According to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate rose to 14.7%. Other sources cite statistics as high as 23%, potentially eclipsing those seen during the Great Depression. In addition, with an estimated 40% of people living paycheck-to-paycheck, COVID-19 has spotlighted glaring gaps in the country’s concept of financial security.
Although the federal and local governments have resources and information to support (https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus), every one of us can pitch in to help our fellow man, woman, and child maneuver through these rough waters.
Give Your Stuff
Reach out to your neighbors to lend a helping hand. It’s obvious. But raise your hand if you have. Don’t know your neighbors? Check out Nextdoor (https://nextdoor.com). It’s where “communities come together to keep a local shopkeeper in business. Where neighbors exchange recommendations for babysitters, plans for local events … Where local agencies connect with neighbors in need…”. The tried and true Facebook, Twitter etc. can also connect those in need in your area.
Local food banks and community organizations are always in need of financial support. Follow #ShareMyCheck initiative on social media for ideas on where to donate. If you can’t donate financially, donate your stuff through apps like Freecycle (https://www.freecycle.org) or Buy Nothing Project (https://buynothingproject.org).
Give Your Time
We all have strengths and skills that can support someone else during their time of need. Can you babysit while your neighbor is on her Zoom interview? Can you offer to review and rewrite resumes? Can you help the older or less tech-savvy neighbor file for unemployment benefits online or search for a job? Can you leverage your LinkedIn network to help find someone a job? 70 to 80% of jobs are found through simple networking.
Whether it’s your stuff, time, or expertise, give. “We rise by lifting others.”― Robert Ingersoll