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Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit American shores this past spring, millions of Americans have lost their jobs. Many businesses switched to a work from home model in order to make things work, but those that couldn’t had to close down in order to prevent the spread of the virus. This left many jobless, unsure of how they’d pay bills or get groceries. For some, this wasn’t a big deal as unemployment has been enough but for others, it’s been a struggle. Months later, some places in the country have mostly gone back to normal while others are still rather strict about large indoor gatherings that aren’t essential. Many businesses have completely closed down or laid off large amounts of employees in order to make up the loss. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you may feel the urge to go out and try to help those who are currently struggling. Here are a few tips to help you do that.

Check-In With Neighbors

Neighbors are great to have, and if you know them well enough then it can be a good idea to check-in with them. If they’ve lost their job, perhaps see if you can help them out with their groceries or other costly errands. If you don’t feel comfortable offering them financial assistance, try making them food or offering other household items that you can spare and they might need. If you don’t know your neighbors very well, there are other ways to help those in your neighborhood such as using apps like Nextdoor or Freecycle, which allow you to connect with others in your area or donate unwanted items, respectively.

Give Back To Relief Funds or Community Foundations

Communities are suffering in various ways and it’s more than likely that various funds and organizations in your area are currently aching for help, especially if they didn’t receive any type of federal relief funding. If you can donate money, supplies, or food to these organizations, it’s imperative that you do so. For example, the restaurant industry has taken a large blow during the pandemic – many restaurants have switched to take out only or use outdoor dining when they can, but this isn’t a surefire way to stay in business, as many restaurants have completely gone out of business due to the pandemic. Workers in this industry and many others likely already worked paycheck to paycheck and now without a job are in far worse situations than before which has caused relief funds for these specific organizations to emerge. Donate where you can to the group of your choice and you’ll likely help make this pandemic a little easier for someone.

Provide Your Own Services

If you’re an expert at something such as being a handyman or knowing a lot about technology, a good way to help those who have lost their jobs is by providing them with your services free of charge. If someone’s sink is leaking or their internet isn’t working and they’ve lost their job, they may be hesitant to call a professional because they don’t want to pay someone to help right now. That’s where you come in.  Let them know that you’re available if something happens and that you’re more than happy to help out where you can as long as everyone is comfortable with it.