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21 Ways to Pay It Forward During COVID-19

When it comes to supporting those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are plenty of ways to show your family, community, and those in your state or country that you care. From donating blood and supporting small businesses to delivering meals and scheduling virtual dinners, here are 21 ways you can give back!

How to Support Your Friends & Family

Schedule a Virtual Dinner

Host a virtual dinner and send meals to guests through Blue Apron or Hello Fresh so that everyone can cook, eat, and catch up together. Don’t want to cook? Find restaurants that deliver in everyone’s area!

Send a Holiday-Themed Edible Arrangement

Show your loved ones your support by sending them a seasonal Edible Arrangement! It’s a nice reminder to loved ones that you’re thinking about them and that you want to put a smile on their face.

Shovel Your Neighbor’s Driveway

A simple act of kindness that goes a long way is shoveling your neighbor’s driveway after it snows. This is a great way to help take a task off of their to-do list, especially for senior neighbors who need more assistance.

Drop Off Christmas Cookies

Get in the holiday spirit by baking cookies! Whip up your favorite holiday cookie recipes and leave plates on the doorstep at your loved ones’ homes. This simple act of giving can help spread holiday cheer!

Run Errands to Help Out

Helping others run errands is the perfect way to give back to friends and family! This can be as easy as delivering groceries, or you can do other tasks like washing the car or taking the dog for a walk.

Deliver Meals or Essential Supplies

Looking for an awesome way to give back? Drop off meals and essential supplies! Pick up lunches or dinners at the grocery store, or bring friends and family supplies like toilet paper, disinfectant, and hand sanitizer.

Put Together a Care Package

If you have a friend or family members who’s an essential worker or healthcare professional, send them a care package! Gather baked goods, snacks, coffee, or gift cards, and send it to them to show you care!

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How to Support Your Community

Volunteer in a COVID-19 mask delivers a box of food. Photo by Instagram user @feedingamerica

Photo via @feedingamerica

Make Homemade Masks

If you’re creative and looking for a DIY home project, sewing homemade masks is an excellent way to help out your community! You’ll need fabric, two pieces of elastic, a needle and thread, scissors, and a sewing machine to make masks. The CDC recommends that masks be made with two layers to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Give Blood

Donating blood during a pandemic is essential for helping community members. The American Red Cross is encouraging healthy donors to give blood. You can easily schedule an appointment at a location near you and give blood in a safe environment while adhering to COVID-19 guidelines.

Donate to a Toy Drive

Consider giving to a toy drive in your community to make a child’s day better! You can donate to toy drives like Toys for Tots that help less-fortunate children during the holiday season. You might also check with your local grocery or department stores, as many will partner with local toy drives.

Pay It Forward

Make someone feel special by paying it forward during the pandemic! Buy coffee or food for the person behind you in the drive-thru line or leave a generous tip when ordering food from a local restaurant. These random acts of kindness not only make you feel good, but they also help support the community around you.

Donate PPE to Hospitals or Healthcare Workers

Help healthcare workers fighting the pandemic by donating personal protective equipment (PPE) to them! Buy gloves or surgical N95 masks and drop them off at hospitals near you. Your generous contribution can help combat COVID-19 and keep our healthcare heroes safe.

Volunteer Your Time

Giving back to the community can be as simple as volunteering your time. There are tons of organizations that need volunteer help, such as Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, The Salvation Army, and Open Door Mission. Even if you’re not volunteering with a cause that directly aids in the fight against coronavirus, any kind of help goes a long way!

Donate Money or Items

If you’re able to, donate to charities to help those in need in your local community, state, or even nationally. Give back directly with a contribution to nonprofits like Family Promise, which assists families experiencing homelessness. Help communities focus on education and healthcare by supporting the United Way. Or help combat hunger in the U.S. by giving to Feeding America.

Write Cards for Healthcare Workers

Stuck at home but want to show your appreciation for healthcare workers? Write a thank you note for medical personnel working during the pandemic. Mail the card or deliver it to a local hospital near you to show your gratitude for their hard work!

Feed Local Healthcare Workers

Provide food to healthcare workers and nurses in your area who are working to fight the coronavirus during their long shifts. You can drop off snacks or meals at your local hospital to show them that you’re thinking of them during this uncertain time.

Order Food from Local Restaurants

Help support local restaurants by ordering takeout or buying gift cards! Your support can help keep these businesses open during (and after) the pandemic. You can also give back by leaving a generous tip whenever you get delivery or pick up your meal.

Shop for Seniors

It’s important to check in on the most vulnerable members of our community, many of whom are seniors. Help them stay connected by taking them offering to shop for their groceries and other essential home goods.

Help Teachers & Schools

You can give back to teachers during the pandemic by purchasing school supplies and disinfectant products for their classrooms. This will help benefit students and teachers alike, and it’s a great way to show your support. Or you can make a gift basket filled with baked goods, books, or games for them to enjoy!

Create Care Packages for Soldiers

Show soldiers that you care by mailing them care packages! You can include items like books, snacks, games, puzzles, a deck of cards, and a personalized letter. This act of generosity goes a long way in showing your appreciation for their service to our country!

Support Small Businesses

Small businesses are essential to our communities, so buying from them is critical during the pandemic. Because many small businesses have closed or are operating under normal capacity, your support can help them stay open and thriving during the pandemic.

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