During this time of Covid-19 when families are drastically affected by the shutdown or closure of many businesses in Ellsworth, Maine. Many local services are following the state guidelines, slowing down the process for help to these families in need. When it takes 6 months to finally receive the unemployment money you applied for at the beginning of the pandemic things can be very stressful. What can you do to help others?
Tip #1: FOOD HELP
Search out your local food pantry or food bank and donate non perishable items. Every item helps a family provide nourishment and prevents hunger. Want to help in a big way? Volunteer your time if they are doing delivery to homes to keep the possibility of contamination down. How rewarding to drop off a much needed box of food to a family in need!
Pro Tip: Go to your local dollar store and purchase 20 items that are essential to a home that are often overlooked at food pantries. Items like toothpaste, body wash, diaper wipes all things that never go bad and will help a family keep healthy too! (check to make sure the place you are donating the items to will accept these types of donations)
Tip #2: HOMELESS SHELTERS/HALFWAY HOUSES
Imagine being in a shelter during this time of uncertainty. Like food pantries the shelters provide meals, as well as showers, laundry and other necessities. Check with your local shelter and see if they can use laundry detergent, dish soap, paper towels, toilet paper, bleach, and food. Use your local family dollar again for the biggest bang for your donation dollars.
Pro Tip: Check with your shelter and see if they are accepting clothing and other household items to assist with setting up a rental for their clients. If so go through your house and donate items you no longer need from clothing to towels, dishes and linens.
Tip #3: HOLIDAY HELP
With the approaching holiday season this year will be especially hard on many families. Donate coats, hats, gloves to the Coats for Kids campaign. Donate at a Toys for Tots, Angel Tree location or at your local Catholic Charities organization. When you see the Salvation Army ringing their bell outside a store stop and drop some change or bills into the red kettle. Every little bit helps these organizations provide a gift to a child or family affected by this pandemic.
Pro Tip: Volunteering at one of these organizations can be a rewarding experience. A little time goes a long way! Volunteer to shop for the gifts, drop off Thanksgiving or Christmas meals, be a secret Santa!
There are many other little things you can do to help others. Check with your neighbors to see if you can save them a trip to the store for milk and bread. Assist an elderly person by picking up their prescriptions and other items to save them a trip out and possible exposure. It takes a community to survive, become part of your community!