It is hard to find the right words currently. I am doing nothing perfectly during this period, but I am hoping I can share a few ways to care for others amidst the chaos of COVID-19. In writing this post, I was torn about how many sections to add, as I know many regions are being affected by this health crisis. For now, I am focusing on local & national impact.
- PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT DONATION PORTAL – one of the scariest parts of this entire situation has been witnessing healthcare workers struggle with the lack of basic supplies. If you have any PPE (protective personal equipment) in your possession, the City of New York has set-up THE PPE DONATION PORTAL. This will allow donations of in-demand supplies, such as gowns, gloves, & face masks, to be picked up efficiently. My older brother works in a New York City hospital, so all those in healthcare right now are constantly in my thoughts & prayers.
- SHINE FOUNDATION – a college friend recommended sharing this organization, which empowers survivors of domestic violence through financial literacy. For those in abusive environments, the necessity of staying home in this crisis is potentially even more dangerous. Shine Foundation has advised that all donations during this time will be allotted to survivors & their families, in order to share urgent resources, such as hand soap, alcohol wipes, medicine, vitamin packs, feminine hygiene products, & non-perishable foods.
- FOOD BANK FOR NEW YORK CITY – hunger obviously becomes an even more pressing concern for our population during a health crisis. The Food Bank for New York City team can make ten meals for people in need with a donation of only $1. If you have the means to give even a small amount, this is a worthy spot in need of support.
- RIF ASYLUM SUPPORT – a friend in law school recommended supporting this organization, which provides asylum seekers with legal orientations & other support services. All donations to their COVID-19 fund will be given directly to asylum seekers and asylees in New York City; this money will be used to purchase digital gift cards for food, toiletries, and other household items.
- ALI FORNEY CENTER – LGBTQ+ youth continue to be an at-risk group during this time. The Ali Forney Center is remaining open, offer drop-in services so young people who are homeless can get mental health resources, housing services, food, & medical attention. THIS ARTICLE brought me to tears. Alexander Roque, executive director of this organization, advised “…this week we’ve had (multiple) new young people kicked out of their homes… It’s so painful to think that in the middle of this worldwide pandemic, parents still have time to hate, to be homophobic, to be transphobic.” Now is the time to step up for those who have been abandoned by their families.
- BABY2BABY – this organization is focused year-round on providing children living in poverty with basic necessities. During this time, their team is focused on providing diapers, wipes, formula, blankets, hygiene items & more to children impacted by the coronavirus.
- FEEDING AMERICA – one of the top three largest charities in the United States, their COVID-19 response fund will be used to get food and funds to local food banks across the country.
- PLANNED PARENTHOOD – access to necessary health services are even more critical. Certain locations are offering appointments virtually & via phone call when appropriate.
Please leave a comment here if you are aware of organizations that need support, so we can all benefit from collective knowledge. As I feel pulled into despair, I am forced to remember that dark times are not without small moments of hope. It is powerful to see fashion designers like CHRISTIAN SIRIANO & KERBY JEAN RAYMOND rise to the challenge, utilizing their resources to help address the PPE shortage in New York City. It is reassuring to witness moments of increased compassion in our communities. It is uplifting to read about folks across the country putting RAINBOWS IN THEIR HOME WINDOWS to collectively show care for their neighbors, essential workers, & strangers.
To anybody & everybody who is trying their best to stay afloat amidst this uncertainty – I am wishing you comfort & strength.
To our healthcare workers, grocery store employees, pharmacy staff, any/all who are keeping our systems operational – we are extremely grateful for your sacrifices given the distressing conditions of our world.