7 ways to help our communities during the coronavirus pandemic

Library | 4/7/2020
7 ways to help our communities during the pandemic

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While we can't physically go out and help, there are other ways to make a difference in your
communities during this time.


The coronavirus has turned into a global pandemic, impacting life in the U.S. in unprecedented ways. While there are concerns of the U.S. medical system being overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, there are also significant societal and economic concerns.


To prevent the community spread of the virus, state, local and federal governments have introduced social distancing recommendations or regulations which have closed schools, drastically reduced travel, canceled public events, shut down bars, restaurants, parks, beaches and, in some cases, all non-essential businesses. Many people are wondering what they can do to help their communities during this difficult time.


Fortunately, there are many things you can do to make a significant impact.


1.  Stay home as much as possible and practice social distancing

It’s frustrating for people to hear that staying away from others is the best way to help, but this is truly the single most important thing you can do at this time. Because people who have no symptoms can still spread the virus, you could still be infected and infect someone else who may become severely ill. To protect our seniors, people with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems, our families and our friends, we need to physically stay away from each other right now. Also – wash your hands!


Check with seniors2.  Check in with seniors, neighbors, family and friends

Just because you can’t physically be together doesn’t mean you can’t connect. Call, video conference, text, chat or use whatever medium you prefer and reach out to people – you can even write letters or send cards. You may no longer be allowed to visit your loved one in a nursing home, hospital or senior living center, but reach out frequently, see what you can do to help them, and offer comfort during what can be a lonely time for people. Join NextDoor or other neighborhood apps that connect you with your neighbors so you can see when someone nearby needs help.


3.  Support local businesses however you can

While many restaurants no longer support dine-in options, carry out and delivery is still available. Order food from your favorite restaurants to help keep them afloat, or order gift cards or merchandise. Shop from local stores by visiting their websites or ordering by phone or from a catalog. Also, consider donating to worker relief funds that may have been established in your area.


4.  Give blood

Because blood drives have been canceled all over the country, the US is currently facing a severe blood shortage. If you are not in a high-risk group and you are not feeling sick, schedule an appointment with the Red Cross or your local blood bank. Appointment-only donations limit your exposure risks and ensure you won’t have to wait in line. This is one of the most important things you can do to help your community – just a few minutes of your time could save lives.


Volunteer5.  Volunteer or donate to charities

In a time of growing unemployment, people may not be able to meet their families’ most basic needs. Food banks, charities that feed children who are no longer able to get their school lunch, or those that provide meals to the elderly are always in need of need of people to make, pack up, or deliver food to those in need. If you are healthy and follow social distancing guidelines, this can be a great time to volunteer. Donations of food and money are always welcome as well. While ensuring everyone is fed is a priority, nearly all non-profits are struggling right now. Think about the charities that are the most meaningful to you personally and support them however you can.


6.  Adopt a pet

Animal shelters are reporting an increase in pet adoption right now, which is a win-win for everyone involved. You help a support a shelter, you save a dog or cat, and you can help ward off feelings of isolation or anxiety by bringing a new furry friend into your family. Especially if you are self-quarantining at home, you’ll have ample time to train, play with, and exercise your new pet. If you have children, this can be a boost to them as well, when they are unable to have playdates with friends.


7.  Practice self-care

It’s hard to be your best for your family, friends and neighbors if you are dealing with anxiety, depression or exhaustion. Protect your own mental health. Take a break from constantly watching the news or press conferences, and limit your social media usage if it is upsetting you. Take time every day to exercise or meditate, get some fresh air and connect with loved ones. Do things that relax you like reading a book, doing a puzzle or painting a picture. Remember to live in the moment and just focus on getting through one day at a time.


At Valley, we care deeply about all the communities we are in. This is where we live, we work, and where we raise our families. Like you, we’re concerned about the coronavirus and the impact it is making, and will be here to help however we can. We're all in this together.


Visit us at https://www.valley.com/coronavirus to learn more about the actions we're taking around the coronavirus. 


Coronavirus and CARES Act Updates
COVID-19 Updates

Coronavirus and CARES Act Updates

Get the latest updates on Valley branch closures, hours of operation and relief programs due to the latest coronavirus outbreak.

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