the LGBTIQ+ community who feel endangered, who are homeless, 'hidden' homeless and feel that they are on the outside of services due to historical and present prejudice in society and their homes.
Refuge is committed to a world where domestic violence and violence against women and girls is not tolerated and where women and children can live in safety. They aim to empower women and children to rebuild their lives, free from violence and fear.
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK and the cause of 18 deaths every day.
NHS Charities Together is a membership organisation representing, supporting and championing NHS Charities.
Fair Share believes that no good food should go to waste. They are the UK's longest-running food redistribution charity. They were born out of the belief that no good food should go to waste, especially when people are going hungry.
Beauty Banks exists to make 'hygiene poverty' history while supporting those living in poverty in the UK - those who can't afford to be clean - with personal care and hygiene essentials.
Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
Hearts & Minds are creating a community for young people experiencing mental health difficulties.
The Trussel Trust's mission is to bring communities together to end hunger and poverty in the UK by providing compassionate, practical help with dignity whilst challenging injustice.
Bloody Good Period was started by Gabby Edlin, who decided something needed to be done to create a sustainable flow (pun intended) of menstrual products for those who can't afford to buy them. What started as a whip-round on Facebook is now a growing charity, with a vision to achieve menstrual equity - where the simple fact of bleeding doesn't stop anyone from participating fully in society or life.
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