Dear Therapist: Where to Donate?

Where to donate food
What can I do to help ease others’ plight?

Dear Therapist,

I watch the news at night and I am seeing the long lines for food at our local food banks in my community and across the nation. I am moved to want to help others and feeding others during this time feels like something I can do to help others at this time. Are there any other ideas for helping people in crisis right now?

Sincerely, Wanting to Help

Good idea! Your local food bank is a wonderful idea to help alleviate the hunger many Americans are experiencing in our communities. Dropping off bags of groceries, volunteering to stock shelves (if volunteers are needed and safety measures are in place) or making a financial donation to national organizations serving food across the country are all ways to get involved in helping alleviate hunger in America. The truth is there has always been hunger in America, but the numbers have exploded and people need food now more than ever for their families.

There are many worthy causes to donate to during this exceptional period of time when economies across the country have largely been shut down. Think about your favorite charities and non-profit organizations and, if you have money to spare, consider donating to them. Perhaps put aside some money for your children to decide on an organization she wishes to support and have her make a direct contribution during this time.

When we give in these ways, it can help alleviate our sense of powerlessness in the situation. Taking action that is within our capabilities can help us feel we can help others and, as such, make this pandemic time not only a little better form ourselves, but for our neighbors too. This sense of contributing to others can be essential during a time like this.

I want to offer one additional idea for helping others during this time. As you know, many of us are still in a quarantine situation in our homes. This has caused a significant increase in the amount of Domestic Violence situations in homes. As you can imagine if this is already in play within a family, being isolated and in close quarantine quarters with no other options, an increase in abuse of family members is going to rise.

Donating to shelters and/or crisis lines serving people who are in abusive situations like this during this time is important to remember and perhaps contribute to if so moved. I think for many of us who are safe in our homes and, although arguments and fights may arise, they are not ones that are going to lead to domestic abuse it is hard to keep in mind that this situation is far from reality for many. Many others are also having these same arguments and fights, and yet they escalate to a place of danger for many. Raising awareness about the issue and contributing to alleviate this suffering may also be a cause you feel drawn to contribute to.

Quite frankly, the need is great across the country – from the arts to non-profits to animal welfare to hunger and much much more. Taking action that you can feel good about and also helps is a double joy. My best to you as you duly consider who, how, when and where you will donate during this pandemic.