A lot of people are suffering during the coronavirus pandemic, whether it’s from non-existent paychecks, dwindling food supplies or any number of other reasons. As a result, those in a more fortunate financial situation are scouting the best charities to donate to for coronavirus.
Don’t just donate willy-nilly, however. Before you choose a charity, make sure it’s legit. There are always scammers looking to make a quick buck off of well-intentioned people. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that many fraudsters are adding a coronavirus twist to their scams.
So, rather than click on a link in an unsolicited text or email that implores you to donate, opt, instead, to visit the organization’s site in a separate browser to make a secure donation.
Coronavirus-specific giving opportunities
Looking for charitable inspiration? Any one of these groups would be more than happy to accept a token of generosity during this unprecedented time.
1. National Football League (NFL) Draft-A-Thon
The 2020 NFL draft looked a lot different this year, with live feeds from the living rooms of prospective players, coaches and team managers, rather than the pomp and circumstance of years past.
The league managed to make lemonade out of lemons, though, when they opted to turn it into a coronavirus fundraising event called the NFL Draft-A-Thon. Beneficiaries include respected and deserving charities, such as Feeding America, Meals on Wheels and United Way. As of publication, the organization had raised nearly $7 million dollars.
Personal protective equipment is all too scarce right now. MedShare is a non-profit humanitarian organization known for collecting and distributing medical supplies and equipment to communities in need.
Since the coronavirus outbreak began, the group has donated 2.8 million masks and almost 200,000 isolation gowns to keep medical personnel safe, particularly in communities experiencing gaps in infrastructure.
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3. Digital Learning Technology Assistance
How’s a kid supposed to learn from home without a device? Education foundations are stepping up to provide laptops and other tech to students in need. This is mostly done locally, so be sure to locate the appropriate group to make a donation to students in your area.
One such example is the Cobb Schools Foundation (in Cobb County, GA), which has identified at least 1,000 students in need of devices to finish out the school year, or you can choose to support your local education board nonprofit.
4. Feeding America
Food insecurity doesn’t go away during a pandemic, it only gets worse. Visit Feeding America to find a food bank near you to make a financial or physical donation of supplies. Or donate to Feeding America directly.
5. American Red Cross
Blood donations are still urgently needed, even more so than normally. So, drop into a blood drive to donate a pint, or give a few bucks to support their critical efforts if needles give you the heebie-jeebies.
6. Restaurant Worker Relief Fund
When restaurant employees can’t work, they don’t make money, so they can’t pay their bills. To that end, the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund was established to help industry employees experiencing hardship during the coronavirus pandemic. Affected restaurant workers can easily fill out an application for grant money.
Other charities that still need help
Just because coronavirus has taken over the world, doesn’t mean other problems have ceased. Consider giving to the non-coronavirus-related charity of your choice to help them during a time when giving is way down.
7. Churches and other religious groups
In-person services aren’t happening right now, and as a result, many churches are reporting a significant decrease in giving. This is a big deal because many rely on weekly tithes to stay afloat and also do good in the community.
Contact your local religious group’s leader for information on the best way to donate. Many offer an online giving option.
8. Australian wildfire relief
With everything going on, it feels like the Australian wildfires were eons ago, but in reality, only a few months have passed. The massive habitat destruction and loss of wildlife still needs your help to begin the recovery process. One group to consider supporting is the World Wildlife Federation’s Adopt-a-Koala program.
9. Best Friends Animal Society
Fido and Fluffy still need your help. Best Friends Animal Society is a national group dedicated to ending the killing of shelter animals. The organization partners with more than 3,000 smaller, similarly-minded groups.
Coronavirus has had an effect on the effort, as rescue groups have been forced to recruit more fosters and implement major changes, such as remote adoptions.
10. Fundraising and research organizations for other diseases
Diseases other than coronavirus are still in need of support. Consider making a donation to keep the efforts of noble fundraising organizations afloat. Many will allow donations in honor or in memory of a loved one. Consider groups like the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and the American Parkinson Disease Association.
11. Americans for the Arts
Funding for music, visual and performing arts has long been called into question. Groups like Americans for the Arts conduct research to back up the importance of artistic expression and assist thousands of local arts organizations in spreading the message.
Give what you can, when you can
Whether you choose to patronize one of the groups on this list or another one altogether, thank you for being part of the solution during this bizarrely trying time.