Making Your Donations Matter During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Brian Riegel

April 13, 2020

Like most of you, I want to help my community weather the storm of the pandemic we are all living through.  But where to donate? How can I help? I want my donations to do the most good as possible. 

A quick Google search yielded some very confusing results, so I did some research to help me decide where to make my donation.  Hopefully that research can help clubs and individual Sertomans make their gifts do the most good possible.  I have broken my results down into ways to help in your local communities and a few national organizations.  I will not tell you where to donate or where I donated, but I will tell you where your donation can do good quickly.

Help Locally!

Food Pantries

Just like you are having problems finding things in local grocery, your local food pantry is having problems finding food for all the extra people they have to serve right now.  With so many people laid off, the need is even greater.  Click here to find a local food bank in your area.

Here are some things you can do to help your local food bank:

  • Food Drive: A lot of people have purchased too much food, thinking food would be scarce.  Now they realize they did not need twenty boxes of pasta and five cylinders of oatmeal.  You can do a food drive, while still being safe, send notices out via email and post on social media, that you will be picking items up on a specific date and time.  Ask them to leave a bag of groceries out for you to pick up that you can deliver to your local food bank.
  • Cleaning Supply Drive: Just like food, people need cleaning supplies. Host a cleaning supply drive just as you would a food drive.
  • Donate Funds:  Food pantries have connections with grocery wholesalers and can use donated funds to get food at very special prices. Panty managers can use the funds to purchase what they know is truly needed at the time, or to purchase supplies to keep their employees or volunteers safe.

Please make sure you take precautions when delivering your donations. Wear face masks and limit interaction with people.

Be sure to post a picture of everything you collect on social media and post to Sertoma’s Member Corner on Facebook!

Meals on Wheels Programs

This organization delivers meals to the most vulnerable seniors. Now that more seniors being forced to stay at home, Meals on Wheels is needed more than ever. Donations replenish food supplies, help with transportation costs, and enable efforts to safely check-in on isolated elderly recipients. They also help keep their kitchen facilities safe and clean. You can get contact information for your Meals on Wheels here.

Blood Donation

Community blood banks cannot hold big donation drives right now and a lot of their regular donors are sick or afraid of getting sick, so blood donations are way down right now.  Your blood is needed— people get into car accidents, need lifesaving surgeries, and need transfusions to help with cancers and other long-term illnesses. With one pint of blood, you can help as many as three people in your community.

Blood donation centers are extremely safe; they are taking extra precautions to make sure coronavirus is not transmitted in their facilities.  So, challenge your club brothers and sisters to make a blood donation today!  You can find your local blood donation center here.

Animal Shelter or Rescue

Just like your local food pantry, your local animal shelter or rescues needs help getting food.  Some shelters and rescues also need extra volunteers to help walk and care for the animal in their care.  Click here to find an animal shelter or rescue that serves your local community.

Boys and Girls Club

With kids out of school, your local Boys and Girls Clubs are serving more kids than usual. They are having to do their programs while being mindful of social distancing and keeping the kids safe with good hygiene. Many Boys and Girls Clubs are even working virtually. All the essential workers that do not get to work from home must find a place to watch their children.  Click here find your local Boys and Girls Club.

Help Nationally!

CDC Foundation:

The Center for Diseases Control’s nonprofit wing, the CDC Foundation, has set up a special Emergency Response Fund.  The fund was specially developed to help to combat the coronavirus, funding items like boosting clinical tools to help medical professionals and increasing laboratory capacity around the country.  Click here to learn more about this fund.

Center for Disaster Philanthropy Covid-19 Response Fund:

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has also started a special COVID-19 Response Fund.  This fund helps public health clinics and low-income clinics make significant capital purchases like masks, gowns, gloves and other essential personal protective equipment, as well as supporting special efforts to help limit the spread of the virus. Learn more about this fund here.

Feeding America:

Feeding America, a national organization supporting local food banks across the nation, has developed a special fund to help meet the increasing demand on the nation’s food banks because of the coronavirus. Learn more about how this fund is helping meet these demands here.

Another Important Way to Help…

Keep Donating to Your Charities

One of the most important things you can do is to continue with the donations you regularly make to charities.  Charities across the country are having to cancel events and cut back on other types of fundraising.  So please remember to make your regular donations (and maybe include a little extra) to the organization with the mission you love.  They can use your donation even if they are not serving coronavirus affected people directly.

I hope this post helps you find the best way to help your community and be a service to mankind!


1 Comment

  • Harold Wilkinson says:

    I have been thinking about using my government stimulus money in someway. Thank you for the suggestions.

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