7 Ways to Help Out Your Community At Home

For the volunteers, the extroverts, the helpers and those who feel hapless stuck inside, there’s so much to do to make your communities shine. Parents, let your kids pick any one of these seven suggestions and let them take the lead to map how your family can join the global campaign to help from home. 

When you choose one with your family, be sure to tag us on social @ChicagoParent and use our community hashtag #ShareChicagoParent! 

Join the chance to B-KIND

Chicago Parent’s Kind Kid Challenge features 25 acts of kindness to practice during this pandemic, and you can play it all on a bingo card. Challenge your kids to be kind by having them complete as many of the actions as they can for a chance to earn a certificate and show off their kindness. 

Crafting for hospitals 

Hospitals are in dire need of a number of items including protective face masks. If you’re a crafter with fabric lying around, consider making some washable face masks to donate to your local hospital. Just make sure they are CDC compliant, which according to the Cleveland Sewing Company, means you need two layers made of 100 percent cotton. 

Hospitals are also in need of blankets. Check out this Make a Blanket Kit from Fleece & Thank You or try a tutorial from Joann Fabric

Foster a pet 

With all non-essential businesses shuttering for three weeks, the need for pet fosterers is greater than ever. And since most of us are either working from home or off during that time, now’s the perfect time to foster a pet – and who knows, maybe you’ll have your new best friend when this is over. 

Check with your local animal shelter or PAWS Chicago for more information. 

Donate blood 

According to the American Red Cross, there’s a severe blood shortage happening right now, and healthy, eligible donors are strongly urged to make an appointment. 

You’re not staying at home for this one, but coronavirus is not known to spread through blood. The Red Cross is enforcing strong protocol to prevent the spread of the disease at blood donation spots. 

Create a community food pantry 

No doubt you’ve seen the Little Free Libraries around town. Have one in your community? Temporarily repurpose it (or craft a new one) and fill it with your extra canned goods, toilet paper and other needed items and encourage your neighbors to add to it.  

This way, when a community member runs out of something, they can adhere to CDC recommendations and keep away from others as they walk to your little food bank instead of hitting up a crowded market. 

Pro-tip: COVID-19 can live up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Use gloves when loading up your little pantries and make sure you’re sanitizing what you can. 

Host something fun online 

Does your kid know how to draw or bake? Host a virtual playdate or head to Facebook or Instagram Live to teach your community members a new skill. It’ll help keep them social, which is great for their mental health. 

Don’t have a skill that translate well online? Let older kids grab their favorite kids’ book to host a story time. 

Stay home 

It such a simple one but simply staying home can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your community. Staying home helps slow the spread of the disease and will help keep our healthcare system from a huge influx of sick people. 

Have you thought of any other ways we can help our community during the COVID-19 crisis? Share them with us by emailing editor@chicagoparent.com.

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