Immigrant Volunteer Network Launches to Help Citizens During this Corona Virus Pandemic
Millions of people are losing their jobs, losing their livelihood. At the same time, millions more are without food, protective face masks, paper products and personal sanitizing products like antibacterial handwash.
While there is a shortage in many places, many of these can be addressed locally as well as nationally with each of YOU stepping up. It is in calamitous times like these when your humanity shines. How can you help? Or, do you need help?
If you are an immigrant, here are some simple ways in which you can use your time while homebound while helping many people:
- Provide food and basic necessities to the poor and needy. Over 3 million people lost their jobs in the last week. The number is expected to grow dramatically. Many people need basic items for subsistence – like food. Organize a food drive among your Facebook groups, local immigrant groups, WhatsApp groups and distribute it in needy areas near where you live. If you don’t know who needs groceries, we will soon launch an app that will match donors and people who need groceries. Please check back later this week.
Here are some useful websites that provide guidance on how to organize a food drive. While these guidelines discuss how to physically solicit donations and distribute them, during these Corona Times, focus on what you can do INDIVIDUALLY or how you can marshall others within a group you belong to (Facebook group, WhatsApp group, LinkedIn group, local volunteer group, Book Club, Women’s Group, Techies Group, Pharma Professionals Group, etc.).
- Buy cloth and elastic to make face masks at home. This is a great project to do with your children while teaching them the value of coming together as humans during such a large once-in-a-lifetime event.
One our website, is information about the supplies you need and the instructions to make mask. If you seek inspiration, read this article in the New York Times from Mar 27, 2020 (may be behind a paywall) entitled, “A Sewing Army, Making Masks for America” – https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/25/business/coronavirus-masks-sewers.html.
- When you stay at home, good old soap and water is the best way to keep your hands clean. But, when you step out of your house, you may need hand sanitizing liquid which is in severe short supply. You can make it at home, bottle it for your own use as well as to distribute them to the poor and needy. You can find instructions from the World Health Organization (WHO) for making hand sanitizer at home in the following PDF document – https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Guide_to_Local_Production.pdf
- Support Hotline. If you are a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist or a very good listener whom people like to talk to, we can set up a hotline and direct calls to individual volunteers. If somebody knows how to set this up while protecting the privacy of both parties, please let me know.
- Doctors Hotline. You have a sore throat or sneeze. The first thing people think these days is wonder if they have the Corona virus. We are setting up two options:
- An online assessment where you answer a few questions (that a doctor would ask you) and determine if you have the Covid-19 (Legal Disclaimer: We are NOT providing medical advice with this assessment. You should use your personal judgment about going to a doctor. You are using this assessment at your own risk).
- We are seeking to set up a doctor hotline. Please stay tuned.
What are other ways you think YOU can help? Immigrants work in every industry across the country.
- There are hundreds of thousands who work in the pharma industry, and understand how to provide medical necessities during such a pandemic.
- There are hundreds of thousands who are in IT and can help build us build a database to direct volunteers to people or groups with needs.
- There are many immigrant businesses that can get their employees to work on some of these activities while they are safely sheltered at home.
- Almost all of us own a car or other form of transportation that can be used to get these materials from the source to the people in need.
How can you help? How can you get your family to help? Send me an email with your specific ideas and how you can make it a reality with assistance (mine or that of another volunteer). Please do not send me any generic advice or forward WhatsApp messages and such – we need action, not wisdom. Let’s come together as humans and help fellow human beings during this time of unprecedented need. Stay safe and do your part to protect the human species!