ATLANTA — As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread throughout the state, it's become clear that social distancing and mass closures will linger.
In this unprecedented time, it's important now, more than ever, to help our neighbors.
11Alive is working to connect those in need with those who can help. Below are some ways to give back to the community.
Hands On Atlanta
The organization is working to fight food insecurity, which they have identified as one of, if not the most urgent needs facing those they serve.
The group has a “digital volunteering” catalog of projects and resources for folks who want to help from home.
Right now, the American Red Cross has a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations at locations during this coronavirus outbreak.
"Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to help patients counting on lifesaving blood," the group implored.
Volunteer donors are in a unique position to ensure essential medical care continues for those who depend on lifesaving transfusions, such as surgical patients, accident victims, new moms with complicated childbirths, patients going through cancer treatment and more.
The Red Cross said healthy people who are feeling well should know that not only is donating blood a safe process, it has implemented additional precautions to ensure blood drives and donation centers are even safer for our donors and staff.
Georgia Center for Nonprofits
The Georgia Center for Nonprofits is putting together a giving effort to help support areas throughout the state of Georgia, as many of those places have no hospitals and have very limited medical services.
The legal community nationwide, statewide and locally are collaborating to create legal FAQs on a large number of topics, as a way to respond to numerous legal issues that are emerging because of COVID-19.
These will be available through the ABA website for Federal law and through Georgia Legal Services/State Bar for state law items. The State Bar or Georgia’s Free Legal Answers is a virtual opportunity for lawyers to provide legal support to rural communities and many states have a similar virtual resource.
And the Georgia Senior Legal Hotline number (888) 257-9519 will continue to operate. Calls are monitored Monday through Friday.
The new fund will support those most vulnerable to the economic and health-related impacts caused by the pandemic. The Community Foundation is committing $1 million and United Way of Greater Atlanta is contributing $500,000 to seed the fund. Additional dollars will be sought from individual donors, corporate partners and foundations.
Funds raised will focus on providing crucial services to high-risk audiences including seniors, families with children who normally receive free or reduced meals at school, families in need of childcare, homeowners and renters at risk for eviction, and hourly/low-wage workers.
Individuals and families impacted and in need of support can contact United Way of Greater Atlanta’s 2-1-1 Contact Center. 2-1-1 is a valuable resource that is available 24-hours and 7 days-a-week.
There are many ways to connect to 2-1-1, including by phone, chat, email or mobile app.
To donate to the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, click here.
Meals on Wheels
The mission of Meals on Wheels Atlanta is to support senior independence through meals, shelter, education, and community. Their flagship program, Meal Services, provides nourishing meals to low-income and homebound seniors in Atlanta who are unable to afford or access adequate nutrition.
Volunteers are needed to deliver meals to frail, homebound and low-income seniors residing in Fulton County.
Cobb County Student Food Distribution
This week MUST Ministries and South Cobb Council PTA will distribute food boxes for Cobb students in need at all MUST distribution sites and at 30+ Cobb school locations.
Sign up to volunteer by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Atlanta Community Food Bank
The Atlanta Community Food Bank continues to monitor the development of COVID-19 and it is taking proactive steps to protect the neighbors we serve, our Food Bank team, and our supporters.
As the situation continues to rapidly evolve, the group said its priority remains focused on providing food and resources to those in need — a demand we anticipate will increase significantly over the coming weeks. These include vulnerable, high-risk Georgians, such as seniors with chronic medical conditions and families with school-aged children who will lose up to two free school meals a day now that public schools will be closed for at least the next several weeks.
If you are able, please make a gift to help us keep meals on the table for them.
Open Hand Atlanta
Currently, Open Hand has over 450 volunteer openings available that have been posted, and we sure could use your help to fill them.
If you have any questions, need help registering, or would like to schedule your group to volunteer, please contact Volunteer Services directly at email@example.com
Cobb Schools Foundation
With over 40% of Cobb students qualifying for free or reduced lunch, the Cobb Schools Foundation recognizes that families have basic needs that need to be met during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cobb community has come together to ensure students and families have food and basic necessities. However, there are currently 1,000 Cobb students identified as needing devices at home in order for them to continue their academic experience via digital learning. Students who experience a lapse in learning may experience academic challenges in the near future, and the Cobb Schools Foundation wants all students to continue to have success and have the tools and resources needed to achieve their goals.
The campaign to support Cobb students’ digital learning by providing access to digital devices is part of the Foundation’s larger Family Stabilization campaign, which aims to help families who experience unforeseen hardships that may force them out of their homes, or not have access to electricity, or other obstacles that are caused by a decrease in work and pay.
Once students have digital devices, Comcast and other organizations are supporting free WiFi and extending access to power/electricity for those who may experience significant hardships. Click here to learn more and donate.
11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.
We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.
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