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How to Help During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since we’re advised to stay home to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, it can feel almost impossible to spread some good to the people you love and your community. We rounded up a few ways you can help during COVID-19 while keeping a safe distance.

Donating time

Pick up groceries or medications

If you know someone who is at high risk of developing severe symptoms of COVID-19, offer to pick up groceries and medications. This will help them avoid crowded areas.

Call/video chat your loved ones

While you shouldn’t visit friends and family in person right now, you can still call and video chat them! Set up a time every week to talk to them and catch up.

Donate blood

The Red Cross has a critical need for blood donations as COVID-19 cases rise. There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through blood donations, and the Red Cross is taking extra precautions to keep blood donation sites clean and safe.

Donate plasma for COVID-19 patients

OhioHealth is proud to be part of a program that’s examining what could be a promising investigational treatment for COVID-19 patients.

The idea is to use blood plasma donated from people who have recovered from COVID-19 and then that plasma is transfused to someone currently sick with the disease to help their battle.

How to help

  • To be eligible to donate, a person must have had a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, but is now symptom-free for at least 14 days and fully recovered.
  • The first step for interested donors is to register here through the American Red Cross.
  • If they meet criteria, they will be contacted by the American Red Cross to confirm they have met qualifications to become a convalescent plasma donor and will be scheduled for a donation.
  • Donating blood plasma is similar to donating blood.
  • Just one collected donation will yield three doses of antibodies. So, even one donor is immediately valuable.

What you can do

  • If you or someone you know has had COVID-19, please encourage them to consider donating.
  • For more information, see The American Red Cross website for frequently asked questions.

Care for pets

Taking care of our furry friends during this time is essential too. Offer to walk dogs, check in on pets, and pick up food and medication for pet owners who might be high risk.

Some shelters around the country may be closing due to COVID-19. If you’re able to foster a pet, you could help your local animal shelter.  Not to mention, give the foster pet a comfy place to stay until they find their forever home.

Babysit for those who are essential workers

Daycares in Ohio are currently closed to combat the spread of COVID-19. While many offices moved to work from home, there are still people who are not able to do so. Consider reaching out to people you know who still have to work and have children to offer your sitting services.

Write letters

Write and decorate cards to send to senior citizens with Love for the Elderly. All it takes is five minutes and a little creativity to make a senior citizen’s day. Check out their website to learn more about their guidelines and where to send your letter.

Decorate your neighborhood with chalk

Looking for a way to help your kids be active outside? Try drawing chalk around your neighborhood! From fun drawings to uplifting messages, the options are endless and are sure to help cheer up the people around you.

Donating money

OhioHealth Foundation

Donating to the OhioHealth Foundation will help us respond to the rapidly changing needs of COVID-19 and help provide relief to those facing hardships. You can support patients and caregivers by donating to our Greatest Needs and Emergency Assistance funds.

Monetary donations to food pantries

With many people not being able to work right now, food pantries are more critical than ever, and it doesn’t take a substantial donation to make a huge difference.

Note: Certain employers may offer gift matching, which will help your donation go even further, so make sure you check before you donate.

Donating goods

Medical supplies

As COVID-19 cases rise, so does the need for medical supplies. OhioHealth is accepting the following donations at 10 locations around Ohio:

  • N-95 masks
  • PAPR (powered air purifying respirator)
  • ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenations) machines
  • Ventilators
  • Face shields
  • Surgery masks
  • Procedure masks
  • Medical eyewear/glasses
  • Isolation gowns
  • Medical coveralls
  • Exam gloves (all sizes)
  • Germicide wipes
  • Germicide spray (medical grade)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Soap
  • Bleach
  • Respiratory supplies
  • Anesthesia machines
  • Toilet paper
  • Biohazard bags
  • Disposable lab coats
  • Nebulizer

Before donating, please contact us at supplydonation@ohiohealth.com.

Hand-Sewn Headband and 3D Printed “Ear Saver” Donations

OhioHealth is thankful for the support the community has shown during this difficult time, especially through the donation of homemade items such as masks and headbands. While we now have plenty of hand-sewn masks, we still need “ear relief” items.

Wearing a mask is important for our clinical staff, but it can also be a pain – literally. Mask bands that connect behind the ears can rub and irritate the ears. 3D printed ear savers and headbands with properly placed buttons provide a proper fit without the pain and make masks more comfortable for long-term wear.

If you are interested in making and supplying headbands with buttons placed just above each ear, please follow these instructions, using either the pattern for a wider headband (4-5’’) or a narrow headband (1.5-25.’’).

If you are interested in making 3D printed “ear savers”, please use these printing files. Ear savers can be printed on either PLA or PETG. We are hoping to provide these to our staff at each OhioHealth care site.

Donations will be accepted at our existing donation drop-off sites.

Canned goods

If you still want to help your local food pantry but prefer to donate goods instead of money, you can drop off canned goods instead.

Food delivery

Want to help a loved one with groceries, but you’re unable to go to the store for them? Try using a grocery-delivery app, such as Shipt or InstaCart, where you can shop at their favorite grocery stores online.

You could also send them a meal by ordering delivery from a local restaurant or business to give them a no-fuss dinner. Some popular delivery take-out apps include Uber Eats, Doordash, or Postmates. Not only are you giving someone a nice meal, but you’re also helping out a small business that may be struggling while their dining area is closed.

A note about OhioHealth care sites and donation deliveries: While we appreciate the generous offers to bring food and other goods to our hospitals and care sites, we cannot accept these at this time. Instead, we ask that you support our Emergency Assistance fund or donate any medical supplies you have.


Go to COVID-19 Toolkit page on OhioHealth blog