How We Can Help Our Neighbors and Neighborhoods During Coronavirus
And beyond, because we need this kind of goodness even when we’re not in a pandemic.
It’s easy to feel like the world is ending right now. And there’s no question that this pandemic is going to change life as we know it as work, school, and play move online and the day-to-day gears of cities grind to a halt.
Despite the grim projections, there is hope. Even in the worst-hit country in Europe right now, quarantined Italians are keeping spirits high through music and applause. Justice is being served to turn malintent into charity. Companies like &pizza and many others are staying true to their values and putting their employees first. Minority groups are supporting each other to combat xenophobia and hate. Across the country, people are mobilizing to provide for those who can’t provide for themselves.
Right here in the nation’s capital, neighbors are reinforcing the meaning of the term “neighborhood”. Below, we’re curating an ongoing list of the resources in our community, new and pre-existing, to bring brilliance to these dim times. We welcome your stories of light and additional resources to add to this list:
Ways to support or request support for high-risk and marginalized individuals
- Citywide mutual aid organized by The Table Church
- Collection of local mutual aid efforts via DCist — quick links below:
Black Lives Matter Facebook and Twitter
Petworth mutual aid volunteering
Mt. Pleasant mutual aid volunteering
Mutual aid for immigrants by Many Languages One Voice
Mutual aid at GWU
Rez911 by the Church of The Resurrection in Capitol Hill
- Ward 1 mutual aid volunteering
- NW DC mutual aid donation
- Capital Area Food Bank — The food bank is in urgent need of volunteers to pack and sort food at their warehouse, and to assist in off-site distributions
- Martha’s Table — Volunteers needed to help prepare and bag food
- We Are Family – Volunteer to deliver groceries to seniors.
- Grace’s Table – Looking for volunteers to help feed the homeless each Saturday
- Food Rescue US – Volunteers with vehicles needed to pick up and deliver food from businesses to DC residents in need
- Food and Friends DC – In urgent need of extra volunteers throughout the coming weeks. There are two volunteer opportunities, food preparation and packaging and meal and grocery delivery
- Aunt Bertha — Aunt Bertha’s network connects people seeking help and verified social care providers that serve them by zip code. Contact your local shelter to see what help and/or items may be needed
- DC Public Schools – In need of volunteers to help keep running their many meal sites for kids in DC during school closures! Please fill out the linked survey.
- e-NABLE D.C. — A community of volunteers who are providing 3D printed face shields at no cost to assist personnel working on the front lines against COVID-19 and address the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). Donate to help them pay for materials needed to fabricate the shields. If anyone knows of hospitals or other essential personnel in need of these face shields, please contact enable.dc@gmail.
- Greater Washington Community Foundation — They are rapidly raising funds and deploying critical resources to nonprofits on the frontlines of responding to the urgent health & economic needs of disproportionately impacted communities across the Greater Washington region.
- ROC-DC – In need of financial donations to provide emergency relief to impacted restaurant workers in the DMV
- So Others Might Eat (SOME) — SOME is in need of financial donations for supplies and meals for their clients
- N Street Village – in need of financial donations to continue providing key services and meals for thousands of women experiencing poverty and homelessness in DC.
- Food it Forward — Help keep DC restaurant jobs, and help feed DC families in need by buying a meal package. Martha’s Table has teamed up with Clyde’s Restaurant Group, amongst others, to deliver meals to those in need — while helping keep restaurant workers employed
- Greater DC Diaper Bank — Preparing to serve families for the next two months. Please consider making a donation.
- DC Dream Center – In need of financial donations to continue providing free meals and supplies to those in need in Southeast DC
- Bread for the City — Accepting monetary donations for groceries, diapers, and medical supplies to give clients during open hours. Please consider making a donation to support their efforts here.
- Momma’s Safe Haven — In need of donations to continue providing programming for youth and providing rides to/from DCPS meal sites
- Sasha Bruce Youthwork– In need of financial support to help them keep their doors open to homeless youth
- Little Sesame– Every $10 in gift cards you buy provides a meal for someone in vulnerable communities
- Martha’s Table– In need of financial donations appreciated to continue their education, health and wellness, and family engagement programs
- Miriam’s Kitchen– In need of financial donations to help neighbors experiencing homelessness receive access to a sink or have a home to stay when they are sick
- Capital Area Food Bank– Financial contributions appreciated to continue their mission of providing food to food insecure neighbors
- DC Central Kitchen– Financial contributions ensure that they can continue to serve the community
- World Central Kitchen– Donate to World Central Kitchen or buy gift cards to one of the Think Food Group restaurants to support their community kitchens
- Calvary Women’s Services — Financial contributions allow them to maintain a safe and caring home for all the women in their housing programs
Ways to support local businesses and their employees
- Wary of grocery stores? Support your local farmers and market vendors — pre-order or (depending on your location) get goods delivered.
- In every spending decision you make, you have the chance to change someone’s life for the better. Shop small. Shop local. Support the DMV businesses most affected right now, like the ones on this list.
- Donate to the Coronavirus Worker Relief Fund, started by RAMW Hook Hall to support restaurant and foodservice industry workers who may need assistance with supplies, community support, family meal, and more.
- Support your local waiters and barkeeps via the DC Virtual Tip Jar
- Ways to help local restaurants without dining out
- Support local stores and restaurants:
Politics & Prose (free shipping)
Capitol Hill Books (free shipping)
City Winery (venue is closed but they are still making and selling wine, produced locally)
Little Sesame x Dreaming Out Loud DC (buy a gift card, provide a meal to a vulnerable individual)
&Pizza (buy one, give one to a hospital worker)
- Remember local businesses when this is over, and show them and their employees extra love.
- For those in NYC, check out Invisible Hands — a free, volunteer-based delivery service for those most impacted by and most at-risk for severe complications due to COVID-19.
- How to support local business while social distancing over coronavirus in Charlotte, NC
- In San Francisco, sponsors can be connected to participating local restaurants to provide high-quality dinners each night to support local clinicians.