Ways to Give Back to the Community during COVID-19

The pandemic has resulted in a rise of homelessness; the need for volunteers and funding is great. Chipping in and providing for one’s community is an action that can change lives. Finding alternative ways to help is a priority.

Elli Westmacott, Social Media Editor

As a caring society, volunteering and giving back to the less fortunate is the norm, but following the outbreak of COVID-19,

The entrance of The Food Bank in Santa Barbara.

volunteers are needed more than ever as charity organizations are overwhelmed with calls for volunteers and donations. Providing for the community can come in many forms whether it’s through donating your time or money.

Santa Barbara is headquarters for Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries dedicated to supplying aid to those in states of poverty or disease all around the planet.

Before COVID-19, this nonprofit’s focus was equipping the impoverished with necessities including medical and hygienic supplies, but since the pandemic Direct Relief is devoting every facet to the COVID-19 response.

Volunteering would be the usual method of support, but because contact with other volunteers and employees is a risk, our community is resorting to other approaches.

One approach is fundraising and another way to help is spreading awareness through social media.

The collaboration with friends and family on public platforms tends to arouse increased support from viewers, which leads to more awareness and donations for Direct Relief.

GoFundMe is an efficient way of raising funds to supply Direct Relief, and, like social media, it brings a community of charitable organizations and people together.

Clothing racks inside local thrift and consignment store Destined for Grace.

Not all have the ability to donate money so donating supplies or food to local organizations such as The Food Bank or Destined for Grace is another option during COVID-19.

The Food Bank of Santa Barbara County is stepping up its efforts to help farmworkers at high risk of contracting COVID-19 in Santa Maria. The organization created the ‘Farm Workers Program’ to help low-income families in the farming industry. Providing not only food but also education and prevention kits that include face coverings for their weekly food drives.

Destined for Grace is a local thrift and consignment store with two locations dedicated to aiding children in Haiti. The organization used their profits to establish a school in Haiti.

Project Lifesaver International is a for-profit organization dedicated to servicing the community of cognitive disabled by producing the technology to avoid wanderings.

Volunteers restore or replace the technology used to locate clients in need. While donating and fundraising provide much needed economic relief, volunteering provides a sense of connection and gratitude.