Throughout this pandemic, I have struggled to figure out how I can help those around me. At school, there are tons of ways to feel helpful, whether it’s picking up a friend’s Grubhub order or supporting them at a campus event. Now, it can seem impossible to make a difference with limits on our social interactions. For the longest time, I thought that I would have to do something big to make a difference in my community, but I soon realized I was very wrong.
Look to your immediate community to see what needs there are.
Since I’m living back at home with my parents, my surroundings look a little different than at school. Here, we have neighbors in their 70s and I realized that I could probably help them in some way.
I’ve been baking a lot, so I decided that I would try to serve them by sharing the sweets I made. First, it was banana bread, then it was butterscotch oatmeal cookies. This has been rewarding for me as I get to show my neighbors I care, and they have been really appreciative.
Although a small gesture, baking for my neighbors has become one of the ways to serve my immediate community during COVID-19. I didn’t even have to leave my house. So, if you’re looking to help others, look no further than your front door. Whether it’s baking, yard work or even a quick phone call to check on someone, small actions go a long way.
Evaluate your strengths and see how you can use those to help others.
I love that I am a Communication and Spanish major, but during the Coronavirus, I have wished that I had skills that would tangibly help others fight this sickness.
However, after giving it some thought, I realized that I have special skills like writing, photography and editing that could spark some positivity amidst this pandemic. So, I started sending encouraging texts to friends, and then, I even mailed a few letters to remind the people in my life that I care about them.
I also used my photography skills to take senior pictures for my sister who is a graduating senior. We had a lot of fun taking pictures at a nearby park, and I was glad I could make her feel more like a “normal” senior.
Everyone is good at something, and quarantine is a great time to leverage those strengths! Whether it’s sharing your musical talents with your neighbors, making masks, or even helping someone better understand their homework, we can all find ways to contribute to a more positive environment during COVID-19.
If you’re able, donate to local organizations.
I realize that this time has caused a lot of financial hardship for many people, so I understand that not everyone is in the place to give monetarily. However, volunteering with a local organization is a great way to serve others without having to spend any money. Donating unwanted items can be helpful too! A lot of people have taken the extra time at home to do some spring cleaning, so why not donate those items so they can benefit others during this time?
If you do feel led to give monetarily during this time, consider supporting the Student Emergency Fund which supports NC State students experiencing financial hardship.
Overall, this has been an interesting time for all of us. As a student, it’s been weird to have all my classes online and to not see my friends and professors in person. However, I know I’ve also grown a lot because I have been challenged to find new ways to make a difference and show others I care.