How you can help those less fortunate during these uncertain times
As you may have noticed, the world is having a bit of a moment right now. With a pandemic spreading everywhere, many of us are shut away inside our homes. For many, this means working from home, but for others, it crucially does not.
While It's important to help those less privileged than yourself at any time, it's especially so during a crisis like the one we're currently facing. Those who are able to should find a way to help out where possible, so here are some things you can do to help out people in need during a crisis.
Donating to food banks can be critical, particularly when some people are grabbing anything and everything that they can off of grocery store shelves. Many people rely on food banks, particularly during times like these, to feed their families, and food banks need all of the resources they can get their hands on to help fill those needs.
One thing you can do is buy and donate food to a pantry. Canned goods and other sealed items are a good choice because they'll keep for a while, so even if a food bank becomes overstocked with them, they tend to keep for times of less immediate need.
You can also donate to organizations like Feeding America, which has a network of more than 200 food banks across the country. These groups work to get people food wherever it's needed, whenever it's needed.
You might also consider making a monetary donation to your local food bank, instead. While a direct contribution of food will undoubtedly be welcome, food banks generally know better than others exactly what they need. With increased funding, food banks can more precisely fill critical gaps in their supplies, making sure that anyone trying to meet their needs at the bank can get exactly what they're looking for.
While many are fortunate enough to be able to stay home and work during the pandemic, many others are not, often classified as "essential" employees, meaning that they'll have to go into work. This happens with many government workers, healthcare providers, and more. For these people, access to reliable childcare is extremely important so that they don't come under extra stress wondering what to do with their kids during working hours.
Private child care can end up being very costly, so many families find themselves resorting to public care. Donating to a public child care facility, or to a non-profit that works to help such facilities, is a great way to help people that need outside care while they head into work.
Local child care providers are going to be the best targets for your money, so check up on local organizations or facilities to see where your dollars can have the greatest impact.
Charities for the homeless
For many parts of the U.S., it's still fairly cold. Temperatures in the 20s and 30s are common, and I don't know if you've heard, but there's a pandemic going around. Some of the most vulnerable people during these times are the homeless, those who have little-to-no shelter available to them, as well as those without ready access to food or basic hygiene.
Organizations like the National Alliance to End Homelessness are always striving to help those without a home find shelter. These organizations look for solutions for these issues, then work with government and private organizations to implement those solutions wherever they can.
By donating to organizations working on issues of homelessness, you'll be contributing to finding hopefully warm, safe shelter for those who need it most.
In times like these, it's important for all of us who can to help the most vulnerable members of our society in whichever way is most helpful. Often, a monetary donation is most helpful, rather than a direct contribution of goods, as the organizations to which you may donate have a better idea of what exactly they need.
Where are you putting your charitable resources during this crisis? Do you have any favorite organizations for those in need to which you like to donate? Let us know all about them in the comments.
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Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.