If you want to look up ways to feel better, without fail, volunteering’s always on the list. For an obvious reason. Because it feels good to do something nice for someone else. It’s hard to volunteer when we can’t actually be near each other. But there are small, simple ways to do good from home now too.
We’ve seen this unprecedented pandemic pull people apart, but it’s also brought communities together. There’s been a lot of good and (like John Krasinski’s Good News), it’s important to acknowledge it. I’ve seen my own area start Good Neighbor programs, and City Harvest free food deliveries. No rent freeze in sight however.
Around the city other programs are also popping up offering chances to help in various ways and provide support to those in need of it. Under any other circumstance, I would’ve felt compelled to join too. As someone with asthma though, I’ve been overly conscientious about staying safe and home. Of course, I’m not alone. Millions with other, much more severe underlying or chronic conditions are also, (and should remain) indoors. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few ways to do good from home.
Without leaving the house, there are small ways to help and do good from home
Buy a mask from a small business maker. Homemade masks are actually everywhere right now, and in a small ways, it’s kind of cool to see so many people stepping up creatively. If you’re looking for ways to do good from home and want to support a local New York business, buy a mask from one of these makers.
Provide coffee to health care workers. Parlor Coffee, a Brooklyn based business has started Brew it Forward, to deliver their coffee to essential medical workers on the front line. For just $3, you can buy a cup of coffee for one or get a full brewed box ($60) to provide coffee for twenty people. It’s a small thing, but an essential for those working above and beyond overtime for all of us.
Buy this ‘Beans’ t-shirt. It’s super cute, $25, and sales go directly to a relief fund for New York City health and hospital workers.
Designed by Jen May
Donate your MetroCard to an essential worker. As soon as the stay home orders hit, everyone’s regular routines hit pause. With no more daily commute, countless MetroCards in the metropolitan area were simultaneously shoved into a drawer. Through the MetroCard swap program, people can donate their unused, or partially used cards to essential workers still taking public transportation. It may not be much, but it’s a small way to show appreciation, and it does a lot more than just shouting thank you out the window.
Donate to the Emergency Release Fund that helps bail out inmates. With the virus spreading through prisons, many are feeling compassion for stuck inmates who might not deserve to be there. If this issue is affecting you, or you feel strongly about it, head to Actblue.com to donate to the emergency relief fund and help bail people out of prison.
Support City Harvest. If you can’t get out in person to help with certain organizations, head online to do something.
Write someone a letter. Of all the ways to do good from home, perhaps the easiest, and best, is to simply take out a piece of paper and pen. I think now is THE perfect time to bring back the art of letter writing. For the cost of 55 cents, (one stamp) you could put a smile on someone’s face. Provided they head out to their mailbox.
Get a dog. One silver lining of the pandemic (there are some if you’re willing to look) is shelters are reportedly being emptied of adoptable dogs and cats. Human nature tells us that when self isolation is a given, the need for some companionship is certainly essential. Since we can’t get close to most people, then the next best thing (or maybe best thing?) is man’s best friend.
Become a contact tracer. IF, and that’s a big if, you’re qualified, sign up for this real job. It pays almost 60k a year with benefits, and is a huge way to give back to the fight we’re all facing.