Civic engagement looks different during the coronavirus pandemic. In these unprecedented times, many of us are seeking new ways to connect with our community, and we want to do so responsibly. Below, we have compiled recommendations, opportunities, and resources to help you engage virtually and respond to current community needs.
- Explore virtual volunteering opportunities through your local United Way or volunteer center, or on idealist.org or volunteermatch.org.
- Deliver meals and supplies to isolated friends, family, and neighbors.
- Remember to maintain social distancing and follow public health recommendations.
- Address community-identified needs.
- Keep in mind that community organizations are navigating uncharted territory and may have reduced capacity to respond to volunteer inquiries.
- Give to local community organizations.
- Nonprofits and community organizations need your support now more than ever. Consider donating to an organization you’ve volunteered with or a cause you care about.
- Participate in a virtual food drive.
- Many local food banks and organizations like Meals on Wheels have virtual food drives or online wish lists you can donate to.
- Donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to medical facilities that accept it.
- Duke Health is accepting select PPE donations. Learn more here.
- Give blood if you can.
- The American Red Cross is in need of healthy, eligible blood donors. Find a drive here.
- Donate to the Duke-Durham Fund at community.duke.edu/give.
- Order takeout or delivery from local restaurants; tip generously if you’re able.
- Discover Durham maintains a list of Durham restaurants open for takeout.
- Shop local (online) and purchase gift cards for future use.
- Discover Durham shares additional tips on how to support local businesses.
- Review your favorite local businesses online.
- There are non-financial ways to show support as well, like taking the time to share positive reviews online.
- Call, email, or write letters to check on friends, family, and neighbors.
- Share gratitude for medical professionals and service workers.
- Connect with your local mutual aid network.
- Neighborhoods across the country are mobilizing to provide support to one another. Learn more about Durham Mutual Aid here.
- Stay informed and follow the recommendations of public health officials.
- Take time to learn more about your own community and the impact of COVID-19 locally.
- Duke Coronavirus Response
- Together Duke: Giving Back
- Duke Health: How You Can Help During COVID-19
- Duke Student Assistance Fund