As our Miami Valley communities and medical facilities battle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it’s important for everyone to do their part. This includes taking part in social distancing and avoiding interaction with elderly persons – the most vulnerable members of our community.
However, hundreds and thousands of people will need assistance and the generosity of strangers during these strange and difficult times. If you’re healthy, capable and willing to fight the good fight, now’s your chance to make a difference. Become a volunteer or make a donation! Here a list of some local nonprofits, tips and resources to help you get started:
Be a good neighbor
Whether you’re outgoing or a homebody, your neighborhood is your family during the coronavirus outbreak. It’s a good idea to have an understanding of what’s going on in your community and which of your neighbors might need additional assistance.
Collaborate with everyone by knocking on doors – keeping a safe 6-foot distance from people – or using a digital app or platform like Nextdoor and its Nextdoor Help Map. If there are any elderly or immunocompromised people in the neighborhood, stay in contact with them to see if they need supplies like T.P., are showing any COVID-19 symptoms or just want to chat. A little goes a long way.
With Ohio and Indiana’s stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, there are now even more obstacles people must navigate to shop for groceries. You can help.
Each week, when planning your normal grocery run or pick-up order, ask your neighbors if you can pick up any essential items from the store. Simply drop the groceries off on the porch to limit any person-to-person contact. If financially stable, you can issue a traditional I.O.U. for those purchases.
Live out in the middle of Richmond, IN? Neighbors might be hard to come by. You can still do your part by becoming a volunteer for your state’s Shopping Angels group. This program, started by a pre-med student in Nevada, offers free grocery pick-up and delivery service during the coronavirus outbreak. Nearly every state has a Shopping Angels group up and running, and they’re all accepting volunteers for the foreseeable future. Dayton volunteers can sign up and get more info here; those in Indiana can sign up here.
As always, it’s important to take all recommended precautions, as outlined by the CDC, to lower the risk of contracting and/or spreading COVID-19. This includes keeping your hands away from your face, washing your hands as soon as possible and limiting contact with potential points of infection.
If possible, utilize a vehicle with a hands-free power tailgate when buying groceries during the coronavirus outbreak. The 2020 Honda Pilot.Touring and Elite models come standard with the tailgate, allowing you to access the cargo area with a swipe of the foot (under the bumper). But even so, don’t forget that squirt of hand-sani before getting in the driver’s seat.
Completing a simple task can be a big help to neighbors who may be quarantined, isolated or too vulnerable to go out in the public. Consider how you can safely offer your assistance to those around you and in your community. Some typical tasks may include:
- Picking up a prescription from the pharmacy
- Doing some yardwork in preparation for spring
- Setting up an Easter egg hunt in the backyard
- Mowing the lawn
- Cleaning a pool
- Offering childcare (if all families have been self-quarantined and show no COVID-19 symptoms)
- Walking and/or caring for pets
- Bringing neighbors books or board games from your home
- Taking trash cans and recycling bins to the curb on trash day
- Power-washing siding
- Running an important errand
- Making a homemade meal or soup
- Lending a cup of sugar (seriously)
Sign up for the Mutual Aid Dayton Facebook group to find more volunteering opportunities.
Meals on Wheels
With the novel coronavirus hitting our elderly communities hardest, nonprofit programs like Meals on Wheels are dependent on volunteers and donations more than ever. You can fill out a form to become a volunteer at your local Meals on Wheels branch; those in Dayton and Miami Valley can look to the Meals on Wheels of Southwest OH for guidance.
Currently, Dayton’s local program is looking for emergency volunteers to cook and prepare meals in the kitchen, pack frozen and canned meals for delivery, and deliver those meals and pantry items to seniors. All Meals on Wheels volunteers and delivery drivers should be free of coronavirus symptoms, healthy and have their own reliable mode of transportation that can be used for meal delivery in a pinch. (A vehicle like the Honda Odyssey makes sense.)
If you have kids, the Dayton Meals on Wheels branch is also looking for people to create Love Notes for Seniors. Write letters or make drawings to send along with prepackaged meals, and you’ll be letting senior citizens know that they’re in your hearts during these trying times.
With God’s Grace Mobile Food Pantry
As of March 24, Dayton’s With God’s Grace Mobile Food Pantry has a drive-thru meal service for local residents and families. As an essential not-for-profit, the Pantry is working diligently to remain open and continue serving hot meals to those in need. You can help! Here’s what you need to know about volunteering:
- You must not be sick
- Temperatures will be taken before volunteering, and anyone with a fever will be asked to leave and self-quarantine
- Bring your own hand sanitizer in case of shortages
- Gloves will be provided
- No face masks will be provided
- Volunteers must abide by social distancing guidelines (6 feet of separation)
If you’d like to volunteer, please reach out to With God’s Grace directly.
Donate food to the frontline
The “frontline workers” during the coronavirus outbreak are doing their best to treat patients and serve the community. Their tireless efforts sometimes don’t allow them to go to the grocery store. You can donate canned and non-perishable food to the cause through healthcare facilities like Premier Health. The food will be given to nurses, doctors, cleaning staff, healthcare team members and those working in emergency departments.
If you don’t live near Dayton and would like to donate to your local hospital, please contact them directly.
Make face masks
As many people know, the healthcare industry doesn’t have nearly enough protective facemasks to battle the coronavirus pandemic safely. Hospitals are now accepting homemade face masks with open arms. If you can sew, or if you have a sewing group that would like to help, consider contacting your hospital or clinic for details on face mask requirements, patterns, fabrics and handling procedures.
Take some hours out of your week and become a bona fide hero. Because during times like these, there are no small acts of courage or kindness.
From all our Miami Valley Honda Dealers, we salute you and your commitment to your community. If you’d like to volunteer and are looking for a perfect vehicle sidekick to help deliver meals or run errands, check out your nearest Miami Valley Honda dealership in Ohio or Indiana. Stay safe!