Give and Receive Help

At the heart of our existence, there has always been a purpose to support one another.

COVID-19 has impacted people’s lives in ways some of us could not imagine.  Although many might feel there is little they can do from the safety of their home, there are even more who feel lost and don’t know where to turn for help and resources.

State of Emotions has created a list of resources, organizations and facts to support those in need in these unprecedented times in our country. 

ARTS & CULTURE

How to give

The Actors Fund: TAF provides financial relief and promotes economic security for performing arts and entertainment professionals.

American Guild of Musical Arts Relief Fund: The AGMA is a labor union that represents artists involved in America’s operatic, choral and dance heritage. Their relief fund will support members who have lost opportunities and income during the coronavirus crisis.

ArtsFund COVID-19 Arts Emergency Relief Fund: This fund will help stabilize the arts sector in Seattle, where the coronavirus has been especially devastating.

Broadway Cares: This nonprofit helps vulnerable people in the performing arts community and has created an emergency fund for creative industry workers in New York who are impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

CERF+: This is a nonprofit organization that builds financial security for artists in craft disciplines (like metalsmithing and sculpting) and provides advocacy and educational opportunities. They have a fund specifically for artists affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

MusiCares: This charity established by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences provides relief to music industry professionals in times of crisis. Their Coronavirus Relief Fund is supported by major tech and streaming companies like Pandora, Spotify and Youtube Music.

How to help in your community

Support: Purchase an annual membership to your favorite arts venue, museum or cultural heritage site to show them you’re in it for the long run.

Invest: Support local artisans by buying their work as gifts, or purchase other merchandise to support local acts.

Engage: Your favorite arts venue may be offering special online programs during coronavirus restrictions. Follow and interact to show they’re making an impact.

Tune in: Search for and participate in virtual events from your favorite musicians or venues (even museums and galleries may offer some).

FAMILIES & CHILDREN

How to give

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In over 100 years they have changed the lives of over 1 billion children.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. 

Children’s Health Fund: (CHF) is committed to providing comprehensive health care to the nation’s most medically underserved children and their families

Convoy of Hope is a faith-based, nonprofit organization with a driving passion to feed the world through children’s feeding initiatives, community outreaches and disaster response.

National Domestic Violence Hotline has posted a Staying Safe During Covid-19guide for survivors and their families. Trained counselors are also available by phone 24 hours a day at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) and by chat at www.thehotline.org.

Your state’s unemployment office to apply for benefits. You can typically file your claim online, over the phone or in person if necessary.

How to help in your community

Encourage: Volunteer to be a crisis counselor for the Crisis Text Line. The help line has reported a dramatic increase in texters mentioning the virus, with 80% feeling anxious. Helping others with the stress of this pandemic, through programs like this, or through neighbors and family, can benefit your own wellbeing too.

SENIORS AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

How to give

The Arc Foundation: The Arc advocates for the rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their Covid-19 resources also provide ways to get politically active and stay in touch with your local health authorities.

Humanity & Inclusion: International Covid-19 response teams are being dispatched to people with disabilities and vulnerable populations providing them with hygiene kits, traveling social visits and psychological support.

Meals on Wheels: This network of over 5,000 community programs provide meals, visits and safety checks to seniors during the coronavirus crisis.

The National Council on Aging: Donations to the NCOA help provide older adults with food, medicine, utilities and other necessities.

How to help in your community

Deliver food: Help a senior citizen in your community by delivering a meal through Meals on Wheels.

Send a note: Search for a senior center, memory care center or nursing home in your area and e-mail or call them to let them know you’d like to write some letters. They can let you know any specific requests, and where to send the finished product. (This works even better if several people participate.)

Serve: If you have elderly neighbors or friends, call them to see how they’re faring. Offer to do some non-contact chores, like putting the trash out, getting the mail or mowing the lawn.

How to get help

Get active: The National Institute on Aging, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, offers a set of low-impact workout videos specifically designed for seniors.

Get informed: The National Council on Aging has a hub for everything older adults need to know, including information about coronavirus scams and how to get benefits assistance.

Get connected: Lonely? Call the Institute on Aging’s toll free friendship line to get support, advice or just someone to talk to.

MEALS & FOOD SUPPORT

How to give

Feeding America: Is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. 

Blessings in a Backpack: This organization helps feed school children across the US and is partnering with districts with summer feeding programs to extend services while schools are shut down.

Feeding America: With a network of 200 food banks across the US, this organization is helping food banks support communities impacted by the pandemic.

GENYOUth: They are providing grants to schools to supply resources for meal distribution and delivery; so students can be fed even when they are not at school during the coronavirus crisis.

Meals on Wheels: Meals on Wheels provides home delivery of food to seniors. The organization faces an increased need for volunteers and donations right now as many seniors find themselves more isolate and in need than usual.

Save the Children: The program is providing children in America’s poorest communities with nutritious meals, books and other learning resources during the outbreak closures.

United Way: They are using their Covid-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund to stock food banks with essential staples to help feed children who rely on schools for meals.

How to help in your community

Food Pantries.org: Use this national database to locate food pantries in local communities that you can contribute to.

Little Free Pantry: This organization is standing ready across the US, giving 24-hour neighborhood access to food and other necessities.

HOMELESS COMMUNITIES

How to give

Covenant House: This human rights organization focuses on homeless youth and is taking donations to help protect youth across the country who are especially at risk during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army is working with local, federal and medical leaders to provide coronavirus response, and has a fund to assist with food, help with utilities and provide safe shelter to homeless and disadvantaged people affected by the crisis.

How to help in your community

Donate food or funds: Find a local shelter in your community and contact them to see what they need, such as non-perishable goods, clothing or basic supplies.

Stay in touch: Like other vulnerable communities, homeless / displaced people will face serious challenges even after the coronavirus outbreak is over. Consider volunteering or making another commitment in the future.

MEDICAL EFFORTS

How to give

Doctors Without Borders: Their professionals and volunteers are preparing vulnerable communities around the world for the impact of Covid-19. They are also supplying many countries with protective equipment, and replenishing medical supplies in critical hospitals in China, Hong Kong and Italy

American Association of Nurse Practitioners: With more than 106,000 members, AANP is a community of individuals and organizations who are united by their commitment to provide exceptional patient care.

The CDC Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund: This fund supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s work by supplying immediate supplies and emergency staffing to state and local communities responding to Covid-19.

Center for Disaster Philanthropy: This resource helps people make intentional and informed giving decisions during disasters. They have created the Covid-19 Response Fund to support first responders, healthcare workers and individuals quarantined.

HealthWell Foundation: This foundation helps underinsured people afford medical care, and has opened a fund to help with ancillary costs for individuals at risk or quarantined due to Covid-19.

MedShare: So far, MedShare has delivered more than 2.8 million masks, 200,000 isolation gowns and other essential medical supplies to hospitals, clinics and healthcare professionals battling against Covid-19.

How to help in your community

Give blood: The nation’s blood supply is dangerously low. Local blood drives can be found through the American Red Cross, America’s Blood CentersBlood Centers of America and the Advancing Transfusion and Cellular Therapies Worldwide.

Donate medical supplies: MedSupplyDrive is helping individuals and medical labs donate protective gear to hospitals in their area. Several national craft and sewing groups are also making masks to send to healthcare workers.

Donate Hand-Sewn Face Masks: Got a sewing machine at home? You can help by sewing cloth masks. The CDC cautions that fabric masks cannot be used in the care of Covid-19 patients, but are helpful in other areas of patient care since other forms of medical protective equipment are exhausted.

MENTAL HEALTH

How to help in your community

Be a friend: Volunteer to be a crisis counselor for the Crisis Text Line. The help line has reported a dramatic increase in texters mentioning the virus, with 80% feeling anxious. Helping others with the stress of this pandemic, through programs like this, or through neighbors and family, can benefit your own wellbeing too.

How to get help

Get informed: The Centers for Disease Control is offering a list of resources and guides for managing stress, anxiety and how to cope through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Get support: Free 24/7 crisis support is available by texting The Crisis Text Line at 741741. Online volunteers are also needed to help others as crisis counselors.

Get together: American Addiction Centers is hosting free virtual support meetings. They will be based on traditional 12-step meetings, hosted by a person in recovery, and topics or meeting types will vary based on the group’s preference.

Know you’re not alone: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). They have also compiled this guide for Emotional Wellbeing During the Covid-19 Outbreak. Additional resources can be found at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.

RESTAURANT & FOOD WORKERS

How to give

James Beard Foundation: This foundation, named after the legendary food writer, started a Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage small businesses in need.

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation: This foundation has established the Restaurant Employee Fund to help restaurant industry employees experiencing hardship in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

United States Bartenders Guild: The USBG is offering emergency grants for bartenders, their spouses, or their children through the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program.

How to get help

Get advice: The reservation app Seated has launched a hotline for restaurant owners to get advice from finance and law experts in the hospitality industry.

Get publicized: Yelp is waiving advertising fees and offering free advertising, products and services for independent local restaurant and nightlife businesses.

How to help in your community

Order takeout or delivery: Order meals from your local restaurants and tip generously! (Yes, experts agree that ordering takeout is safe during the outbreak.)

Here is a guide to restaurants offering take-out and delivery:

  • Dining at a Distance: Use this aggregator to find out which restaurants are doing take out.
  • Grubhub: The delivery company has suspended fees for their restaurant partners, and proceeds from their Donate the Change program are going to the Grubhub Community Relief Fund.

Order from your local farmer: Check out options on Local Harvest, or look up your local farmer’s market to see If they have any online or delivery options.

Buy online: Some restaurants have online merchandise stores, including t-shirts, sauces, jams and relishes.

Order a gift card and use it later: This is a great idea to support other businesses as well. Hair salons, local shops, tourist attractions and even pet boarding facilities may offer gift cards, so you can show loyalty to local businesses even when you can’t patronize them.

Purchase a “Dining Bond”: The Dining Bonds Initiative is offering gift certificates that work like savings bonds. You buy a bond for less than its face value, and redeem it at some point in the future.

Rally for Restaurants: This campaign encourages diners to buy gift cards, and they will donate one dollar for every social media post to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation and World Central Kitchen.

Local for Later: This aggregator shows you local businesses you can support during social distancing.

SERVICE WORKERS

How to give

Salvation Army: The charity is expecting increased emergency financial aid requests from low-wage workers or laid-off employees struggling to make ends meet.

United Way: United Way has established the Covid-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund to support communities affected by the virus. The fund is set to help keep families in their homes who are currently in a financial crisis, stock food banks with essential staples to help feed children who rely on schools for meals.

How to help in your community

Consider paying ahead for services: Some services, like home cleaning, can be purchased ahead of time and then scheduled later. If you know you’ll use it, go ahead and purchase it.

Send a little tip to your hair stylist or nail technician: If you know them, you probably have their Venmo or other payment information.

Over-tip delivery drivers or other service professionals still on the job: They are likely facing serious pressures and personal risk and could use your appreciation.

Pre-book your next service appointment: Eventually, you’re going to have to get your hair done or your pet groomed. Make an appointment now so the businesses know you’re still with them.

SMALL BUSINESS

How to get help

Get assistance: SBA signed the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses.

Get relief: Amazon announced a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to provide cash grants to local Seattle small businesses.

Get facts and funds: Facebook announced a $100 million grant for small businesses impacted by Covid-19 and launched the Business Resource Hub, which features recommendations to help small businesses stay connected to customers and stay on track.

Get gift cards: Fattmerchant, a payment technology provider, has partnered with Gift Up! to allow its clients to sell virtual gift cards. Gift Up! is waiving its usual 3.49% fee for Fattmerchant’s members’ first $5,000 in gift card sales.

Get opportunities: The Opportunity Fund, which specializes in money lending to small businesses owned by women, immigrants and people of color, is collaborating with investors and nonprofits to put together a coronavirus relief fund that will provide grants and low-interest rate loans to business owners in need.

How to help in your community

Shop small: Independent bookstores across the country are offering delivery and curbside pickup. Find out how to connect to local offerings through IndieBound. If you prefer audio books, Libro.fm works with independent booksellers as well.

Buy gift cards: It will provide immediate income, and you get the product later.