As lockdown restrictions ease up all across the country, we hope the time you spent at home was as pleasant as possible given the circumstances. Hopefully, you spent quality time with your family and used your time productively teaching your kids, working on a long-neglected home improvement project, or even doing something to give back to the community. While COVID-19 forced Blue Cares to temporarily pause our outreach programs, we’ve also been using our time wisely, helping coordinate the efforts of local citizens, businesses and other organizations who stepped up to support First Responders. We are overwhelmed, but not surprised, by this support from our community, but there are many other things you can do to help people during this health crisis.

Here are three ways to give back to your local community right now without the worry of exposure to COVID-19.

1. Give Blood

A great way to help other people is by donating plasma. Plasma is always an essential need, but it is important now more than ever.  You are highly encouraged to give blood if you have tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered. If you’re interested in donating plasma, contact the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center by emailing covid19@southtexasblood.org or by calling (210) 731-2719.

2. Donate

Whether it’s time, money, or essential goods, donating what you can is always a great way to give back. Many non-profits are using this time to assist families who can’t make rent or provide meals for their families. Find a highly-rated nonprofit providing relief and recovery with Charity Navigator and do what you can to help those impacted by the pandemic.

3. Support Local Business

Local small businesses like restaurants and shops have been heavily impacted by the pandemic. You can help by patronizing your favorite local small business, whether it’s a great neighborhood restaurant or a local shop that always has just what you need. Support these businesses by ordering online (many restaurants are now offering limited dining in again as well) or via curbside pickup. Your patronage is the only way they can keep afloat at a time like this. Make sure to go out and support your favorite local business or restaurant!

Blue Cares is gearing up and getting ready to get back out there to (safely) continue our work supporting underprivileged San Antonio you and their families. Thank you to our Blue Cares Family – our volunteers and supporters – we look forward to seeing you all again soon!