I’m fortunate to be be friends with a doctor who works at one of the New York City hospitals. You can only imagine what his life has been like the last few weeks. Yet, he is one of the most cheerful people I know. Of course, he started off cheerful, which helps, but I think he’s also buoyed by the knowledge that the work he’s doing is so meaningful. This is what he’s trained to do.
One thing I’ve noticed is that people who’ve found ways to help are navigating this crisis better than others. We can’t all work on the front-lines, but there are opportunities. I’ve made a list of some ways in which writers can help.
1. A number of organizations are looking for people to write letters. One of them, Operation Gratitude, sends letters to our first-responders and members of the military.
2. Support independent bookstores. Many of them are struggling, and it’s a huge help if you can order books to be shipped, or use curbside pick-up, or buy a gift card. Also, Bookshop.org is donating 10% of its sales to booksellers in need.
3. Support other writers by donating to organizations that are helping them. Poets & Writers just published a wonderful list of resources.
4. Check out idealist.org, which has a slew of volunteering opportunities. One that caught my eye was a non–profit in Boston looking for a social media manager to “amplify the stories of everyone from essential workers to elderly residents.”
Have you found ways to help during this time?