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masked man sorting food items

Sadly, this global pandemic has caused so many stories of hurt and heartbreak. However, there have also been countless heartwarming tales of people helping out friends, family members, and complete strangers. Our insurance group is donating $3 million to COVID-19 relief* to support charitable organizations where our customers and employees live and work. We’re all in this together, and we’re doing our part to make a difference. If you’re also looking for opportunities to use your time, money, and skills for good, here are seven ways to help others amid COVID-19.

Donate to or Volunteer at Food Banks

Millions of Americans still struggle with hunger, and in a time of crisis, a disease like the new coronavirus can disproportionately impact the people who depend on food banks most. You can join in with a donation, or you can volunteer. Depending on your local food bank’s needs, you could be raising money, sorting and packing boxes for distribution, delivering meals, or more.

Check on Your Neighbors & Friends

While we’re social distancing, it’s natural to feel lonely, scared, or confused, so check on the people around you. Give your friends a call. Talk to your neighbor from a safe distance over your fence. A quick conversation can provide valuable moral support, and you’ll have a chance to identify the physical needs they have. You might be able to save someone a trip to the store by letting them have a stick of butter or a few eggs. Even small gestures can have a sizable impact.

Shop for At-Risk Individuals

Do you know a sweet, elderly couple from work or church? Do you have a friend who’s immune-compromised? Volunteer to drop groceries off at their doorstep so they don’t have to take the risk. If you don’t know anybody personally, there are organizations popping up around the world to help match willing shoppers with vulnerable individuals. You can run a quick search to see what organizations are active in your city and pick the one that works best for you.

Donate Blood or Plasma

There have been reports of blood shortages across the country due to the pandemic. If you’re able to give, you can find out when and where the Red Cross is hosting drives on their website. In addition to the requests for blood donations, the Red Cross is looking for people who have recovered from the new coronavirus to donate plasma. If you’ve had COVID-19 and recovered, your plasma has valuable antibodies that can attack the virus. Your donation could help someone win the fight for their life.

Become a Virtual Mentor or Tutor

Many children’s routines have been heavily disrupted by COVID-19. Schools are dismissed. Distance learning is the new norm. After-school programs’ traditional operations have been halted. To make sure students learn necessary information and to help them feel some sense of normality, you can volunteer to mentor or tutor students via virtual meetings. Sites like VolunteerMatch have filters to see how you can help children and youth in your area over the coming months.

Foster an Animal

If you wouldn’t normally have the time for a pet, why not foster an animal while you’re working from home? They’ll love the attention. You’ll get to cuddle with a cute dog or cat for a short period. Shelters will free up valuable space. It’s a win for everybody! Visit your local animal shelter’s site to see how you can help.

Make Masks

If you’ve got the gift of sewing, it’s the perfect time to put it to good use. Use old clothes or towels to make masks that you can distribute to people in need. If you’ve never made a mask, there’s no need to worry. The CDC has step-by-step guidelines to make sure yours are up to the task. You can even use fun fabrics or old graphic t-shirts to provide a personal touch if you’d like.

These are just a few ways to get involved. If you know of others, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below! Stay safe, and if you have any questions about car insurance, we’re just a call, click, or short drive away.


*Donation will be made by Direct Auto Insurance’s parent company. Direct Auto Insurance and its affiliated carriers in the National General Insurance Group, Winston Salem, NC.