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7 ways to help others during the pandemic

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JORDAN DRYSDALE
WORDS BY MAGGIE ZHOU

Donate your time, knowledge and money.

At the best of times, it can be all too easy to get swept up in our own dramas. We live in a very individualistic society, so we’re used to putting our needs and desires at the top of our to-do lists. But a global pandemic is bound to shake things up.

When confronted with an all-consuming crisis, it’s easy to feel powerless. But if this shitshow has shown us anything, it’s that we’re stronger in numbers. Start with what you have and focus on what you can do.

Stay home and encourage those you know to do the same

Graphs and figures don’t lie. To slow the spread of the virus, we all must do our part to flatten the curve. Restrictions on social gatherings, retailers and house visits vary state to state and change regularly. Ditch your mum’s conspiracy theory-riddled Whatsapp group and only listen to reliable sources, like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Australian Government’s Department of Health.

Join your local Facebook community group 

Without a physical shoulder to lean on, a sense of community needs to be fostered, now more than ever. Join your local online community space and lend a digital hand to help those in need. Find out who needs groceries delivered, help with childcare, what essential items are lacking or who just needs a chat over a fence. Or consider dropping handwritten letters in mailboxes with your name, number and a friendly reminder letting people know you’re around if they need help.

Support hard-hit local businesses 

Just as we rallied around Aussie small businesses affected by our recent bushfire season, we should continue to try and support our local economy. If it’s financially viable for you, back your usual locals and buy that takeaway coffee or bunch of flowers. Purchase gift cards to later spend from service industries. It holds more than just monetary value – it’s a gesture that says, “I believe that you’ll make it through this, and I’ll be there on the other side with you”.

Donate money to relevant organisations and charities 

A number of appeals and charities are assisting disadvantaged Australians at this time. While finances are tight for all, consider donating to one or more of these notable causes.

  • WHO’s Solidarity Response Fund continues the work of those preventing, detecting and responding to the global pandemic
  • Support Act is Australia’s music industry’s charity and is aiming to raise $1 million to help provide crisis relief and mental health support
  • Scarlet Alliance is Australia’s sex workers’ association and is raising emergency support funds for their workers
  • Unicef’s Coronavirus Appeal is supporting children and families facing the threat of the virus


Donate blood if you can

The need for blood donations is urgent – over the next few weeks, the Red Cross needs 14,000 more donations. With increased safety measures in place, blood donations are still considered an essential service. Check out Lifeblood for more information on more information on their eligibility criteria.

Adopt or foster a pet 

While cuddling up to a furry critter may seem ideal in isolation, the RSPCA is warning against impulse adoptions and have since tightened their adoption processes. But if you’ve got the right reasons in mind, this can be the perfect time to introduce a new member into your family, whether you’re adopting or fostering. 

Give supplies to foodbanks 

As a result of the great toilet paper hoarding saga of 2020 and the frantic panic-buying of groceries, Foodbank Victoria has had a shortage of supplies. While social distancing means the public cannot directly donate physical goods, every $1 you donate online allows them to provide two meals to someone in need.

Sydney’s Italian eatery, Fratelli Fresh, is donating 650 meals every week to healthcare workers at the frontline of the virus through its initiative, Feed the Front Line. Businesses and the public can also donate meals for $10 a pop.


As you’re no doubt already aware, coronavirus has well and truly taken hold in Australia, and an increasing number of us will be self-isolating or working from home. We’re living through a scary, uncertain time right now, and it’s easy to get swept up in the neverending cycle of negative news. Over the coming weeks, we hope to provide you with a little reprieve from all the heaviness, and lots of ideas for how to fill all that time you’ll be spending at home. Take care out there and don’t be a stranger. We’re all in this together. Love the FJ team xx

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