Communities assist frontline medical workers: How you can help

(BPT) - During the pandemic, healthcare workers are being challenged like never before. Coping with this emergency has taken a toll on hospital staff around the country - and communities are stepping up efforts to help with donations of goods and services that provide immediate support, sometimes in surprising ways.

Out-of-the-box thinking has led many companies and organizations to discover effective ways of aiding frontline medical workers - and everyone can help boost their efforts.

Caring for basic needs

Companies around the country have shown their generosity in assisting frontline workers by helping them meet their needs for shelter, food, clothing and transportation.

Many hotels and home-sharing companies have offered free lodging to hospital workers needing to isolate themselves from vulnerable family members.

Car rental and ride-sharing companies have provided rides for frontline workers so they can easily get to work, without having to rely on public transportation.

Nonprofit organizations like Frontline Foods match restaurants with hospitals, using donations to pay the restaurants for meals then safely delivered to medical staff. To help feed hospital workers, coordinate your efforts with a group like this, or contact the hospital first to ensure that you're following their health and safety guidelines.

There's nothing tougher on your feet than being a hard-working nurse, doctor or other medical worker on a long shift. Shoe companies nationwide have donated comfortable, practical footwear for medical workers.

Clothing companies have also stepped up, providing free clothes - from the scrubs hospital workers wear all day to comfortable clothing for workers and their families to relax in when they're home.

Helping people connect

Hospital staff rely on iPads and other electronic equipment throughout their long days, constantly draining the batteries for that equipment. And because patients' family members are unable to visit their loved ones, smartphones or tablets are the only way hospital staff can help patients communicate with their families, providing invaluable emotional support and connection during a traumatic time.

Anker is donating portable chargers to solve this problem, helping hospital staff keep working, and making it easier for them to provide that vital connection between families.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

One of the biggest challenges has been keeping frontline workers equipped with protective gear such as masks, gloves, face shields and hand sanitizer.

Some companies have shifted gears and turned their factories from, for example, producing shoes to making masks, or adapting a distillery or cosmetics company into a hand sanitizer producer.

Innovation is key, as companies that once made toys, bags or power tools pivot to create face shields, masks or other protective gear.

How you can help

Check websites of organizations mentioned above, or hospitals and companies in your area to find out what they're doing to help during the pandemic.

Consider how you can best provide assistance, whether in terms of collecting or making supplies, giving monetary donations or volunteering your time.

  • Supplies - If you have supplies that hospitals need such as face masks, or you can make them, or if you want to start a drive to collect PPE in your community, contact hospitals to ask what donations they accept - and what they need.
  • Monetary donations - Give what you can to organizations or companies already running efforts to help frontline workers, or give a direct donation to your local hospital or a nurses' association.
  • Give blood - This takes less than an hour, and it's a vital need right now. If you're healthy, contact the Red
  • Cross to find out where you can donate blood.
  • Volunteer - Connect with local organizations supplying food or other crucial resources to healthcare workers to ask how you can volunteer. They may need people to collect, organize or deliver supplies.

    If you know a nurse, doctor or other medical staff member, volunteer to go grocery shopping for them, offer to help with childcare, or ask them what they need to help ease their burden.

Everyone has something to contribute during this challenging time, from nonprofit organizations and companies to individuals nationwide. Find the best way you can show your gratitude by helping frontline workers today.

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