During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are reaching out to their communities in need and lending a hand. If you are healthy, have some extra time and resources, it is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community. Here are a few ways you can help.

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Give blood

Blood drives around the world are being cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak, and fewer people feel safe to go out in public and donate. More than ever, healthy people are needed to help patients who count on lifesaving blood. In the U.S. alone, nearly 3,000 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled because of coronavirus concerns. The process of donating blood is easy and usually takes less than an hour, so you can do it during your lunch break. One blood donation can save up to three lives. Donating blood is also a legitimate reason to leave your house, which you may be needing these days!

Blood draw- giving blood during coronavirus outbreak

Provide housing to health care workers

Many health care professionals are in need of a place to stay as they help fight the coronavirus. They need a home where they don’t have to worry about infecting their families or a house that is closer to their workplace so their commute is easier each day. Living closer to their place of work can allow a real improvement in their quality of life and comfort as they work long, hard hours.

If you have a second home or a home that is empty, join the HomeExchange COVID-19 Solidarity group to offer it to health, social, or civil workers who may need it during this time. Learn more here.

3D print medical masks

If you have a 3D printer, use it to make protective medical masks for health care workers! HomeExchange employee Pili makes protection for the medical staff in her city, Cordoba, Spain with her 3D printer. She also shared with us that there are whole communities in Spain made up of people from all walks of life that are working together to provide support for all the shortages that we are facing due to this crisis. "For us it's been very rewarding to be able to feel a little useful from home," Pili says.

3D printed medical masks - HomeExchange coronavirus crisis response

If you'd like to contribute financially, there are many organizations that would love your donation. The World Health Organization is just one, but there are many other local and national charities that will do good work with your contribution. Here is a list of other places you can donate.

Members share how they are helping their community

"Spend my Tuesdays grocery shopping and delivering for elderly and compromised. Feels good to help provide a little lifeline, although it’s never easy picking that right cut of meat, isn’t easier when selecting for another person 😉
Not everyone has family and not everyone has computer skills, so for many we have to hand write phoned in orders. Keeping the vulnerable safe is a good way to spend my time, and they are so grateful." -Lisa, 12 exchanges

"Take my neighbours' dogs for walks while they are under self-isolation for two weeks since returning to Canada." -Karen, 3 exchanges

"My son, with a bit of help from "moi" and a PE teacher at school organised a Sponsored Solo walk, run or cycle hoping to get about 300 euros [for the World Health Organization].....he got 2225!" -Jules

HomeExchange members helping during coronavirus crisis
This photo of Leon even made the local paper.

"We have created a group called “help small business - neighborhood name” on FB. There each business can post their services. Some people are helping them out with marketing and social media. We are also collecting what we call “basic food baskets” in coordination with our local supermarket to deliver to poor families in our community." -Carolina, 5 exchanges

"We planted lots! We are working on air quality for everyone and sustainable organic food production." -Luba

"I've just finished baking 485 cupcakes and biscuits for a local volunteer group to give out to staff in our local care homes." -Jane, 48 exchanges

"For the second time, I'm going to give a disposable but washable fabric, elastic and pillowcases for the masking dubbing, to a person I know who makes [masks] at home." -Cathy, 72 exchanges

Materials to make masks during the COVID-19 outbreak

"I recovered old PCs that people no longer used. I reinstalled them with a lighter operating system to lend them to families who did not have enough for their children to attend classes in better conditions." -Marie Anne

"I am an educator specializing in child protection in prevention. I sew masks for children in care, their educators and the poorest families I work with. I also sew it for my colleagues. I don't get paid. In return, I ask for food that we distribute to the homeless in my city." -Estelle, 4 exchanges

coronavirus medical masks made by a HomeExchange member

"I have been making my natural sourdough bread for many years, and since the confinement I have made batches that I share with the residents of my small building." -Jean-Claude, 27 exchanges

"For my part, I manage our elderly parents by telemaintenance. I take my hand on their computer, we buy online at the pharmacy, we order on the drive. My 86-year-old father said to me "you saw, I can do now." I connect on his computer and I see him who puts in hist he wants to buy. He's been paying online from lockdown... which he'd never done before! I also take care of getting them fruits, vegetables and meat in the wheelbarrow behind the gate." -Valerie, 10 exchanges

"We are looking after two children of a neighbor, a solo mom who is a caregiver (until confinement it was not a friend just a neighbor) to avoid them being all day alone or at school since start of containment."  -Angie

Want more ideas of how you can help?

Join our Facebook communities, where our Members share photos and stories of the ways they contribute to their communities in crisis.
All About Home Exchange — a private group for everyone interested in home exchanging.
HomeExchangers in English — a private group for English-speaking members of HomeExchange.

Join the HomeExchange community