Very few things are certain during these unprecedented times, and many of our lives have been turned upside down. Most everyone has been affected one way or another by COVID-19.
However, it’s important to remember that one thing is certain: we are all in this together. If we each do our best to follow guidelines, which include staying at home, and if you do go out in public, practicing social distancing by staying at least six feet away from other people, we can slow the spread of the virus and all get back to some sort of normalcy – hopefully sooner rather than later.
While those guidelines should be in the forefront of your mind, there are additional ways that you can help. Below is a list of things that you can do right now to help health care workers, your community, yourself and the world during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Donate blood – Even though Wisconsin is under the safer-at-home order by Gov. Evers, “organizations collecting blood, platelets, plasma and other necessary materials” are exempt and remain open. If you’re feeling healthy enough to leave the house, please consider donating blood to keep hospitals’ blood supplies at adequate levels. Blood centers are taking new precautions to ensure donating is safe, including checking temperatures of all parties involved, screening donors and cleaning all equipment after each donation. Donating can help ensure the sudden influx of new patients throughout our community will have the blood they need to survive. Schedule an appointment at versiti.org.
- Contribute to our new Rapid Response Fund – Established to support the critical needs of our front-line staff during the COVID-19 outbreak, these contributions will go toward child and elderly care, mental health, lodging and meal services. This is an opportunity to directly support the doctors, nurses and other hospital staff who are putting their own health on the line to help others. Donate to the fund at the Froedtert Hospital Foundation website.
- Donate Personal Protective Equipment – As many have already graciously done, please consider donating any extra masks, glasses, face shields, gowns or any other protective equipment that you may have. Additional supplies like hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes and ventilators are also welcomed with open arms. More information is available about donating, including instructions on how to hand-sew masks.
- Donate Food For Staff – Your restaurant or business can now show appreciation for front-line staff by donating meals or snacks. After getting into contact with a donations operations leader, you can choose what hospital and unit you want your donation to go to. More information on how to donate food is available, including following food safety guidelines and accepting other in-kind donations.
- Help the elderly – Whether it be a parent, grandparent or neighbor, these individuals may be more susceptible to illness from COVID-19 due to underlying health issues. To protect and keep them in the house, consider offering to do their grocery shopping, pick up their prescriptions or run any essential errands that they may have. If they are not technologically inclined, offering to help them figure out how to video chat can also be a good way to help them feel more connected to others during this time of limited in-person social interaction.
- Stay healthy at home – Even though you may be spending the majority of time at home now, it’s still important to try and remain active and eat healthy. Going for a walk or jog outside can still be done, given you follow social distancing guidelines, but using cardio exercise equipment inside is the safer option. Yoga is another way to remain active inside and can be done without any equipment.
Eating vitamin- and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables (e.g., citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach) with every meal can boost your immune system and help fight off illness. Here is a list of healthy recipes that have been reviewed and approved by our dietitians and nutrition experts. These healthy habits can even reduce stress and anxiety, which is vital for your own mental health during these trying times.
This is not an exhaustive list. Donating food, offering to walk a health care worker’s dog, smiling at others on walks and other small acts of kindness can go a long way in helping our community. Most importantly, stay home as much as you can. If you do go out, practice proper social distancing. These actions are the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help flatten the curve.
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Would love to volunteer and aid in all efforts.
Hi Regina –
Thank you for reaching out with your interest to volunteer. The blog above is a great place to start. We also have a few other blogs that may contain some things you can do to help:
Blog about PPE donations: https://www.froedtert.com/stories/new-unused-personal-protective-equipm…
Blog about food donations: https://www.froedtert.com/stories/donate-food-during-covid-19
Thank you for your generosity and support!