Many of your community members have been struggling because of the pandemic. Some have lost family members who possibly assisting in providing for the household. Others have lost their paycheck due to layoffs or furloughs. Still others are adjusting to working full-time from home while also ensuring their kids stay on track with their education while learning virtually. With the holidays around the corner, it’s time to highlight your organization as a pillar of strength in your community.
Food and Clothing Drives
This is likely something that your organization already does annually, but this year in particular your community may benefit from a food and clothing drive more than in years past. Be sure to encourage your community to give non-perishable food items, clothing that is not too worn out and even toys that are brand new or slightly loved. Also, don’t forget to include items that are essential for babies and toddlers.
- Canned soup/vegetables/fruit
- Rice and pasta
- Baby formula
- Baby food/pouches
- Bottled water
- Body wash
- Toilet paper
- Paper towels
- First aid kits
- Hand sanitizer
- Hand soap
- Detergent (dishwasher/laundry)
- Shirts and sweaters
- Shoes and boots
- Unworn socks and underwear
- Unused pillows
- Maternity clothing
- Children, toddler and baby clothing
- Jackets and coats
- Kids pajamas
- New pacifiers
- Bottles and cups (new or heavily sanitized)
- Breast pumps for mothers (new or heavily sanitized)
- Baby wraps/sleep sacks
- Diaper Bags
- Baby monitors
- Burp cloths
- Car seats (new or used; check expiration date on car seats that are used)
- Activity center
Offer Free or Discounted Services
If you have the ability, offer free or discounted services to members of your community in need. Look at what your organization offers currently and see if you are able to provide some classes or services to members who are struggling. You can also offer new services like assistance in certifications for jobs, help with improving resumes, updating or creating a LinkedIn profile for members who struggle with the platform, or assistance in forming a game plan of how they can attain a new position.
Give Masks to Healthcare Worker or Community Members in Need
Masks are more readily available than they were when the pandemic began, but they are still in high demand for essential workers. If you are able, encourage your community to make masks or donate PPE that can be distributed to healthcare workers or anyone else who is in need. Both disposable and reusable masks are welcome, but an emphasis on reusable protection should be encouraged.
Host a Blood Drive
As of April, the American Red Cross reported that roughly 14,000 blood drives across the country had been canceled due to the pandemic, resulting in 425,000 fewer blood donations. Although April is far behind us, the nation is still playing catch-up and will likely need to surpass the usual amount of donations to help those in need as hospitalizations continue to rise due to more and more people contracting the virus each day.
Partner with your local American Red Cross and set up a blood drive that follows the appropriate pandemic protocols. Currently, the American Red Cross is running COVID-19 antibody testing on all donations, and the plasma from antibody-positive donations may help coronavirus patients in need. Encourage those in your community with antibodies in particular to donate plasma as well.
Donate to Local Animal Shelters
Just as you have members of your community in need, you also have local shelters who are always in need of a little help. Encourage members to donate beds, blankets, toys and food to support your community’s furry friends. Work with local foster groups and assist in finding foster homes for animals; encourage your community members to adopt or donate their time to help assist local animals shelters in a socially distant way by dog walking or reading to the animals.
ACTIVE Network supports the communities we work, live and play including, but not limited to: Food Banks, Homeless Shelters, At-Need Kids and Elderly, Animal Foundations, Environmental, Veteran, Well-Being and Educational.
Though our partnership with Every Kid Sports, we help manifest ACTIVE's mission to make the world a more active place by getting ourselves active while helping get the next generation of kids engaged and active.