Note: This story will be updated with more ways to help as we hear from the Seattle’s Child community.
When Erika Almanza Brown learned that 60 children at Compass Broadview, an affordable housing community for low-income residents in her neighborhood who depend on free school would have a gap in services due to coronavirus closure, she wanted to help. Less than 24 hours after posting a call to action on Facebook community groups, her family delivered 65 meals to Compass.
Brown set up a cooler outside her house and neighbors dropped off food items. Her 5-year-old daughter helped sort and organize the meals into paper bags. Brown was amazed by how many people were willing to show up (at a safe social distance) and rally for the community when given the opportunity.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on our world and Seattle community. But the fallout has also inspired beautiful acts of generosity and kindness. Here’s how you can help:
Musang Community Kitchen in Beacon Hill is serving free meals to those in need (no questions asked) and accepting donations of non-perishable food items and pantry staples from those in a position to give. Call in advance to coordinate food pick-up or donation drop off. 206-708-6871
Join the Seattle Help for Parents & Caregivers During the COVID-19 Outbreak Facebook group to connect with people seeking child care, food, and other family resources. If you need or can give child care or supplies, you can reach out directly to members of your community. The group is active and updated frequently.
Since 1999, Mary’s Place has helped hundreds of women and families move out of homelessness into more stable situations. They provide safe, inclusive shelter and services that support women, children and families on their journey out of homelessness. Visit Mary’s Place to Get Help or to Get Involved by financial donations, bequests, car or stock donations. Donate here or go to Mary’s Place Volunteer Hub to Volunteer.
WestSide Baby is Seattle’s largest diaper bank! From WestSide Baby: “23% of families with young children across King County cannot afford enough diapers to keep their child healthy. During the week of March 12, WestSide Baby distributed more than 100,000 diapers to help families stock up on essential supplies. Donate here.
Bloodworks Northwest has declared a blood supply emergency due to blood drive cancelations and people staying home. If you’re healthy, make an appointment to give blood. Appointments and locations at schedule.bloodworksnw.org, 800-398-7888, or text bloodapp to 91985.
Support local businesses
The Intentionalist is a great resource for finding Seattle area businesses and the diverse people who own them. Check out their list of 10 ways you can #SpendLikeItMatters. Order takeout from a family-owned restaurant or craft activities from a local store for curbside pick-up. Purchase a gift card to use when your favorite local businesses reopen. Snapdoodle Toys, with four Seattle-area locations, just added online ordering and curbside pickup.
Donate to food banks
With the kids home from school and layoffs in full force, our local food banks could use your donations for keeping up their supply of shelf-stable foods and hygiene supplies. Go here to find a map of Seattle food banks in every neighborhood, organize a food drive or volunteer if you’re healthy and able.
Check in with your neighbors
The Nextdoor neighborhood app recently launched a Help Map, “an interactive map of your neighborhood where you can mark yourself as someone who can pitch in for neighbors who need it.” The app makes it easy for you to connect with your at-risk and elderly neighbors who could use help with groceries and other errands.
Give to the arts
If you love sharing Seattle arts events with your family, support the artists who have been hardest hit by the widespread cancellation of group events. Donate to the artist’s relief fund organized by Seattle writer Ijeoma Oluo. Your donations will go directly to “artists who have lost income due to cancellations and work stoppage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is emergency funding to help artists in need with rent, food, utilities, and medical needs.”
Create cards for seniors in nursing homes. Have your kids decorate and write greeting cards for seniors who may be isolated in nursing homes. It will brighten their day and give your family a structured activity to pass the time.
As survivors of domestic violence may be forced to stay home in close proximity to their abuser during the COVID-19 pandemic, tension and violence can escalate. If you or someone you know is feeling isolated and unsafe at home, reach out for help.
Make, collect and donate masks
Area hospitals are looking for donations of masks as they continue to help patients. If you have new and unopened medical masks, consider donating them to your nearest hospital by contacting administration for drop-off locations. If your talents include sewing, Providence is conducting a 100 million mask challenge, asking for volunteers to sew 100 masks each. Pick up materials and instructions on the exact pattern needed at various times and locations during the week. Check out the Providence website for more details.