Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you have to have to feel disconnected from your community and the rest of the world. During times of crisis, the positive effects of reaching out and doing good deeds goes even further.
Generosity not only helps others; it can help you feel better, too. This is especially true during stressful times – like if you’re starting to feel a little stir-crazy from self-quarantining or social distancing.
You can still make a difference from the comfort and safety of your home. Discover how with this list.
Put all the extra time you suddenly have on your hands to good use. All you need is an internet connection and a phone, tablet or computer and you can start volunteering from home.
Just like remote work, digital volunteering allows for more flexibility and the ability to choose from a wide range of opportunities. Nonprofits are always looking for help, especially during times of crisis. You can become a virtual volunteer and work for an organization you care about or discover something new.
Whether you’re passionate about education, language, science or social issues – or you’re a creative looking for some design, writing/editing or video creation opportunities – there are plenty of virtual volunteering options.
Organizations like the Smithsonian, Zooniverse, Project Gutenberg and Translators Without Borders all have digital volunteering opportunities for people willing to help. You can also use websites like DoSomething.org, Catchafire or VolunteerMatch to find opportunities.
You can always make a monetary donation to charities in need, too. Just be sure to make sure any organization you’re contributing to is legitimate.
Be a Good Neighbor
Nearly half of all Americans are under stay-at-home orders. So if you’re home, it’s likely your neighbors are as well. While checking in with friends and family is a bit of a no brainer, extending that concern to others isn’t a bad idea either.
Take some time to reach out. Call your neighbors, especially the elderly and those who live alone, to make sure they’re doing OK. Having a conversation and connecting with others can help ease some feelings of isolation.
You can extend your reach even further by writing letters to people in nursing homes and retirement communities, since many residents can’t have visitors right now due to the risk.
Adopt or Foster Animals
Adopting or fostering an animal could be just what you need to flourish while social distancing.
Taking care of a furry friend will help keep you busy, and spending time with a companion animal can improve your mood. If you have kids at home, adopting a pet can become a great lesson in responsibility.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 or that they might be a source of infection in the United States.”
There are many cats, dogs and other animals in need, and fostering or adoption can help. If you see yourself only having time for a pet during quarantine, and can’t offer a forever home, fostering may be the better option for you.
Due to nonessential business restrictions, many animal shelters are operating with a smaller staff. Be sure to call your local pet shelter in advance to ask about fostering/adopting, as they may be by appointment only.
Taking time to help the planet is always a noble cause. There’s always something we can do to be green.
First, try to cut back on waste, specifically food waste. Go through your cabinets, pantry and fridge to take inventory of what you have. Then, be sure to use it – meal planning makes this easier. Perishables should be used first: Vegetables can go into soups or stews that can be frozen, while ripe fruit can be used for baking (like in banana bread, muffins and hand pies). Donate any unexpired food you don’t see yourself using.
Next, be sure to reuse or recycle food containers. If you already recycle, keep up with it. If you don’t, now is a great time to start. To cut back on waste, you could also try composting. There are plenty of online resources to show you how.
Finally, you can be greener by planting something. Start a garden outside, add more greenery to your outdoor space or start growing herbs inside. Growing your own ingredients will not only give you something to do, it could also lead to fewer trips to the grocery store.
If you have spare time on your hands due to social distancing or self-quarantining, you can put that time to good use. Acts like virtual volunteering, fostering animals and being green are all good deeds that can be done from home.
How have you been helping your community? Tell us about your good deeds in the comments.