Photo by Salt Water New England

Thursday, January 14, 2021

What are Ways to Help Strangers During the Pandemic?

 

The pandemic has brought new stresses and strains.  I know many people have developed habits of giving to all different kinds of people and institutions over the years and decades.  But how have the readers of SWNE changed their giving recently, and what are great ways of helping beyond our immediate family and friends?  What is the best bang for our buck? 

Thank you! 

 


21 comments:

  1. lots and often to food banks, donating to grandson's public school as others can't afford to, giving 30% tips when we pick up food to take home, refusing the dollar or two in change when buying from a sidewalk fruit stand, and giving a $20 bill to worried-looking front line workers in grocery store, etc. most of all, we gave generously and often to political candidates who share our values,and are already seeing the benefits of that!

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    1. We’ve focused on local food banks and food drives. It is easy to write a check, and fun to shop for someone’s pantry. I worry most about children going hungry.

      We’ve also contributed to several Go Fund Me pages that support local individuals or businesses.

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  2. I wouldn't say that the pandemic has changed our giving, but we make sure that churches get the contributions that they deserve as Covid restrictions have greatly reduced the income sources of religious institutions. The best bang for your charity bucks are to either give a gift directly to an individual or family in need, cutting out the middleman, or to give to a charity that is highly rated for transparency and low overhead expenses.

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  3. We give to the same organizations as before, but have increased the frequency and amount of the gifts. Same for our church.

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  4. I’ve increased how much I tip, but I also withdrew from the bank a substantial number of twenty dollar bills. If I see someone living on the street, or who otherwise looks like they need help, I give at least one away. It really feels good to be able to ask, “how much do you need? What would help?” and then by able to deliver.

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  5. I am giving to animal charities that are hurting badly during this time.

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  6. Keeping up the support for our church, significantly more for the food bank, and as to tipping, my rule used to be multiply the entire check by .2 and round up to the whole dollar. Now I make sure that regardless of the math, the tip is at least several dollars, even for my plain bagel with plain schmear. Homeless folk who are on the corner also get helped, hopefully with some brief and friendly banter.

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    1. We are doing the same and try to use locally-owned restaurants. My giving has become much more local rather than national in scope.

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  7. Continued support of church, and local food pantry's. Trying to add a bit extra to my tip. Thanks so very much for all you do!

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  8. My children attend a small neighborhood Catholic elementary school, which has been open for the 2020/2021 school year (virtual around the holidays as a precaution). The school has incurred so many expenses in acquiring new cleaning and safety protocol equipment - I show my gratitude with increased monetary donations.

    But I think I'm really echoing the sentiment expressed by those who commented before me - if there is a business or a service or charitable organization/philanthropic goal you want to see after this is over - support it as generously as you are able now.

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  9. We have given to a friend's "Go Fund Me" Page whose wife recently died of inoperable cancer. We have given to political campaigns that support our values and donated canned goods to our Quaker Meeting to help those in need. I always give tips to waitresses and manicurists of 20% or more.

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  10. There is no substitute for human contact, even if it’s at a distance. Reading books to young children, picking up things (groceries, etc.) that friends and neighbors need and dropping them off safely. Otherwise, food security is a huge issue, find an organization that will use your $ well - or go volunteer time at one and help them pack food boxes for families.

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  11. Stay home! Last summer, we purchased all sorts of functional and beautiful masks but we haven't had a chance to wear them yet because we stay at home. Ten months and two days. But who's counting? . . . .

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  12. We've been staying home to protect ourselves and others. And, since our income hasn't been hit and we've been saving money staying in, we've increased our charitable giving by supporting the local food bank and our colleges' emergency funds.

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  13. It is important to realize that all good deeds, acts of charity, and seeds of kindness are of immeasurable value. As Mother Teresa so beautifully stated, "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." With each of these 'small things' we contribute to a greater good. The pandemic is threatening to create a culture of greed, selfishness and fear. Yes, be careful, but be kind, generous and keep smiling under those masks!

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  14. Two small ways in which I have tried to help: Donating as much as I can afford, and as often as I can, to five or six local charities in the central Wisconsin area, and also tipping very generously at the restaurants I frequent, mainly because tips are THE main source of income for waitresses and waiters. I also love to go to thrift and antique shops in search of antique things and interesting objects, vintage clothes and so forth. Several of these, like Goodwill and St Vinnie's, accept donations, and I try to do what I can. A good part of the stimulus checks I have received last year and this year, have also gone to this effort. I agree with EDR (and Mother Teresa) above -- every small action counts in the long view. The smile and the thank you from a waitress is reward enough for these small acts of kindness.

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  15. Big or small- Pay it forward,
    try it ASAP/where ever you are waiting, in drive thru or in line/right then.

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  16. When I’m in line at a restaurant I pay for the food for the person in front of me. I’ve been fortunate and it’s the least I can do. As a middle aged prep I especially like treating people more diverse than me.

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  17. Local theater company has done hybrid productions (recorded songs interspersed with live dialog). They have asked for donations to keep up with rent and other expenses.

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