Every day, as the Coronavirus cases increase, and more things are shut down, I keep wondering how can I help others out during this time.
I’m worried about the people who are hourly and non-exempt who may not have sick time, don’t have benefits, who can’t take time off because they if they do they won’t have a job to come back to if they take time off, and many others.
As an educator, I worry about how kids are learning when they aren’t in school, how those who only eat if they are at school will eat, how the students for whom school is their safe place are now stuck at home with their abusers, those students whose parents must work or lose their job are left alone regardless of their ages, and hourly school employees for whom if there isn’t school they don’t get paid.
So here is what I’ve decided I can do since I don’t have the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars like Blake Griffin, Zion Williamson, Mark Cuban or Steph/Ayesha Curry.
Rather than donate to political campaigns this month, I’m going to donate to some of the organizations I tweeted about today (@fchiki). If I see a resource a teacher or parent may find helpful if school is closed, I’m posting it on my Facebook page, my personal Twitter account (@fchiki) and on my professional Twitter account. I’m making sure to check on my friends and family over the age of 60. And, I’m resisting the urge to hoard things, such as toilet paper so others may have some (and people, unless you have a baby, don’t hoard all of the baby wipes, parents need them for their untrained babies!).
I’d like to volunteer to help make food packs for students, see if there is a way to help the elderly by shopping for them, or deliver food to student or senior citizen homes.
This is a time I wish my employer—who has said we can telework if we’d like, and other large employers, would allow those of us willing, to use some of our time during the day to help our community. As long as we fulfill the essential parts of our job—which I know I can. For me, as a government worker, I feel it is part of my duty to help those in need, during my duty day (which is when the volunteer opportunities I’ve found need people), and be paid to serve our communities.
As long as I, and hopefully many more people wanting to help, take the necessary hygienic precautions, and aren’t in the high-risk category, let us help if we want to do so. It seems a no-brainer to me. I think the same should be allowable for any employee regardless of the industry in which they work.
To get through this as smoothly, as easily, and as humanely as possible, I feel we have a moral obligation to help those who need extra assistance. Part of the American way is to help one another weather any storm. It’s time we all step-up and help one another.
Many civic organizations have gone by the wayside over the years, and many non-profits and religious organizations either don’t have the money, manpower or, in some cases, the moral fortitude, to help fellow humans any more. Maybe it is time to bring this civic responsibility and duty back, and this crisis could be the catalyst for that to happen.
It will only happen though, if we all get involved, meaning we individually, government agencies, and private industry, to ensure everyone’s basic needs are being met.
Who’s with me?