COVID-19: How you can help
Here are some relief funds and organizations that could really use your help right now.
As you are no doubt aware, we are all dealing with some very immediate problems right now courtesy of the coronavirus pandemic. We know many of you want to help others, so we’ve compiled a list of online resources where you can do exactly that.
Because this is a national situation affecting millions of people, our list is far from comprehensive. Its aim is simply to provide some concrete solutions for people in different parts of the country, as well as some ideas that will make it easier for you to provide (or receive) assistance.
Let’s start here. There are, thankfully, plenty of big organizations helping people with the coronavirus in different ways. Among them are:
American Red Cross. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, hospitals and health care workers around the country are reporting a shortage of blood donors. So if you want a really good reason to leave the house (while observing the safety protocols in your area, of course), go to the Red Cross website and find a place near you to donate blood.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Feeding and educating children.
Feeding America. Food banks across the nation are responding to COVID-19 by feeding people in need.
Meals On Wheels. Providing meals for seniors in need during the public health crisis.
Oxfam. Protecting and advocating for the most vulnerable people in the United States and around the globe.
If working from home during the coronavirus pandemic is driving you insane, remember that people in the hospitality industry wish their main problem was trying to stop their kids from saying “Daddy isn’t wearing pants” during Zoom meetings. Many waiters, bartenders, and countless other members of this industry are either working reduced hours or out of a job entirely right now, and many only worked part-time to begin with, potentially leaving them without health coverage. Also consider that every little bit helps. If you’re ordering takeout from your favorite local restaurant, tip a bit extra if your budget supports it.
There are too many organizations, both local and national, to list here. You can see a comprehensive list on Eater; we’ve spotlighted a few notable options below.
The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Relief Fund. Best known for its annual awards, the James Beard Foundation has also set up a foundation to distribute micro-grants to affected businesses.
Southern Smoke Foundation. This organization was originally established to help restaurant workers in crisis year-round but has been mobilized to provide assistance during the current pandemic. Based in Houston, and provides assistance throughout the region.
The United States Bartenders’ Guild National Relief Foundation. This national group provides resources for beverage, hospitality and nonprofit professionals. This fund will provide emergency assistance grants to those who need it.
Service Industry Tips. This website lets you send money directly to hospitality workers chosen at random from more than 25 different states. (You can choose which city.)
Businesses worth supporting
Not only can you directly support the workers affected by this crisis, but you can also support independent and local businesses themselves by making a purchase. Gift cards and merch (t-shirts, hats, etc.) are available from many restaurants, bars and stores, and help provide those businesses with much-needed revenue while their doors are shut. They might not be “essential” by the letter of the law, but they’re the places we’ll all miss if they don’t make it through this time.
We encourage you to find out which of your favorite local stores are selling online or doing delivery. Here are some national options, too.
Books: Powell’s Books, the iconic bookstore in Portland, Oregon, is still selling online, although its physical stores are closed. Same goes for Books Are Magic — a much-loved bookstore in Brooklyn, NY.
Music: In the streaming era, many musicians rely on touring income to pay the rent. To support them while they’re on lockdown, try buying some music on Bandcamp, a treasure trove of independent music from around the world in every genre you know and many you’re yet to discover. It also pays artists far more than any other service.
Clothing and workout gear: Should your WFH attire need an upgrade, or should you find yourself suddenly cycling through exercise gear, try shopping directly from that brand you like, instead of using a big online store.
Getting help for your small business
Many states and cities have funds set up to help small businesses. Forbes has a list of them on its Small Business Relief Tracker.
People who need small loans should also consider microlender Kiva, which is expanding loan eligibility in response to the crisis.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) now has increased funding: it’s offering disaster assistance loans for small businesses affected by Covid-19.
During the coronavirus outbreak, the best thing you can do for both your favorite businesses and the economy as a whole is to follow CDC guidelines. Practice social distancing, limit how often you leave your house, and practice good hygiene. (Wash those hands and use hand sanitizer!) Be sure to monitor any symptoms closely should they arise and consult your healthcare professional as needed. It is a strange and painful time, but we hope it provides some small comfort to know that together, we can make it to the other side of this stronger than ever.
About Michael DavisRead more by Michael Davis
Our editorial policy
Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.
Our editorial policy
Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.
Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.
Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.
Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.
MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.
Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit: https://havenlife.com/plus.html
What our customers are saying
Apr 8, 2021
The rates are wonderful
The rates are wonderful. The whole process took a lot longer than I expected. There is no lab close by so I had to wait over a month to get an appointment for the medical exam.
–TMBread more at
Feb 28, 2021
Fantastic Option For Life Insurance
The overall process of getting term life insurance with Haven Life was really simple. Everything was upfront and you didn’t have to jump to any hoops to get insured. Also, Haven Life did a great job explaining all of the things that are included in the policy. It wasn’t overly complex which was great. If you have a family and want to protect your loved ones, I will recommend that you strongly give Haven Life a chance. If you’re single without children and a significant other, I still suggest you give Haven Life a chance. The rates of Haven Life are affordable, which makes Haven Life such a great option if you’re searching for life insurance. Haven Life was simple to get and it’s affordable!
–Brandonread more at
Feb 25, 2021
She was wonderful and answered all my…
She was wonderful and answered all my questions
–Ayhannaread more at
Feb 24, 2021
For us older folks
This is for us older folks. I decided to finally get some term life insurance or should I say with a twist of the arm from my wife. I am 64 years old. Just to clarify, I am in very good health, lean and very active. Only had a lumbar fusion surgery. Anyway, I compared two companies based on my research that included this company and my current insurance company that will remain nameless other than they attract former military. So, I read other reviews about this company requiring a health examination,etc, etc. same holds true with that other company. Of course a company will perform their due diligence and base their decision on your overall health especially at my age compared to a thirty year old! I can not fault them. I already had a medical exam with that other company as I waited for their obtaining my medical records from my local VA Medical Center. I informed Haven Life of this and they were able to obtain a copy of the medical exam (no need to have performed twice) and received my VA records. This process takes time and it is not the fault of the company. I estimate the process took approximately 5 to 6 weeks. Unlike the first company, I strongly feel Haven Life (special recognition to Catherine) provided service excellence by keeping me informed along the way and listening to my concerns. Haven Life offered me a much better rate than the for mentioned. I expected to pay a much higher rate at my age but it is what it is. Bottom line here for us older folks (I believe you must obtain this insurance under age 65) is if you are prepared to pay higher premiums compared to a younger person, obtain a fair competitive priced premium, experience excellent customer service, and willing to be a little patient during the process, then you came to the right place.
–Andrewread more at
Feb 17, 2021
So far so good I just started my policy…
So far so good I just started my policy a couple days ago. The process thus far as been great!
–Chrisread more at