Updated 5/6 It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 2 months since the Los Angeles Mayor told us we’d be Safer at Home – because it feels like it’s been this way for a thousand years. There are many ways people can volunteer and help out people in need in Los Angeles. Thousands of kids are going without the regular meals they get from schools and many parents are without a paycheck.
If you’re looking for ways to help, here is a list of organizations collecting everything from food to diapers to money. Please let everyone know about any other volunteer or donation opportunities in the comments.
The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is asking for monetary donations to help feed everyone that needs assistance. The coronavirus closures are disproportionately impacting lower-income families. “The Food Bank is working hard to meet this extra need, but we need your help. School closures, quarantines, business shut-downs and reduced work schedules all impact access to food.” For more information, click here.
No Kid Hungry is asking families to help ask Congress pass emergency SNAP funding for low-income families and donate to help feed kids missing out meals provided at school. No Kid Hungry is diverting resources to the hardest-hit communities, providing emergency grants for the hardest-hit communities and helping get information out to families. More information can be found here.
The City of Los Angeles has set up the COVID-19 Response and Relief Fund to help provide support for families, relief for healthcare workers, equipment for health response, services for unhoused neighbors and research. More information can be found here.
Project Angel Food is asking for volunteers to help out during the COVID-19 crisis. More than 60 percent of their clients are over 60 and need help getting meals and some of their volunteers have canceled shifts. They are also asking for donations to meet the needs of more people requiring assistance. You’ll find more information including safety procedures here.
The United Way of Greater Los Angeles has set up a Pandemic Relief Fund “to support L.A. County’s unsheltered residents who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus, and low-income individuals, students and families at imminent risk of homelessness and hardships due to health and economic impacts of coronavirus. Currently, an estimated 59,000 people are experiencing homelessness on any given night, without the ability to obtain consistent shelter or health care, and 1.7 million working families in L.A. struggle in poverty.” Donations will help support public health programs, prevent homelessness, provide support for low-income students and support for nonprofits. For more information, click here.
Cedars Sinai is asking people to donate blood due to cancelations of local blood drives. They said this in an email. “Due to a decline in community blood drives, we are asking that our generous blood donors continue to share their good health and help us maintain adequate blood inventories during this uncertain time.” Click here to learn more and see if you are eligible to donate and information about visiting the donation center.
A Place Called Home, which provides services for young people in South Central Los Angeles, has had to close to visitors due to the COVID-19 outbreak and had to reschedule a bowling fundraiser – Stars & Strikes. But don’t worry, it’s now a virtual fundraiser. For more information, click here.
The United Nations Foundation announced a $20 million matching donations to support global relief efforts for COVID-19. ” The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fundraiser supports WHO’s global efforts to track the outbreak, help patients and frontline workers, and speed up vaccine and treatment development.” Click here for more information.
L.A. Works organizes volunteers to do good things for people all over Los Angeles. Here’s what they have to say, ” Now, more than ever, we need one another to help get through these unprecedented times. The L.A. Works team has been working tirelessly with our partners to identify critical needs and determine how to best connect volunteers to address and meet those needs.” They are asking for virtual volunteers to set up groups and help seniors. If you have any tech or social media skills, please consider reaching out here to L.A. Works.
L.A. Works is also looking for volunteers to help with hunger relief. Here’s what they say, “The “Safer at Home” order allows food banks to operate so your hungry and homebound neighbors can get what they need. These food banks desperately need your volunteer help to sort donations, package food kits, or deliver meals. All banks have incorporated thorough distancing and hygiene procedures.” Follow this link and find out if you can help.
The families served by the nonprofit Help a Mother Out are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus crisis. ” We are working with our community partners to anticipate and address the significant increase in diaper need, especially from families who do not receive any form of public assistance, including service employees and undocumented immigrants.” For more information, click here.
LAUSD will open 60 grab & go food centers throughout Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 18 for students in need. They can take home two meals on weekdays. I will update if any donation information becomes available about donations. For a list of Grab & go centers, check here.
There are other ways to help as well as the ones listed above. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti urged residents to check in on each other especially the elderly. And maybe call someone you haven’t talked to in a while and make sure they’re okay.
It’s been an unsettling couple of weeks with so much information coming at us from all over the place. I hope everyone out there is safe and healthy and your kids aren’t driving you crazy. Take care of yourself.