How You Can Help During the COVID-19 Outbreak: A Nurse’s Perspective

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ways to help

As a registered nurse, I have always felt a deep desire to help people. In light of the current times, that desire is stronger than ever. However, I can’t seem but to feel a bit helpless. You see, about a year ago, I took a calculated step back from working to stay at home and raise my family. Deep down in my heart of hearts, I know I am doing my part in all of this by staying at home and taking care of my family. This is where I am supposed to be right now.

Yet, I still feel a strong call to action.

I thought it might be helpful to put together a list for some ways you can help. If I know one thing about my fellow Westchester friends, I know you feel strongly about doing something to help too.

Aside from staying at home, you can…

1. Donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Think gloves, masks, or make your own mask if you are crafty. I went down into my basement, and I was able to dig up one unused N95 mask. Yes, it was only ONE. And off it went into the hands of someone who needed it. 

2. Donate blood to the American Red Cross as they need blood at this time.

3. Offer to pick up groceries for the elderly or those who work on the front line, especially if you are already making a trip out to the grocery store. 

4. Donate unused baby monitors. Many hospitals are looking for creative ways to check in on their COVID positive patients while trying to limit the number of times they have to enter a patient’s room.

5. Donate extra scrubs! In fact, I have some extra scrubs in my attic. I plan on donating in the next few weeks. If anyone is in need and comments on here, I’d be happy to arrange a drop-off.

6. Offer childcare to a neighbor or friend who works in healthcare. Some healthcare workers might not be able to give availability to the hospital because they are the primary caregivers for their children.

7. Email or call your local legislator to urge the production and distribution of adequate PPE for those working on the front lines.

8. Order takeout from a local restaurant to support a business and then donate it to a hospital, police department, fire station, or even a grocery store. These necessary workers would be thrilled to have a free meal and know that they are being thought of.

9. Have your kids write a letter and send it to the residents who live in a local nursing home. Many of these long term care residences are on lockdown and are missing that piece of social interaction. They may not even be able to travel off of their floor to the cafeteria or common room.

10. Consider making a monetary donation to those organizations or hospitals whose specific mission is the COVID battle. 

I am humbled to be able to witness many people reaching out to others, making donations, and offering help and support in any way that they can. I hope this resource not only serves as a guide to you but a source of inspiration during this time. As always, stay safe and be healthy.

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Catherine currently lives in the Crestwood section of Yonkers. She and her husband moved there in 2015 from the Bronx shortly after they got married to start their family. Catherine is the mom to two very sweet and active young boys, ages three and one, making her very well versed in anything dinosaur, trains, or cars related. Oh, and Paw Patrol. We can't forget that! Before kids, Catherine studied at Pace University to become a Registered Nurse. Catherine currently works per-diem at a local Westchester Hospital in the surgical department. When Catherine is not picking up shifts at the hospital or spending time with her family, she can be found painting and refinishing furniture in her home. She even has a fun Instagram account at instagram.com/thefurniture_rn. Navigating life as a new(ish) mom has presented many joys, challenges, and laughs. Catherine looks forward to connecting with you and sharing her experiences.