Five ways you can show support for others during the pandemic
Social distancing makes helping others a little trickier. But there are still ways you can pitch in and show support for your community.
We may be seeing a lot less of each other these days, but that doesn’t mean we’re not still thinking about each other. And over the past few weeks, the UM-Dearborn community has stepped up in a number of ways to support students, spring graduates, faculty, staff, frontline health care workers, essential workers and perfect strangers. Want to lend a hand too? Here are some quick and easy ways to do some good — and acknowledge the generosity of others.
Donate to the Immediate Student Relief Fund
Many of our students are facing financial hardship directly related to the pandemic. In response, the university has set up a relief fund to help with critical needs like medical expenses and internet access for remote learning. To date, 95 members of the UM-Dearborn community have given more than $17,000 in cash and pledges. Go here to make a donation of any amount.
Disruption of community blood drives is causing shortages of donated blood in some areas. But your local American Red Cross is still open. Go here to make an appointment. The Red Cross has also recently launched a COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Program, which is seeking people who are fully recovered from the coronavirus to donate plasma to help current COVID-19 patients. Scientists think antibodies in the plasma of recovered patients could help those with serious or life-threatening infections. Go here to read more.
Make a monetary donation to the student food pantry
Here’s a cool fact courtesy of Coordinator of Civic Engagement Julie Colbath: Your monetary donations to the Student Food Pantry can multiply your impact by as much as 10 times. The secret? The pantry’s buying power goes 10 times further when they buy food from food banks compared to food donations bought at grocery store retail prices. Go here to make a donation.
Check in with colleagues you haven't seen in a while
Before all this, your work day probably included dozens of little conversations with colleagues and co-workers. The campus closure makes it easy to lose touch. Take five minutes and send a note to a colleague or friend to let them know you’re still thinking about them. It’ll make their day.
Acknowledge the giving of others
One of the easiest things you can do: Give a shout out to someone who’s stepping up. Here on our campus, for example, we’re lucky to have leaders directly pitching in to keep the budget on track. Chancellor Grasso, senior officers, college deans, a number of faculty, and other campus leaders are even taking voluntary salary reductions to help the university’s finances. If you know someone who’s doing this — or has made some other kind of personal sacrifice — take a few minutes to thank them. If you’re personally interested in a voluntary salary reduction, reduced hours or furlough, you can reach out to the HR consultant who supports your unit or Human Resources Director Rima Berry-Hung.