As men, we are often relied on for our strength—you know, to split those logs and open that pickle jar. But now more than ever, it’s time to tap into our inner strength, and become sturdy and reliable pillars of help for those in need. Even though we’re all holed up inside our homes right now washing our hands with soap 45 times per day, there are still many ways that you can help others who may need an extra boost right now. Here are our suggestions for how you can help during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
And if we’ve missed anything or if you have any additional resources and ideas on ways we can help, please comment below!
If Covid-19 were to be reframed as a military crisis, our hospitals would be the battlefields, and our health care workers the soldiers on the front line. As of now, these soldiers are already getting overwhelmed, and many predict that it will only get worse. Here’s how you can help in that fight!
Donate Masks and PPE
During the panic hoarding that we’ve seen over the past few weeks, many people stocked up on masks, gloves, and other PPE (personal protection equipment) that are often used in hospitals. Many of those hospitals have run out, and expecting hospital staff to work without PPE is like sending soldiers to war without weapons. If you have some PPE in your house, or know of someone who does, consider reaching out to your local hospital and finding out how to donate.
Right now, there is a need for blood. Considering this is a public health crisis, there are added precautions around who can donate, and how. For more information, check out the Red Cross website and see if you can make a bloody difference!
Make Care Packages for Hospital Staff
We all know what it’s like to be worked to the bone—and no one knows that better right now than our hospital staff. Many local communities are putting together care packages for their hospital workers—with items like energy bars, bottled coffee and water, small snacks—to keep their energy and spirits up. Reach out to your hospitals and see what they would appreciate the most.
Know someone on the front lines? Take the time to send them a text, an email, or a message on social media, thanking them for the hard (and dangerous) work they’re doing. Sometimes, a kind word and a littler recognition go a long way.
Supporting Your Community
Community can sometimes be an elusive concept, but over the past couple of weeks, we are seeing the flesh-and-blood power of community like never before.
Mutual Aid Networks
This has been showing up through mutual aid networks—which are organized community groups that rally together to assist those in need. From delivery food to the elderly and immuno-compromised, to sewing masks for hospital workers, and arranging for pharmacy pick-ups, these groups are instantly responding to the needs of their local communities. If you’re looking for a group near you, you can check this growing list for the whole country.
Support the Recently Unemployed
Certain industries—including health/fitness, restaurants, retail, entertainment, and the arts—have been hit especially hard, since many of them have been forced to close their doors. The people working at those businesses are now jobless, with no knowledge of if/when they may be back at work. If you are still employed and working from home, you can help! Here are a few ways.
- Hire freelancers – Have a new project you need done? Hire a freelancer. And if you have friends you know who are turning to freelancing because of job loss, share their information in your networks! You can hire freelancers on sites like Upwork, Guru, or Freelancer.
- Sign up for online workouts – Many gyms and personal trainers are now hosting online, in-home fitness classes. Stay in shape, and support local fitness workers! You can find workouts here and here.
- Support Artists – Venues are closed and gigs are cancelled. Help artists by buying artwork and albums. Some artists can be supported on Patreon.com. And check out The Social Distancing Festival, a way to help artists share some of the work that has been recently suspended.
- Support Restaurants – Consider ordering take-out from local restaurants, or buying a gift card to be redeemed when the company re-opens. And check out organizations that have arisen to help tip-based workers. Here’s a list of general fundraisers designed to assist Boston-based restaurant workers, and a public spreadsheet to give virtual tips to DC workers. Similar campaigns in other parts of the country are popping up daily.
Food pantries are always a necessity, but now more than ever. Many people are in danger of running out of food, and running out of money to pay for food. Find a local pantry near you and see how you can help!
Some families are being impacted more than others. Schools are closed around the country, and while that may be good for flattening the curve, it puts a larger food strain on many of the students who depended on those schools for their daily meals. Many public schools are still trying to feed their students, but it’s not easy. Contact your local school district to see what you can donate, and if they need assistance in deliveries!
The list of ways to help others right now is growing even faster than the spread of the virus, and there’s no one better equipped to help than the manly, fine-smelling, well-groomed gentlemen of Squatch Nation. Let’s do this!
About the Author: Jonathan Littauer
Jonathan is a freelance writer and rock climbing routesetter based in Boston, MA. He was the managing editor of Philly Current Magazine for two and a half years. And he just finished writing his first book!
When he’s not wielding words or making people fall off walls, he’s probably outside somewhere, hiking or climbing or surfing poorly. He’s been known, on occasion, to peace out and travel the world for months at a time.