By: Natalie Goodnow featuring IWF

People are sharing creative ways to support those most vulnerable to COVID-19 and its repercussions. These include grocery shopping for elderly neighbors to help limit their exposure to others, donating to nonprofits providing resources to families living paycheck to paycheck, and ordering takeout from restaurants to help reduce their financial shock as people stop patronizing stores. (Independent Women’s Forum has collected several stories on this.)

Now that people are practicing social distancing, it has become more challenging to help children and families who may be struggling as schools have closed and unemployment numbers continue to skyrocket. Here are a few suggestions for ways you can safely support the children and families in your community.

1) Prepare a meal or a care package of basic supplies such as toilet paper, disinfectant, diapers, formula, and hand soap and drop it off on their doorstep. No human contact is required to leave a meal or supplies for those who may have lost their paycheck right now or have their hands full with children unexpectedly home from school or day care. For some people, getting to the store may be a challenge, and accessing products that are in high demand may be particularly difficult for them. (Try to get to stores when they open to better your chances of getting hard-to-find items like toilet paper and sanitizing wipes. But be mindful that some stores reserve the first hour they’re open for the elderly and immunocompromised.)

2) Give a gift card for a grocery store or neighborhood restaurants they can get meals for takeout or delivery. A gas card (if they have a car) could also be helpful to make sure they are able to access essential services or reach their place of employment. With gift cards, you can support local businesses while helping a family in need.

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