3 Ways to Help Your Community in Times of Need
In times of uncertainty, it’s easy to feel scared or discouraged. But in order to come back from every setback stronger and better than before, we’ve got to come together to support the people in need throughout our communities!
Tragedies and world crises like the COVID-19 pandemic show us new ways we can help in our community. At RAC, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can help during trying times. Check them out and see how your small contribution can make a major difference.
Support First Responders
First responders are our first line of defense against almost any dangerous circumstance. Their jobs require bravery and expertise. But at the end of the day, they’re still ordinary people with families, fears, and dreams.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many first responders have asked people to donate face masks, face shields, and gloves — particularly supplies that are being stored for personal use. You can check your local news for information on where and how to donate these supplies.
Other avenues to serve first responders in your community, include donating food or sewing protective equipment. However, before you break out the sewing machine (or your favorite casserole recipe), check with local organizations to see what first responders in your area actually need — they may have too much of what you’re planning to make!
Additionally, if you’re on a first-name basis with any first responders, ask them how you can help! In many cases, a home-cooked dinner, a few hours of free babysitting (if you have a close relationship), or a simple favor can help take things off their plate!
During emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, blood donations can decrease significantly, causing medical procedures to be delayed or canceled for patients in need! You can give blood at a drive or donation center near you. The process usually takes 8-10 minutes, and the average donation can save up to three lives, says the American Red Cross.
Even if you’re scared of needles or don’t meet the eligibility requirements for giving blood, you can still join Rent-A-Center in supporting the American Red Cross. Donate to the Red Cross using this link, and RAC will match every dollar up to $50,000 through May 31, 2020. That way, you can feel good about doing twice as much good.
Another easy way to give back in times of need is online volunteering! As the world becomes increasingly digital, there are more opportunities to work and even volunteer from home. A reliable laptop and a can-do attitude are all you need to do good these days. Not sure where to start? A quick internet search for “online volunteering in (your city)” will help you find some options. Additionally, here’s a quick list of remote volunteer opportunities available nationwide:
- Smithsonian: If you’re all about sharing knowledge, check out digital volunteering opportunities with Smithsonian. You’ll help history live on by transcribing important diaries and documents into digital files to make them more accessible for researchers.
- Translators without Borders: Fluent in more than one language? You can help translate texts or conversations for crisis response by becoming a Translator without Borders.
- Crisis Text Line: Do you prefer texts over phone calls? If so, you can train to become a text-based Crisis Counselor with Crisis Text Line. You’ll learn new skills, develop your emotional intelligence, and help people dealing with anxiety and stress.
- Catchafire: Catchafire is a search engine that connects people with volunteering opportunities that fit their skills and interests. Depending on what you like, you can help organizations build websites, post social media updates, and write press releases — supporting their mission while also developing your resume.
- VocaliD: Want to give a voice to people who don’t have one? Now you can, all without leaving your home. Submit speech recordings online and VocaliD will use elements of your voice to create a unique synthetic voice for someone who doesn’t have one. Kids can participate, too!
Make Good Happen
Whether it’s prioritizing your health & safety in the midst of COVID-19, or donating Chromebooks to students in need, Rent-A-Center is all about making good happen! Support our partnership with the American Red Cross today to help us keep the kindness going!