10 Ways for Individuals to Take Action During the COVID-19 Crisis
Life has been a whirlwind since we first heard the term COVID-19. Over a few short weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has posed profound health concerns and an array of challenges and disruptions, from canceled events and school closures to supply shortages and financial uncertainty.
The impact of the pandemic on the economy has also been in the news and on minds across the country and around the globe. Whether times are tough or “normal,” Certified B Corporations follow business practices that benefit not only their bottom line but also boost the well-being of their communities. By working toward a more inclusive and sustainable economy — with the future of workers, customers, and environment in mind — B Corps can act locally and think globally.
While we’re all feeling the effects in different ways and to different extremes, so many of us—fortunate to be in a position to give—are asking the same question: What can we do?
Some Certified B Corporations what to do to make an impact while complying with current health regulations and best practices. Inspired by some B Corps stories and ideas, here are 10 ways that we can all get involved right now:
Support a small business.
Economic downturns hit small businesses the hardest, and there’s never been a better time to use our power as consumers to support the companies who need it the most. Remember small and mid-size businesses as you stock up on household supplies, and shop directly on their website whenever possible. Share your favorite small brands on social media. If your favorite business is currently closed, they may offer digital gift cards online that you can buy now and use later.
The most vulnerable members of our communities are in greater need than ever, but volunteering has become much more complicated. Visit your favorite organization’s website to explore opportunities to give your time online, or send a monetary donation if you can.
“COVID-19 has made it a bit difficult to organize events, to volunteer, and to make a meaningful impact while maintaining appropriate ‘social distance.’ The great news is that you can still volunteer! There are a ton of opportunities for anyone with a computer, internet and/or a phone that can be meaningful and done from home. I have put together a small top 10 list of things to do to volunteer while quarantined.”
— Thomas Moran, Teadora
Be mindful at the grocery store.
It’s an understandable urge to stock up during uncertain times, but it’s leading to shortages in grocery stores. Next time you go shopping, consider buying only the standard amount of food and essentials needed for your household and leave some behind for your fellow shoppers. Bear in mind that some families on public assistance, such as WIC and SNAP, can buy only program-eligible products and can’t be flexible with their purchases when shelves are empty.
Reallocate unused budgets to local charities.
Since most offices have transitioned to working remotely, many teams will have unused budgets for supplies like snacks and cleaning products. Individuals may be spending less on parking, tolls, or public transportation. Reallocating those expenses to a charity of your choice is a great way to help people in need.
“One way our office found we could support our local community is by using the grocery budget that we would be spending to stock our kitchen to donate food and cleaning products to a few of our local resource centers.”
— Amber Owen, Altvia Solutions
Due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations, the Red Cross is facing a severe shortage of blood to support patients in need of necessary surgeries. It is still safe for eligible and healthy donors to donate blood, and you can schedule an appointment online. Find a location near you.
Choose companies that give back.
The B Corp community is built on a commitment to using business as a force for good, and they’re finding new ways to support their employees and give back to their communities during unprecedented challenges. Visit @bcorporation on Instagram to learn more.
Share your knowledge.
If you have the time and resources to spare, consider offering your network a pro bono, informal consultation in your area of expertise — for example, tech recommendations for working remotely or project managing a remote team. Using the skills and knowledge you may take for granted, you might be able to help someone who is feeling overwhelmed or alone navigate through a difficult time.
The food and hospitality industries have been particularly shaken by the COVID-19 outbreak. But many are still open as essential businesses, and they need support to stay afloat. Conscious consumers are the backbone of resilient communities, so consider ordering a meal or coffee to go from one of your local spots. Visit their social media handles for service updates and ways to support.
Check in on a neighbor.
Check in on your neighbors who may need a helping hand, such as higher-risk individuals or parents at home with kids. You may be able to assist with a much-needed errand or a friendly smile.
Human connection is a critical part of mental health, but physical distancing is keeping us all separated from friends, families, coworkers, and communities. Though it takes extra effort, it’s invaluable to create moments of social connection with the people in your personal and professional circles. We don’t know how long this period will last, but we know that we’re stronger together.
We’re also grateful for those who are working amid the COVID-19 pandemic, providing crucial health care and keeping essential services available.
Image from: bthechange.com