While at home, there are many ways to support others who have been dramatically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, the DMV community is coming together to lift up small businesses, service workers, freelancers, and others whose stream of income has been eliminated. Below are seven ways you can contribute to your community during these trying times.
1. Keep Eating
There’s no denying that the foodservice industry has been devastated by the COVID-19 outbreak, with many D.C. restaurants laying off upwards of 90% of their workforces. One way some restaurants and coffee shops are staying open is by providing food for takeaway and delivery. Since we all could use a break from pantry meals and the thought of going to the grocery store isn’t so appealing, opting to order from your favorite local joint is a great way to keep your stomach full while supporting a small business. If you can't walk places, services like Caviar, Postmates, and DoorDash offer “no-contact” deliveries and are frequently running promotions on reduced delivery costs.
2. Help Your Neighbors
Now is the time to check-in (within a safe distance) with your neighbors. Living in a big metropolitan area, we don’t even always know those in our apartment building. Whether someone is a friend or a person you simply wave to in passing, reach out and see how those who live around you are doing- especially if you are in a position to offer assistance with fetching groceries, bringing over a roll of toilet paper, or helping with other essential tasks. Looking out for our community is more than just buying food or donating to a GoFund Me- it’s showing up when our most at-risk members need us the most!
Monetarily, you can support local businesses by buying products online, pre-purchasing services such as haircuts and massages, or getting a gift card to use at a later date. You can also support any number of GoFundMe campaigns that have been set up, like this one to provide grocery store gift cards to Arlington students previously relied on school for meals, or this fundraiser for Capital Area Food Back which helps provide shelter and meals (among other services) for the DMV’s most vulnerable residents.
For your time, consider adopting or fostering an animal (you’re at home all day, after all)! The Humane Rescue Alliance has lots of dogs and cats looking for new homes, and Lucky Dog Rescue is even hosting a virtual event tomorrow, March 25th, where people can meet a variety of adoptable animals. On the human side of things, the American Red Cross is estimating a loss of 46,000 donations due to canceled blood drives. However, you can still donate blood, and the organization has implemented additional cleaning measures to ensure a visit to a center is low-risk. To give blood, schedule an appointment here.
Lots of workers have been forced to adapt their businesses and services to virtual formats. While we all have the time to take on extra hobbies, we might as well support others while learning something new! Take a new workout class via the SWEAT Anywhere app from SWEAT DC, which provides a variety of live workout classes. Get your skincare routine in order with a virtual consult from Take Care shop, a local business in Georgetown. You can even get a mystery bag of books from Capitol Hill Books for hours of reading entertainment!
4. Stay Home
The number one way that you can help others fight against COVID-19 and it’s rippling effects through the community is to stay home. By practicing social distancing and avoiding all unnecessary travel, you will be able to help flatten the curve and prevent the spread of the virus.
AdvantEdge Workspaces is proud to be an office space community with two locations within the District. The places our clients love to stop at for morning coffee, lunch, or a post-work drink are all impacted, and we hope everyone will consider lending a (virtual) hand during these trying times. If you have other resources or tips to share for supporting the D.C. community, leave a comment below!