Reach out to stay connected to your community during COVID-19

All the ways to help others & stay connected during the COVID19 crisis

During these trying times we’re holed up in our homes, remember to keep in mind the vulnerable groups of people who are unable to complete tasks we might find manageable, like shopping, or getting essentials for the house.

Let’s also keep in mind those tireless, committed healthcare workers as they continue to go into work and tend to the sick and infected. How can we help these individuals while simultaneously staying connected to our community?

Donate to a nurse or healthcare worker
If you’re a doctor, nurse, administrative or support staff in the healthcare sector, hop onto Facebook to find your city’s Adopt a Healthcare Worker group to let everyone know what would make your current workload a bit easier. If you know someone in the sector who could use a helping hand, you can ‘adopt’ an individual and help them with tasks including any of the following;
Do a milk and bread run tonight?
Prepare some meals to freeze?
Pick up or look after kids?
A shoulder to cry on?
Someone to scrub your shower because it hasn’t been done in a month?


Sydney now has 12,000 members, and Western Australia’s page has 43,000 members. Want to do something small yet delightful? Check out this Go Fund Me Campaign; “BuyThemACoffee” to buy a healthcare professional a coffee!

Donate toilet paper
In my household, obtaining toilet paper has become a serious, strategised mission with coordinated dispatch attempts and market research involved. (Increase likelihood of securing the target if you visit within one hour of opening time of supermarket!) 

If you find yourself in the thankful position of having too much and want to help out those less-equiped, you can hop online to Reddit, WhatsApp or Facebook groups to donate some toilet paper rolls to less-abled citizens in the community. The Inner West Group of Sydney has a Buy Swap Sell page where generous hearts are giving away a few toilet paper rolls to those in need. Join the generosity! 

Celebrities yield their power for the good
Celebrities are getting behind global charity campaign Save with Stories by posting a video of themselves reading a story on Instagram to help create awareness and drive donation funds as school closures across the world are imperilling the lives of over thirty million children who rely on school for food and education. Stars include Margo Robbie, Amy Adams, Jennifer Garner and Natalie Portman.

Donations go to support food banks, mobile meal trucks, community feeding programs and other items including educational toys, worksheets and books. I’ve been addicted to the page @SAVEWITHSTORIES just watching Hollywood actors in their laid-back demeanour reading a range of charming, whimsical children’s book. You can go to Save The Children website to make a donation.

Donate blood, or pantry items
Blood is a universal commodity and in times of crisis, hospitals always require high sustained levels to operate efficiently. At current blood donation centres, strict sanitation protocols and social distancing structures are in place. Blood donations can assist people with cancer, blood diseases, anaemia, childbirth, operations, blood loss, and burns. Want to see if you’re eligible to donate? Take this quiz from the Australian Red Cross.

Earlier this year, Foodbank Australia were distributing care packages of food and essentials to the victims of the Victoria. Now, the state has been in lockdown as the government attempts to contain the spread of COVID-19. As a result, demand for care packages has increased as families and community members struggle with the restrictions to provide basic necessities. You can make a small donation on their website to ensure that those in need are being looked after.

Have plenty of pantry items you think might be a bit excessive? Pack them up in a container or bag and drop them off at the Asylum Seekers Centre food-bank in Newtown in Sydney. If you can’t, arrange for a volunteer to pick them up from your door; just text 0415 887 784.

Acknowledgement does wonders
Start an email chain with friends; drop in a digital hug and see how they’re doing. There’s nothing sweeter and more heart-validating than receiving an email from someone, however short; simply expressing that you’re thinking of them, that they are not alone – we’re all going through this crisis in our own, personal ways. I know that for myself, it’s the conversations and phone calls I am having with friends and family around the world that is keeping my spirits high during these precarious times.

Many of us do not have the seemingly ordinary gifts of a roof over one’s head, a partner to come home to, a friend to call at the end of a stressful day. Many of us live lives that have seen years of lonely endurance, subsisting on the occasional conversation with a health care worker once every few weeks, or a friendly interaction with a receptionist during a routine dental check up.

My sister Helen takes her therapy dog to the Gosford Court House each Friday to comfort those facing difficult situations, and I’ve heard the stories of how one, simple encounter with an unprejudiced creature can turn someone’s day around for the better. Helen also volunteers to drive elderly folks around each Monday to do their shopping; a seemingly mundane, unremarkable task for most of us; yet many are unable to conduct for reasons involving mobility, transportation, or disability. During our lockdown status, broaden your lens and think about those less-abled who could do with your assistance, however seemingly minor.

Reach out on your local Facebook community groups for anyone who might need a hand. Send a shout out on your feed. Check in on any elderly neighbours or leave a note at their door. You’d be surprised by how such a small gesture can turn someone’s life around.

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