6 Charities Providing Coronavirus Relief—And How You Can Help

Direct Relief is shipping masks and other personal protective equipment to healthcare institutions around the nation.
Direct Relief is shipping masks and other personal protective equipment to healthcare institutions around the nation.
Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Qantas

Right now, many charities are working hard to enact coronavirus-specific response plans that will alleviate the effects of the pandemic on both local and national levels. And while you yourself might not be able to send medical equipment to a hospital or serve dinner directly to a family in need, you could donate to organizations that are doing exactly that. From food banks to disaster relief foundations, here are six charities worth checking out if you’re looking for ways to help.

1. Feeding America

With a network of 200 food banks (where the food is stored) and 60,000 food pantries (where it’s distributed to people in need) across all 50 states (as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico), Feeding America is the largest hunger relief organization in the U.S. In addition to transitioning to drive-through and outdoor food distribution to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, it’s also currently focusing on providing food to children who, in the wake of school closures, are missing out on meals they’d normally get at school.

You can donate to the COVID-19 Response Fund and let the folks at Feeding America decide where and how your money will have the biggest impact, or you can find a food bank near you through this map, and donate right to that one.

2. Direct Relief

Since its establishment in 1948, Direct Relief has been providing communities around the world with assistance tailored to their specific needs, be it disease prevention, disaster relief, general healthcare, or something else. Its coronavirus response plan is centered on delivering personal protective equipment (like gowns and masks) and other necessary medical products to healthcare institutions around the country, and also helping those institutions expand tele-health programs, COVID-19 testing capabilities, and more. You can make a donation here.

3. Family Promise

Family Promise provides low-income and homeless families with temporary housing, meals, educational programs, and other resources that help them achieve sustainable independence. With the influx of school and business shutdowns, many of those families are especially vulnerable right now, and Family Promise’s services are even more important.

You can donate to their COVID-19 relief fund here, or you can search for a Family Promise affiliate location near you and donate directly there. If you’d rather donate goods than money, Family Promise is a great option, since many of the affiliates’ sites include wish lists of items in high demand.

4. Feed the Front Lines

Feed the Front Lines is a food-focused charity with a specific demographic: healthcare workers and food service employees. Founded this year by New York restaurant owner Luca Di Pietro, the organization is helping New York restaurants stay in business during the shutdown by pivoting to producing meals for medical professionals who are working nonstop to combat the novel coronavirus. So far, they’ve delivered nearly 32,000 free meals to hospitals and medical centers around the city, including Lenox Hill Hospital, NYU Langone Health, and more.

It’s $25 to donate one meal (though you can enter a custom amount), and you have the option to choose which healthcare center it goes to. And while Feed the Front Lines began in New York, other cities have followed suit with similar services; there are currently Feed the Front Lines organizations in Boston, Miami, Sacramento, Toronto, and more.

5. NYC Health + Hospitals

Because New York is dealing with one of the most devastating coronavirus outbreaks in the country right now, here’s another New York-based organization that would greatly appreciate a little extra help. As the largest public healthcare system in the U.S., NYC Health + Hospitals employs more than 42,000 people across more than 70 locations. All hands are on deck during this crisis, and while healthcare workers are busy taking care of patients, they need us to take care of them. Donations go toward meals, laundry services, pre-packaged groceries, and even hotel rooms so they can self-isolate from their families between their shifts. You can make a donation here.

6. CDC Foundation

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are funded by the government, but there’s a nonprofit organization called the CDC Foundation that helps them expand their capabilities with donations from the private sector. Right now, the Foundation has an emergency response fund set up to cover coronavirus-related activities like helping communities prevent and detect COVID-19 cases, deploying trained staff members to specific areas in need of extra hands, developing awareness campaigns to combat misinformation, and more. Find out additional information and donate here.

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Google Teams Up With The Conscious Kid on a Book List to Promote Racial Equity in Classrooms

Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone is on the list, and for good reason.
Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone is on the list, and for good reason.
Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Glamour

Google has teamed up with The Conscious Kid—an organization that promotes racial equity in education—to curate a list of books and other resources aimed at helping teachers establish more inclusive classrooms and foster conversations about racism and acceptance.

The reading list groups works by grade level, and many of them have corresponding teaching guides with discussion questions, writing prompts, and other activities [PDF]. For Lupita Nyong’o’s Sulwe, which tells the story of a young girl bullied because of her dark skin, students in preschool through second grade are presented questions like “Why do you think Sulwe believes she must have lighter skin in order to make friends? What advice would you give to Sulwe?” For Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, high-schoolers are asked to create a travel brochure for the fictional country of Orïsha, “emphasizing its positive aspects and great variety.”

The online packet also contains a number of guidelines for teachers to consider when choosing their own reading material. One helpful tip, for example, is to re-evaluate the “classics” before assigning them to make sure they don’t reinforce racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, or other harmful messages. Another is to foster healthy racial identity by avoiding books “where characters of color can only succeed when conforming to white values or norms.”

It’s part of Google’s broader campaign to amplify diversity in public education by providing educators with the resources needed to do it. Last year, the company donated $5 million to DonorsChoose—a platform that teachers can use to crowdsource funds for classroom projects—for the launch of #ISeeMe, an initiative that highlights projects submitted by Black and Latinx teachers, as well as those that focus on diversity and inclusion. This year, Google pledged an additional $1 million to matching donations made to #ISeeMe projects.

You can see The Conscious Kid’s full reading list here [PDF], and learn more about contributing to #ISeeMe projects here.