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How You Can Help

As our nation continues to cope with the coronavirus outbreak, there’s one question I hear from my friends and neighbors across North Carolina’s 7th District more than any other: “What can I do to help those in need?”
The most important thing for all of us right now is to ensure we’re following the CDC’s guidelines for slowing the spread of the virus through social distancing.
But there are other ways we can help out our communities and our neighbors who need it the most. Here are a few:
Check On The Most Vulnerable
While no one should consider themselves immune to this nasty virus, it continues to be most harmful to people over the age of 65 or who have other, chronic conditions that put them particularly at risk. For those who are older, the virus may cause serious feelings of isolation, anxiety or depression. Whether it’s a loved one, a friend, or a neighbor, be sure to check on older people regularly. See if they need groceries or medications picked up. It will mean a lot to them and will help keep them safe from the virus. 
Give Blood
The coronavirus outbreak has forced the cancellation of thousands of blood drives across the nation, and as a result, the Red Cross has a critical need for blood donations. The Red Cross has implemented measures to ensure that donors can give blood safely, and healthy donors are badly needed to help patients that are counting on lifesaving transfusions. Make an appointment with the Red Cross today.
Support Local Businesses
Small businesses and mom-and-pop, restaurants, bars, cafes and other local establishments are bearing the brunt of the social distancing necessary to slow the spread of the virus. Many of these establishments are open for delivery or carry-out, and if you’re able, could desperately use your business. The Star News has an ongoing list of restaurants that are open for delivery or carryout in the Wilmington area, for example. If you have a few local favorites that you want to support, call them and see what their options are for pickup or delivery to help ensure they weather the crisis.
Help Local Non-Profits
Local non-profit groups have been forced to cancel countless fundraising events, in many cases just as the needs for their services have grown because of the crisis. Consider supporting local charities you trust. Food banks, in particular, are facing particular shortages. Consider helping out an organization like Meals on Wheels, which delivers meals to seniors and prevents them from having to go to the grocery.
By being responsible, looking out for one another and helping those in need, I know we can and will overcome this challenging time.