Helping People In Need During the Coronavirus Outbreak

happy family

Helping People In Need During the Coronavirus Outbreak

With the outbreak of the coronavirus, our lives have completely changed. The kids are homeschooling, Bobby’s practice is only open to emergency patients and we’re all staying home and self quarantining. Some days it’s difficult and others it’s manageable, but either way, it’s not easy.

But while it’s a struggle for our normally active and busy family, there are so many people having a harder time than we are. Half the country is out of work, local businesses are struggling, there’s a shortage of medical help and there are so many families that aren’t sure how they’re going to make it through this lockdown. Instead of worrying about ourselves, there’s a lot we can do to help others make it through this difficult time. Here’s how we can help others during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Department of Labor reported on Thursday that 3.28 million people filed for unemployment insurance last week.

mom shoppingsalads and drinks on table

Order Food or Groceries For a Neighbor

This might seem like a small and simple gesture, but it can help in a big way. Just ordering dinner for a friend who is struggling can help alleviate a small expense. Even if it’s only one meal, that’s one less thing they need to worry about. Many big restaurants like Buca di Beppo and Tendergreens are still delivering and with a quick call, you can have a whole meal delivered to a family in need.

If your neighbors or family are older, immune-compromised or have any other reason they can’t go out, offer to pick up essentials for them on your next grocery store run. Just grabbing them some fresh fruits and veggies or must-haves like paper towels and toilet paper can make all the difference.

A 2018 Federal Reserve survey found that nearly 40 percent of Americans said they would have difficulty covering an emergency $400 expense.

woman in grocery store woman in grocery store

Donate to Your Local Food Bank

Food scarcity is a real fear, especially for those that are struggling to make ends meet in this climate. And while it’s easy to help out friends and family, there are literally millions of people who are now unemployed and may not know where their next meal is coming from. Feeding America has a national database of centers you can support, and it has established the COVID-19 Response Fund to provide additional aid to its member food banks. To find a local food pantry in your community to donate to, check out

The CDC states that people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 who do not need hospitalization should restrict their activities and “stay home except to get medical care.”

woman in restaurant

woman shopping

Help Out Local Businesses

No, I can’t go to dinner at my favorite restaurants or shop at my local boutique, but there’s still a way to help out temporarily closed local businesses. Check out Help Main Street, a website that allows you to purchase gift cards from your favorite local business anywhere in the US, to use later when they reopen. Your purchase now can help keep them afloat during the temporary closures and you can treat yourself when the lockdown is lifted.

There is no vaccine for the new coronavirus right now. Scientists are working on one, but developing a vaccine that is safe and effective in humans could take months.

mom and son on sofa

Fight Housing Instability

I couldn’t imagine losing my home. This is where I’m raising my children and it’s a place they should always feel safe and protected. But it’s a real possibility for so many Americans. President Trump has said that all foreclosures and evictions will be halted until the end of April. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t potentially thousands of people that could be evicted or lose their homes in the wake of this epidemic. Some non-profits, like The United Way, have set up a COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund specifically to help those hit hardest. It can help with housing, utility payments or the potential loss of a home during this crisis.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has told lawmakers that the unemployment rate may reach 20 percent.

person walking through grocery store grocery aisle

Helping Those With Inadequate Health Care

If you’re working from home, be thankful to have a job where you can do so. Right now, the people we’re relying on to get us through this crisis—truck drivers, cashiers, delivery drivers, fast food workers and grocery store clerks—have the jobs with the highest uninsured rates in the country. They are coming into contact with other people daily, and if they get sick, coronavirus testing is free, but if they’re admitted to the hospital or need an ER visit they could incur thousands of dollars in debt. Organizations such as the HealthWell Foundation and RIP Medical Debt help people who are unable to pay medical expenses, and your donation can go a long way.

The latest data shows that 27.5 million non-elderly people don’t have health insurance. This is more than eight percent of the population.

balboa park san diego skyline

Help Those In Your City

I’m a New York City girl, but now I call San Diego home. And there are so many things that I can do here to help out my local community. Almost every major nonprofit has a local chapter that can help out our neighbors and friends in the area. If want to donate locally or your family is in need of additional support, please see the following San Diego Community Resource list:

  • Ocean Knoll Elementary on 910 Melba Rd, Encinitas offers food distribution on Monday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
  • 2-1-1 San Diego is a resource and information hub that connects people with community, health and disaster services. This is through a free, 24/7 confidential phone service and searchable online database. 2-1-1 serves the entire population of the county. If you need assistance finding food, paying housing, accessing free childcare, or other essential services, call 2-1-1 for help. For more information, visit 211.
  • United Way of San Diego County and San Diego Worker Assistance Initiative are helping those in the area impacted by job loss or wage reduction. Please contact the United Way of San Diego.
  • The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, a project of Alliance San Diego, has launched the Immigrant Relief Fund to provide grants of up to $500 to immigrant families in San Diego who have lost all or part of their income due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with other emergencies that may arise. Visit Immigrant San Diego or call (619) 269-1823.
  • The YMCA is also helping the community with a number of services including child care, food distribution, a bread line and a number of other resources. Please call them at (760) 753-8300 or visit the Community Resource Center at 650 Second St, Encinitas CA 92024.

salvation army man

Donate to Your Favorite Charity

The coronavirus is hitting everyone hard, but this outbreak is draining resources and causing issues across the country. Here are just a few nonprofits that could use your help:

American Red Cross 

Boys & Girls Clubs of America

CDC Foundation

Direct Relief

Feed the Children

Meals on Wheels

Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation

Ronald McDonald House Charities

Team Rubicon

The Salvation Army


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