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COVID-19: What can we do to help?

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From social distancing, to donating, to supporting local businesses, there are many ways we can help, even from the comfort of our own homes.

Courtesy of Groovy Donuts

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted just about every aspect of our lives, and has taken lives from many others. I’m sure you’re just as tired of reading about it as I am writing about it, but on the same token, I feel like I could be doing more — or that we could be doing more. This has been something irking me over the past couple of weeks. The very least I can do is share this information and encourage those who are able to help to do so.

We have this powerful online community, and a strong social media following, full of Spartan fans, alums, friends and colleagues. Several of you are extremely loyal to The Only Colors, reading every article and commenting daily, and I truly appreciate that. But if there is one thing I could ask of each of you, it would be, if you’re able to, help out those in need as much as possible as we all try to flatten the curve and work toward getting back to normalcy.

Now, obviously, the best thing you can do is stay home and stay safe — don’t risk getting yourself or others infected. But other than staying home, what can we do? Let’s support our communities in Ingham County, metro Detroit or wherever you may reside.

Donate/Volunteer:

Hospitals/Healthcare:

Additionally, Michigan State University has been donating supplies to medical workers and first responders. Hospitals in the Lansing area, metro Detroit, the entire state of Michigan and the entire country need your help.

For more information on how you can help Metro Detroit hospitals, read here. For those of you in West Michigan, WOODTV put together an informative post on ways to donate and help.

Remember, donating doesn’t necessarily mean financially — you can donate food to the staff or supplies such as masks, disinfectant wipes, goggles, gloves, etc.

First Responders Funds and County/State website COVID-19 information:

Visit your local city or county website to find information on COVID-19 and ways you can help first responders and front line workers.

Food Banks:

Volunteer:

Obviously there are many more hospitals, medical facilities, food banks, funds, charities and more that are not mentioned here. We encourage you to donate to your local organizations if at all possible.


Help DraftKings raise $1 million for the United Way coronavirus relief work:

You don’t have to donate money to help raise it. Through April 7, DraftKings will donate $1 to the United Way for every person who shares a social media post with the #DKRally hashtag until it reaches its goal of $1 million.

Here is how to participate:

  • Take a picture or video in your rally cap (be creative!)
  • Post to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (or all, if you want!)
  • Use the hashtag #DKRally
  • Tag at least three friends and invite them to do the same
  • Include this link: draftkings.com/dkrally

Support local business:

Again, this isn’t the most simple thing to do right now as staying home is best. But there are going to be times when you need to go out to get food, supplies and everyday needs. You can also order items online in most cases. When you do that, please consider doing so through local businesses to support them. Many of these small businesses are going to struggle to survive this, but with your support and patronage you can help sustain these local organizations. Options include carry-out orders, online orders, buying gift cards for future use and even just encouraging others to shop local.

One specific example of a local business that needs our support — that our own David Harns helped bring to light — is Groovy Donuts, with locations in both East Lansing and Williamston.

The business has recently had to lay off employees and slash its operating hours due to the COVID-19 threat. There are a lot of economic factors at play here.

Courtesy of Groovy Donuts

“We, like many other businesses are dealing with a reduction in revenue compared to how we typically operate during this time of year,” Andrew Gauthier, founder/baker of Groovy Donuts, said. “Being constrained to take-out orders only has all but eliminated coffee and other beverage sales. Also, due to the cancellation of all athletic and community events, we’ve lost some very large orders and opportunities to be a vendor throughout the Lansing area’s vibrant event scene.

“As a result of these changes, we’ve had to lay off some staff and cut back hours on many others. My partner and I have resumed being the primary bakers, working midnights for every shift.”

The community has done its best to back places like Groovy Donuts, but there are still a lot of question marks about how small businesses are going to get through this. So, buy local, spread the word and show your support.

“While we have experienced tremendous community support as a result of the Facebook video, thanks to your writer, David Harns, for sharing it, there is still a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the local business community. We’re currently working on grant and loan applications, but nothing is certain in these strange times.”

This is just one example of the thousands of local businesses struggling through this time. Several businesses are looking for fund assistance through loans and grants.

If you are looking to help Groovy Donuts and and other local businesses in the same situation, Gauthier says to consider the following actions:

  • Continue buying take out from your favorite spots
  • Buy gift cards or e-gift cards
  • Order donuts or food for first responders
  • Post reviews, photos etc. online to help promote these businesses
Courtesy of Groovy Donuts

Share:

This one is pretty simple. It doesn’t take much effort to share a link, social media post, tag friends, etc. I ask that you share this article and other helpful articles encouraging people to take action and do their part.

Above all else, let’s be smart and, to the best of our ability, limit the spread of this pandemic by staying home, or when you do have to go out, keeping your distance from strangers by staying at least six feet away from them.

Lastly, be kind to everyone. If this virus has taught us anything, it’s that life is too short and we took things for granted prior to this pandemic. Support doctors and nurses, first responders, the elderly and those at high-risk and anyone who is on the front lines. Most importantly, support the families and individuals who are affected by this virus.