If you are fortunate enough to be able to offer help, but are not sure how, this is the place for you!
- Make and account if you don't yet have one and then return to this page (https://localwiki.org/berkeley/COVID-19/How_to_Help)
- Click Edit at the top of the page.
- Make changes.
- Click Save changes at the bottom of the page.
How to Help
- Citizen Science/Technical Expertise
- Prepare for Illness
- Other ways to help
- Similar list of opportunities in Oakland, SF, and the Bay Area.
Many volunteer activities are considered essential. Those that require some person-to-person contact can be conducted by healthy individuals under shelter-in-place. Some organizations need help that you can provide remotely, even if you are not well. Please check with these organizations to see what you can do.
Consider volunteerng outside if you fit these conditions:
- You and your entire household are under 60, healthy, and have no pre-existing conditions
- You have no symptoms of illness whatsoever
- Your household is small or medium (e.g. <=4 people)
- Your entire household is working remotely or not working
- Your entire household put together otherwise has a very limited number of total outside contacts (e.g. < 6)
Reconsider volunteering (for now) if you don't meet these conditions. The marginal risk of additional exposure is EXPONENTIALLY higher if you are already in contact with other people. If, however, you are a young person currently living alone, working from home, and not seeing anyone but Netflix, you're a much better candidate to help with essential services right now.
Nearly all of these organizations also need donations, so consider a financial gift if you can't get your hands dirty!
|Bay Area||Drive blood boxes between health facilities for the Red Cross (no car required!)||Red Cross|
|Berkeley||Network to help high health-risk individuals / general community aid||Berkeley Mutual Aid|
|Berkeley||Homeless services||Dorothy Day House|
|Berkeley||Food for the needy||Berkeley Food Network On-Site Pantry|
Now asking for volunteer expertise in: Carpentry/Building, Art, Craft/Art supplies, Gardening, Project management, Video editing (with the tools at home to do it!), Tech support, Remote learning (i.e. Tech & Teaching).
Aid for families and teachers in the public school system transitioning to remote learning
|Berkeley Public Schools Fund|
|Berkeley||Aid to homeless communities||Consider the homeless|
|Berkeley||Aid to BUSD students and families||Berkeley Public Schools Fund|
|Berkeley/Oakland||Delivering food to pantries and other food service orgs||Daily Bread|
|Berkeley/Oakland||Delivering personal protective equipment to hospitals||Pick up PPE|
|Alameda County||Food bank (various needs)||Alameda County Community Food Bank|
|East Bay||Build housing for homeless youth (essential service!)||Youth Spirit Artworks|
|Alameda County||Meals for seniors (can volunteer for many types of tasks, including administrative)||Alameda County Meals on Wheels|
|California||Centralized list of organizations/ideas (non-comprehensive)||californiavolunteers|
|California||Join CA COVID-19 emergency medical worker task force||CA Health Corps|
|Oakland||Network to help high health-risk individuals / general community aid||Oakland At Risk|
All the organizations taking volunteers also need donations. Many local non-profits will be needing support as our governments go into austerity mode, stock markets dry up, and needs multiply; it is impossible to list everyone who need help here.
In addition, consider the organizations/ideas below.
|Oakland||Support for undocumented workers who have lost their jobs/income as a result of the pandemic, but cannot draw on usual supports such as UI.||OUR Fund|
|Berkeley/Oakland (and nationwide)||Donate blood - severe shortage||Red Cross|
|Berkeley||Support people experiencing homelessness AND local restaurants||Double Helping Hands|
Donate unused personal protective equipment (surgical masks, N95 masks, gloves, gowns, hand sanitizer, bleach wipes); help the mask supply chain.
|PPE donation form; mask making instructions/list of hospitals taking them; mask supply resources/needs from Cal Public Health|
|South Berkeley||Email Maya or Brianna if you are able to sew masks for the South Berkeley Mask Drive - they'll help you out!||Maya ([email protected]) or Brianna ([email protected])|
|Berkeley||Grassroots aid to homeless encampments (providing tents, food, outhouses, handwashing). Generally act w/o city approval but do try to work with the city.||Where do we go Berkeley|
|Berkeley||Help pay the stipends of the wonderful people who keep downtown Berkeley and Telegraph clean.||Downtown Streets Team|
|Berkeley||Donate to local businesses, nonprofit arts orgs, and tenants||Berkeley Relief Fund|
|Berkeley||List of fundraisers for local workers||Berkeleyside|
|East Bay||Grants first to non-profits addressing the economic needs of those hardest hit||Covid-19 East Bay Response Fund|
|East Bay||Help feed front-line hospital workers with food from local restaurants.||East Bay Feed ER|
|Bay Area||Umbrella of Bay Area response funds, will give your donation to highest-need area||Coronavirus Regional Response Fund|
|USA||Donate cash to needy families||GiveDirectly|
|Global||Help governments respond to this crisis quickly||WHO COVID-19 Response Fund|
|Global||Help key medical organizations respond||Partners in Health; Doctors without Borders (MSF)|
|Global||Help get medical suplies to the countries with the highest need||Relief International; Heart to Heart International|
|East Bay||Order takeout to save restaurants (try walking around your neighborhood to find places not on lists)||Open East Bay restaurants|
|Anywhere||Buy gift certificates to help cash flow at your favorite local business||Check with local bizz for options|
|Anywhere||Online fitness classes, maintaining your membership during closures, etc.||Check with your gym for options|
|Anywhere||If you have a spare full unit, you can host a medical worker who needs to stay safely away from family on Airbnb. Donate or charge a fee.||Airbnb|
|UC Berkeley||Need specialized equipment to create a new testing facility||Innovative Genomics Institute|
|USA||Symptom tracker website (help epidemiologists and policymakers track the virus)||covidnearyou|
|UK||Symptom tracker app to map COVID-19 spread, help scientists understand risk and target resources (available in US soon)||Mobile App|
|Anywhere (for Africa)||Looking for epi/public health experts to aid African countries||University of Oxford google doc|
|Start a neighborhood email list||
A neighborhood listserve (e.g. a google group) is a great way to help eachother address needs as they arise. To create one with safe social distance, leave flyers on your neighbors' porches with your email and ask them to share their contact info.
|Start a neighborhood pod||Flyer and instructions|
|Make cloth masks for healthcare workers||Sounds crazy but it's real. List of hospitals accepting cloth masks and instructions are here.|
|Make hygeine kits for your local shelter or encampment||Check with local shelter, members of encampment for needs|
Check on older neighbors with a call, text, or talk through the door
|Policy Ideas||Local policymakers are very busy right now. If you think of a good idea for how to improve local policy, consider discussing it with neighbors and/or a local NGO and circulate a petition. E.g. Walk Bike Berkeley is petitioning to close bike boulevards to traffic. There are other good ideas out there.|
Some of us are going to get sick - there's no way around that. Some of us are going to die, too. Planning ahead can really help that process!
|Make an isolation plan||Think about who might be able to regularly check in on you or help you if you get sick, and see if they would be able to do so. If you get sick, your whole household will be isolated, so it has to be someone else! Familiarize yourself with local resources for getting social, economic, and medical help.|
|Make/update your living will||
People are going to get sick, and some of them will not be able to make their own medical decisions. This is a good time to make sure you have a living will (AKA advance directive). This is a legal document that allows those who love you to focus on supporting you, not fighting over impossible decisions on what care you want. It does require some witnesses but now is the time.
Kaiser has a great guide, even if you are not a Kaiser patient.
|Make/update your will||
Even if you think you don't have assets, you do, and if the worst happens those who survive you will want them to be distributed how you would have liked (and without probate court).
It's easy to make a free will online. If you haven't done so already, think about doing it now. If you're young and your friends don't have one yet either, consider doing it together over Zoom.
|Make a living trust||If you own property in CA, make sure you have a way to avoid probate court (a will isn't enough here). Make sure your friends do to. Let's not overwhealm the court system AND the healthcare system at the same time...|
- Fill out your census form online now, and reduce the need for in-person visits.
- Brainstorm how your workplace can be part of the solution.
- Are you a manager? Reach out to your people to make sure they are staying safe and keeping others safe.
- Do you have special access to high need individuals (even healthy but economically disadvantaged)?
- Do you have particular technological expertise?
- Can you disseminate knowledge within your network?