Easter is on Sunday, and it seems strange to be celebrating this wonderfully meaningful holiday when the world is a scary place. Easter is about hope and love, which we all need but seem to be in short supply. At Wrapped In A Ribbon, we often say gifts can make the world happy, that they can change lives. Right now, that’s more important than ever. So for Easter, I wanted to find some gifts to help people in this trying time.
Despite all the distressing news out there, the good news is that I am seeing hope around. For one, the New York Times reported that small improvements are starting to be seen in places where people are in isolation. Stay home and save lives, friends! Also, it’s so inspiring to see where people have come together. Like in this video of Italians singing while in self-isolation, this one of millions of Brits applauding their National Health Service workers, and this one of New Yorkers doing the same for their first responders.
Still, lots of people are sick, food banks are pushed to their limits, and people are losing their jobs.
But YOU can help, with money, time or even just a kind word. Here are 17-plus gifts to help people this Easter:
HELP WITH MONEY
With job losses, a lot of people are short on money right now. If you’re one of them, skip to the next section. But if you can give financially now, there are lots of ways to help.
Fund the Fight: The World Health Organization is coordinating the global effort to combat COVID-19. You can donate to support their work, tracking and understanding the spread of the virus, ensuring patients get help and health care workers get supplies and information, and more. You can also donate to Doctors Without Borders, who fight this and other illnesses around the world.
Donate to Food Banks: BuzzFeed has a list of 12 organizations that are helping to feed people in need during the pandemic and links to donate.
Support Children: COVID-19 has left many children in need, including refugees living in crowded camps and others living in poverty. Save the Children works to protect their well-being and has partnered with actors Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams for a @SaveWithStories campaign to help Save the Children and No Kid Hungry. You can help by donating.
Save Small Businesses: So many small businesses are in trouble now, including retail stores, bars, theaters, and so many more. But you can help:
- My publisher, Simon & Schuster, has a list of ways you can help independent bookstores.
- The U.S. Beverage Guild Charity Foundation has a way for you to help bartenders and others in the beverage industry.
- Spotify has a COVID-19 Music Relief fund to help creative professionals in the music industry.
- You can donate to the Actors Fund to help people in the performing arts, since most people in the industry don’t make anywhere near movie star money.
- And Broadway Cares has a fund to help onstage and behind the scenes workers get health care, financial help and counseling, with every donation matched dollar for dollar.
- Librarians and library workers have been hit by the closures too, and EveryLibrary has set up a fund to help.
- You can also help in other ways by checking out GuideStar’s directory of charitable organizations and donating to what matters to you most. Lots of non-profits, like animal shelters and more that depend on steady donations, will be short on funds right now and will appreciate your support.
Amazon is even making it easy to give gifts to help people. They’re collecting donations for Feeding America, Red Cross, Save the Children and WHO COVID-19 on their website. And if you have Alexa, you can simply say, “Alexa, make a donation to Feeding America COVID-19 Response” and she’ll do the rest.
HELP WITH TIME
If you’re locked down at home, chances are you and your family probably have some time on your hands. Put it to good use by helping others. Even if you don’t have extra funds to donate, you can still make a difference.
Share Fundraisers: Use your social networks to share fundraisers so they reach a bigger audience.
Start a Fundraiser: There are numerous services online, like Facebook, GoFundMe and more, to help you raise funds for the causes you care about. Research them and choose the one that takes the smallest percentage, or even none of the collected funds, so as much as possible of what you raised gets to the cause you want to help.
Hand Make Gifts: Make some handmade gifts for people in your life, the elderly in your neighborhood, or the healthcare workers in your town. Perhaps you make the world’s best cookies, or create fun cards, or even have material for face masks. A home-made Thank You card can bring a smile with a ripple effect that turns a bad day better. Just make sure that when you mail or deliver your gifts, you maintain good social distancing. You could even leave it on a doorstep with a note, so you’re protecting yourself and your giftee.
HELP WITH A KIND WORD
Even just a kind word can be a lifeline right now. People have a lot of fear as scientists learn about this new disease. But small things can help.
- People have been hanging Christmas lights to give their neighbors nice things to look at.
- In England, kids have been painting rainbows and taping them to windows.
- In my own neighborhood, families have been taking to the sidewalks to share sweet messages, like the “U R Special” in the picture.
- Call family and friends and let them know you’re thinking of them. Zoom and Webex have offerings so you can video-conference with friends and family for free.
- Check out our 8 Ways to Give the Gift of Courtesy and Kindness
- Even sharing kind words on social media can help the people in your life know they’re loved.
Giving gifts to help people, whether monetary, time, or simple connection, has long-lasting benefits not just for your giftee. You’ll reap benefits too. In a New York Times article, Emily Esfahani Smith wrote that looking for meaning in a tragedy is what helps people through. “In general, resilient people have intensely negative reactions to trauma. They experience despair and stress, and acknowledge the horror of what’s happening. But even in the darkest of places, they see glimmers of light, and this ultimately sustains them,” wrote Emily, the author of The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed With Happiness.
We’re all in this together, so help others find their glimmers of light and hope, and you might just find your own as well.
How are you holding up? Know another good way to help others during this time? Let us know in the comments.