Impactful Ways to Help Your Community

Friday, April 10, 2020

The pandemic doesn't seem to be ending any time soon. If Covid has taught me anything, it's that we need to support our local communities and work together. We are living in crazy times, and some people will find this overwhelming. Some may also need a bit of extra love, care and help. There are many things you can do to help your community. Whether you raise £30 million like Captain Tom or help someone in need, here are some things you can do to help your community!

Support Your Food Bank

Food banks are in desperate need of supplies. One way you can help your community is to purchase a few extra things in your weekly shop and drop them into the food bank basket at the front of most stores. My local Tesco and Co-op have these. Check on your local foodbank's website to see what they are in desperate need of. Most food bank websites will tell you what they need and don't need. Many have an abundance of pasta at the moment, so be considerate if you're looking to buy more. It's not always ideal to live off of pasta.

Typically pasta, pasta sauce, tinned fruit/vegetables and long-life milk will always be welcomed along with other necessities such as sanitary products and toiletries. If your local area doesn't have a list and you're unsure, you could donate money to the food bank. They will use the cash to buy the things they're most in need of. Here are some interesting, but practical things my local food bank is asking for, and something you should consider too:

  • Olive oil 500 ml
  • Hand warmers
  • Bags for Life - for putting the food parcels in
  • Instant coffee & tea bags
  • Toothbrushes & shampoo
  • Nappies
  • Long-life fruit juice
  • Jams & spreads
  • Instant mashed potato

Another way you can help your food bank is to give your time. Food banks are being heavily relied on at the moment, and some may need extra hands. If you have a spare few hours, give your time to pack boxes and sort donations. Even if you write your name down on a waiting list, you're still moving in the right direction!

Do Something For Charity

My goal this year was to give more to charity. This includes my time as well as money. My family has been blessed with the support of cancer nurses, mental health clinics and other facilities that rely on donations. I am walking a 10K race to support Cancer Research. Like so many others, my family has faced battles with cancer, and I'd love to give back to those who helped my family. If you'd like to donate, please do so here. You can support local charities or bigger ones. Here are a few ways you can help a charity: 

  • Volunteer at a charity shop
  • Have a percentage of your wages donated to charity
  • Do a skydive, fun run or bake sale!
  • Donate blankets, coats and gloves
  • Give at your local food bank
  • Fill a shoebox with essentials at Christmas
  • Give your old toiletries to help end hygiene poverty
  • Donate blood 
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen or shelter
  • Share fundraisers on social media
  • Donate money to a charity you support
  • Shop in a charity shop
  • Donate your old clothes, toys and other charity shop items
  • Leave a charity gift in your will

I love doing charity fun runs and events. I think it's a great way to stay fit, meet people and support charities that mean something to you. From 5k colour runs to marathons and hikes, there are races for everyone. If you don't like to run, you could always volunteer your time or hold a bake sale! You could also volunteer at the race events, an equally important role! I'd recommend researching your favourite charities and what events they are holding.

Help out a High-Risk Person

Many elderly people struggle to get the food or essentials they need as they're considered high risk. In the first lockdown, many people offered their help to the elderly with the card below. I know in my local area, the community aspect has died down. Some people may still need help, so it's work reaching out. One way you can help is by offering to run errands to the elderly or high-risk people.

With this, you must be careful to not risk their health and to do this, you must avoid contact with them. Through letterboxes, post the template below with your details on. This enables the person to contact you and ask for your services. By collecting prescriptions, shopping and posting/collecting their mail, you will help high-risk people stay safe. Just leave it inside their porch, outside their door or in an agreed safe space. You should use sanitiser or wash your hands thoroughly before helping these people. Wearing a mask may also make the person feel more comfortable.

Support Local and Smaller Businesses 

Supporting small business in this time can literally help a family put food on the table. With restaurants and other non-essential businesses closing, many have resorted to online means. However, some haven't been able to do that. Supporting your favourite business online, or even popping into their shop can really make a difference. Whether you buy from a physical shop or online, you're helping a small business and their families. You're also preventing another small business closing down.

Large retailers can afford to keep afloat a lot easier than these small businesses can. For example, Debenhams is struggling, every year it gets purchased again and survives another year. Small businesses don't have that luxury, so close for good. Many have resorted to new means to keep their shops afloat. Nail artists have made press on nails to sell while bakers have opted so sell over Instagram or Facebook. Consider an Etsy seller before you shop on Amazon. Support a local takeaway or take-away restaurant before you get a KFC. There are so many amazing people out there! For more tips on how to support small businesses, I wrote a whole blog post about it!

Give Blood

This appeals not only to your community but to the whole country. If you haven't been out of the country recently and are in tip-top shape, then you should consider giving blood. Blood banks are in desperate need of blood, even before the pandemic. With most people staying at home, fewer people are giving blood which puts pressure on blood banks. Imagine being in desperate need of blood but finding out they've run out or don't have your blood type. If you want to go the extra mile, the NHS need plasma, tissue and platelets. You should give blood as you'll be giving those who have had serious injuries a fighting chance to live another day. There is also a need for more donations to have enough blood for the future.

Helping the community doesn't have to cost a lot of time of money. It can be a small act that makes someone's life a little easier. Let me know in the comments how you are helping your community. No matter how small your act is, it all contributes! I personally love donating to food banks and helping out smaller businesses. You can always find something so special and unique from a small business!

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  1. Love this so much! Some great ideas here! Stay safe.

  2. Great ideas for doing things in the community, thanks for sharing :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

  3. Some great suggestions there. More than ever donating to food banks is going to be so important.

  4. Some simple and easy tips to follow during these lockdowns to help others. I liked the idea of donating food to the foodbanks, besides others. Thanks, Emily, for sharing it.👏

  5. I don't know much about the restriction in the UK but in my country they're now lifting the restriction to the point of wearing mask is no longer mandatory. One of the thing some of us we are doing is keeping our mask on and still keeping the distance and help those who are still in high risk of getting sick.