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Helping Your Community Through Crisis

Theresa Farrell | April 14, 2020

In a time of crisis, those of us who can help our community, should. There is certainly ample opportunity during our current situation.

IPS was proud to donate meals to local hospitals in partnership with Red Letter Hospitality, a local management company. Since their restaurants are currently only open for takeout, they started a program to bring hot meals to local healthcare establishments. The program provides a way for them to support healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis while still keeping some of their people employed during the restaurants’ closure.

IPS donated in order to support and thank medical staff and first responders as they fight the coronavirus. Through the donation, Red Letter Hospitality was able to provide 150 delicious meals to three local hospitals, including: AHN Saint Vincent, UPMC Hamot, and Meadville Medical Center.

What’s happening in your community? Here are a few ways you can make a difference.

Social Distance

The most important thing you can do to help your community is to practice social distancing. Stay home as much as you can. Wash your hands often and try to maintain six feet of social distance when you must go out. Follow health and safety guidelines from the government and do what you can to slow the spread and flatten the curve.

Donate to Charities

Money is tight for a lot of people now, but if you have the means, here are a few charities you can donate to that are helping with the direct health and economic impact of the pandemic.

  1. The United Way is supporting communities struggling during the pandemic who need access to food, shelter, vital information, and more, through United Way’s global network.
  2. The World Health Organization started a COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Plan
  1. You can donate to local food banks or homeless shelters. With the closure of many businesses, workers are being laid off and may need more assistance with food. Also, children are out of school. This will put even more stress on food banks.
  2. The Red Cross supports all urgent humanitarian needs and runs programs like Meals on Wheels, which are especially important in the current crisis.
  3. Save the Children works to give children in the U.S. and around the world a healthy start in life. This includes helping with the current crisis as children are out of school and those in refugee camps are even more vulnerable.
  4. The CDC Foundation is an independent nonprofit and the sole entity created by Congress to mobilize philanthropic and private-sector resources to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s critical health protection work.

Support Local Business

Buy gift cards for local businesses. Many smaller businesses have been forced to close temporarily, which is taking away their revenue stream. You may also be able to purchase advance tickets for local theaters or other community events. These purchases can help with cash flow issues as they continue to pay bills without their usual income.

Check out this Support Local to see if there are local businesses in your area that you can support.

If you are doing takeout or delivery food, try a local restaurant. Using delivery services can also help members of your community stay employed. In addition, if you are ordering, TIP WELL!

Don’t have the money to spare? You can still help.

Reach Out

Check on elderly or other at-risk neighbors. Maybe you can offer to pick up groceries or prescriptions for them. Since they are at a higher risk, drop them off by the door to avoid physical contact.

There are people who are working still, but schools are not in session. Some parents are struggling with childcare. If you are able to stay home and can safely help, volunteer to watch kids of people you are close to.

Make sure to keep in contact with others to help with loneliness. Know someone who lives alone or who is extroverted and struggling with social isolation? Reach out. Use Google Hangouts for a virtual family dinner or happy hour with friends. Play games with friends online. Call your grandparents or others who aren’t great with technology. Want to reach out more? Call your local retirement communities. Many have reduced visitation. Maybe they can connect you with someone who needs to hear a friendly voice.

Donate Blood

Donate blood if you can do it safely. Many blood drives have been canceled and the Red Cross is concerned about blood supply.

Share Your Thoughts

Call your senators and representatives to make sure the government is doing all it can for those who are out of work because of coronavirus shutdowns. Also tell them how important it is that hospitals have the equipment they need.

Avoid Disinformation

Be careful about the information you are sharing. Disinformation can be dangerous. So, try to not share news if you don’t know and/or trust the source.

For more info on scams and disinformation capitalizing on COVID-19 fears, read our previous blog: Social Distance Yourself From Online Coronavirus Scams.

Make a New Furry Friend

See if local animal shelters need foster homes for pets. If shelters are unable to stay open, they may need help homing the animals temporarily.

Be Kind

Healthcare workers and first responders are putting themselves at risk to help others. Let them know you appreciate their sacrifice. If you are doing delivery, takeout or going to the grocery store, make sure to thank the people who are still working and dealing with the public.

Self-care

It can be trying to make a difference within your community if you forget about your own well-being. Self-care in isolation is so important for the mind and body, but how can you do that when you can’t really go anywhere? You may need to get a little creative. Here’s a great guide to get started filled with ideas you can do right at home. And once you take care of yourself, you can take care of your community.


The world is stressful at the moment, but we can still do some good in it. Keep an eye out and you will find opportunity.

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Theresa Farrell

Theresa Farrell

Theresa joined IP Services nearly a decade ago after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. She previously worked on both the Fraud Prevention and Privacy & Compliance teams. For the past five years, she has worked in Program Management as a Program Support Specialist which includes event planning, metrics reporting, and communication management.