TELL A HOSPITAL WORKER YOU GIVE A DAMN. Social media works fine, but a phone call, voicemail, hand-written letter of KID-DRAWN poster might also be a little slice of personality in a rough time. Knowing you recognize their sacrifice and care enough to thank them could give an exhausted nurse, doctor, clinician or staff member the strength to face another shift.
Call a local hospital and ask HOW TO DONATE FOOD. While big pizzas or large platters might not be accepted, putting together snack baskets might be the way to go. Arrange for a safe drop-off, and don’t forget the evening, night shifts, and “back of the house” staff. They eat things, too.
COOK/PREPARE A HEALTHY MEAL for a hospital working friend. You’ll want to be sure the person you’re cooking for is OK with this, and it can be as simple as a rotisserie chicken, bag of salad, loaf of bread. Voila. Or, kill two birds with one stone and BUY GIFT CARDS FROM LOCAL RESTAURANTS.
SHOP FOR/DROP OFF GROCERIES or other essential supplies for them.
OFFER TO DO THEIR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING for them. And/or wrap the gifts.
Help hospital worker parents with CHILDCARE. Many hospital staff fall in the “sandwich generation” age zone: caring for both parents and children at the same time. Find out if you can bear some of that burden.
PET CARE. Many hospital staff workers are pulling 12-hour – or longer – shifts. Offer to walk the dog, or stare at the cat. Or whatever cats need.
Encourage your friends in the health care industry to TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. Project Parachute is an example of a program that offers free pro bono tele-therapy for frontline healthcare workers. It is giving many nurses a well-needed mental outlet during COVID-19.
DONATE BLOOD. The Red Cross is facing disastrous shortages of blood during this pandemic and is asking anyone who is able to consider donating blood. You might also consider donating your TIME to the Red Cross to help with their COVID-19 disease efforts.
DONATE MONEY to GoFundMe and other charity organizations. Here are a few:
The American Nurses Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund
Off Their Plate - National organization connecting restaurants with local healthcare facilities for meals for workers.
Sneakers For Heroes - An initiative to distribute free footwear to medical professionals fighting on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.