Oxfam is one of my favorite international charities. They have a very low administrative overhead and do very effective work around the world, much of it famine relief. Their suggestions for how we can all help during this novel coronavirus pandemic are simple, yet impactful. I pass it on to you, as I think you will also be moved by it.
Of course, it is important to take the social distancing, hand washing, and immune system strengthening seriously, but to help maintain our sanity, it can be helpful – and even uplifting – to take a larger perspective on COVID-19. Oxfam’s “5 Things You Can do to Help” illustrates how we can support one another and focus on the amazing people who are coming together as a global community to fight this disease.
As COVID-19 continues to spread in communities near and far, it can feel overwhelming and scary. But there are ways we can cope with this health crisis together. No one individual, community, or country can deal with this challenge alone. We must work together, in our communities and across borders, with dignity and compassion.
Here are five ways you can help:
- Take care of yourself: Stay healthy, stay active, stay calm, and wash your hands.
- Take care of others: Stay home to help flatten the curve and give our healthcare workers the best chance to handle this. Check in on neighbors, friends, and family. Make video calls. Ask how you can help.
- Support small businesses, responsibly: Get takeout or delivery directly from your favorite local restaurants. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you can buy gift cards from them or other local shops.
- Donate to organizations helping people most affected by COVID-19: Support your local food bank, check Charity Navigator for a list of highly-rated charities supporting communities around the world, or support Oxfam’s relief efforts, including our work to deliver clean water, soap, and sanitation services to refugees and people living in high-risk environments.
- Push for policies that will help all of us succeed together: We are calling on federal and state legislators to urgently provide for paid sick leave, free coronavirus testing, and food assistance for low-income families and children. As the economy takes a staggering blow, we need to make immediate, large-scale investments that benefit working families and provide sensible, sustainable economic stimulus.
In these challenging times, we at Oxfam hope that you and your loved ones are staying healthy, active, and safe. We are thankful for the strong reaction shown by the Oxfam community in support of our efforts to respond to this public health crisis – we couldn’t do any of our work without you.