How to Help your Community During the Coronavirus Pandemic
It’s fair to say that no area of Alabama has escaped the pandemic invasion of COVID-19. The virus does not recognize ethnic or socio-economic boundaries. Every county in Alabama is reporting cases with the largest numbers in the most populated counties, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Most of us are following the guidelines from the governor to shelter in place and only leave your home for exercise and essential services such as food shopping.
As the restrictions slowly lift, limiting potential exposure is especially important for those who have a pre-existing condition or a compromised immune system, or who are elderly. These groups seem to have a disproportionate number of cases and fatalities and are particularly vulnerable.
Helping the Community
Difficult times like these bring out the best in people, and many in our communities are pitching in and doing their part to give back.
ALTogether.org offers a guide to volunteering efforts in Alabama. It is a one-stop place whether you need help or are willing to help others. It is designed to connect business and nonprofits to those who want to partner and provide resources to those most in need.
Some suggestions from ALTogether to help the community include:
- Buy gift cards to help keep a local business going
- Buy from local businesses and nonprofits rather than a chain store
- GoFundMe – many small businesses are looking for contributions to keep the lights on
- You could let a small business owner know he/she might be able to obtain emergency crowdsourced loans from KIVA Small business loans
ALTogether Alabama would also like you to register if you want to provide services from the safety of your own home.
Help Out Restaurants
Restaurants define a community while they provide a form of entertainment enjoyed by all. But with revenues down as much as 70 percent, restaurants need your help now.
Since restaurants were closed for on-premises consumption of food and beverages in all 67 counties of Alabama, many restaurants will stay open with shorter hours and smaller staffs. With restaurant traffic down substantially, continue to buy food, just get it to-go. Pull up to the curb and a server will bring your meal.
An alternative is to have your meal delivered to your home or workplace. Generally, it will take a few orders to make deliver a free service. Waitr is a delivery service that will step in to help deliver your meal.
Buying a gift certificate is another way to help restaurants. In good times, restaurants are a beacon of the community and make us all feel good while they feed us. Don’t let them hurt too much.
The community would like you to know that volunteers are needed to help the nonprofits deliver their services as well as faith-based organizations.
Areas that need volunteers include:
- Give Food – If you have a garden donate, the Alabama Food Bank Association will take your donations for local food banks
- Give Blood – Check with the Red Cross
- Deliver Food – Meals on Wheels serves Central Alabama seniors and needs volunteers now more than ever
There are also virtual opportunities to serve. There is always a need to donate supplies, and to provide funding for the organization that are on the front lines.
Volunteermatch.org will match you with a program or business that needs your particular skill. There are 938 organizations in Alabama with volunteer opportunities.
The Alabama Governor’s Office of Volunteer Services has opportunities for both medical professionals and non-medical volunteers to help during COVID-19. These jobs can include anyone in the medical field such as therapists, nurses, doctors, physician assistants, as well a social workers, clergy, interpreters, and drivers.
An organization, Break for a Plate, makes sure all Alabama children are fed while their schools are temporarily closed. For many children, the breakfast and lunch they receive daily is served at school. While schools are closed, children who need two meals a day can receive them at sites across Alabama. The child must be age 18 or younger and there is no paperwork required. The USDA Hunger Hotline is a resource for people seeking food assistance at 1-866-348-6479.
We are all in this together and once all of this is over, we will come out stronger and more united as a community and nation. Attorney Chip Nix would like you to know that he is available to discuss your personal injury case even while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing. We are doing a lot of our work remotely these days as we follow CDC guidelines, but our office is fully operational, and we are ready to serve your needs.
Call our office at 334-203-6669 or message us online and we can begin the discussion in whatever way you feel the most comfortable.