These are trying times. Tensions are running high because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has left thousands dead and more than hundreds of thousands sick worldwide. Grocery store shelves have emptied, schools have closed and officials are urging many to stay inside.
In times of crisis, a timeless quote from the late Fred Rogers tends to emerge again and again on social media: "Look for the helpers."
His mother reminded him to find these people in times of tragedy and anxiety, and it continues to ring true because of the man who made the comment.
"You can always find people who are helping," he said. Fred Rogers died in 2003.
As the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to shape Americans' daily lives – affecting how, when and where we work, if at all, getting sick or anxious from the seemingly endless deluge of bad news; worrying if our families are affected – it's easy to feel like your individual actions may not matter in the grand scheme of things.
But consider being a good neighbor – and help your community. It can help alleviate any feelings of helplessness you may face as the virus continues to spread worldwide. Here's how to make an impact in your community with a few tangible actions:
Donate money. Plenty of organizations and charities – those in your community, as well as those that serve globally – are looking for monetary support. Charity Navigator has compiled a list of trustworthy multinational charities to donate to, and food banks, shelters and other charities in your area certainly need financial aid. Beyond that, there are plenty of people struggling to make ends meet, with coronavirus affecting their employment, some of whom have set up GoFundMe campaigns.
Tip extra. If you grab take out, make sure to add a couple of extra bucks to your usual tip. Not all service, health care and retail workers have the privilege of working from home – or even calling in sick. Also, business may be slowing down wherever you go out to eat or drink due to the coronavirus, so some cash goes a long way in ensuring their livelihood, and ensuring that your favorite businesses stay open in the long run.
Be kind to people working. A little kindness can go a long way. Don't take out your anxiety and stress on someone working the cash register, or a pharmacist looking to help you fill necessary prescriptions. They're trying to help you out – and are dealing with hundreds of frazzled people.
Donate resources. Barring donations written in cash or check, donations in kind are always helpful. But make sure not to donate expired and old nonperishables. Instead, check in with your local food banks and shelters to see what items they may need – and donate accordingly.
Here are some instances of people exhibiting true kindness and generosity – being "helpers," if you will – despite these trying times.