WHAT CAN I POSSIBLY DO TO HELP?
In the last few months, as coronavirus has torn through the country, I've found myself feeling powerless. When I watch the news each night, I feel as though, as a teenager, there's nothing I can do to solve the problems this virus has created. However, after a bit of reflection, I've realized there are some simple ways that teens can make a difference in our communities right now. If you're like me and want to do something, albeit something small, to help, here are three ideas of how to fill the needs COVID has created in communities.
While quarantine is stressful for everyone, it can be particularly tricky for high-risk communities, such as elderly populations, to stay extremely isolated. Organizing your friends to write handwritten notes to be distributed at local nursing homes could be a great way to connect with your community despite the distance. It will only take you a few minutes to write, and I assure you that receiving a cheerful note will make someone's week!
While social distancing is necessary for protecting everyone's safety, limitations on large group gatherings have created several challenges for vulnerable populations. For individuals who are food insecure, the closures of soup kitchens and other free food services have been particularly challenging. Organizing a contactless canned food drive could be a great way to help those in need. If you're unsure of where to start, call your local food bank and ask them about their COVID-19 procedures.
Sewing face coverings
For anyone who is crafty, sewing face coverings to be donated to a local hospital is a great way to help your local frontline workers. Given that PPE shortages are still a major challenge in many hospital systems, cloth face coverings are in high demandin non-COVID units. Reach out to your local hospital for their mask specifications and then hit the sewing machine!
While these may be small actions, every little thing that you can do is valuable. As teens, we probably won't be able to find a COVID vaccine or reduce unemployment rates, but we still have the power to help our communities during these unusual times. As cliché as it sounds, we're all in this together! Don't hesitate to do something good for others!