SUFFOLK COUNTY

How to help the community from home

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The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new reality of social distancing and precautionary measures. This means that while a lot of people are looking to offer help to those most impacted, they are unable to do so. Here are some ways you can offer help, mostly from home.

Support local nonprofits

A lot of local charities have shifted their normal operations to help those affected by COVID-19, or its indirect results in the economy. The Greater Patchogue Community Organization Active in Disaster formed as part of the Greater Patchogue Foundation to help the community in times of crisis. You can offer to donate, volunteer, or spread reliable community resources through their website, www.patchogue.recovers.org.

Angels of Long Island is running fundraisers to continue their work of helping families through their website, www.angelsoflongisland.com. They are also asking people with donations to hold onto them until it is considered safe for them to return to normal operations, at which time they will gladly accept them.

Lighthouse Mission in Bellport is working to provide food for families across Long Island who are in need. You can support them by donating through their website, www.lighthousegive.com.

Other nonprofits in the area that could use support during this uncertain time include local veterans organizations, theatres, and houses of worship.

Support local business

With orders to be closed, many local businesses are struggling to pay the bills, and are uncertain of when they can return to normal. Even restaurants who can provide takeout and delivery are seeing a dramatic reduction in service. To offer your support, grab takeout from a small restaurant in the community. If you can afford it, buy some gift certificates so those businesses can earn money and you’ll get to enjoy a meal later on. If you had an event scheduled at a certain place, try to reschedule to a later date rather than cancel, so the business knows it has things down the pike. Also, promote your favorite places through social media to show support.

Support health care workers

The first thing you can do to support nurses, doctors, medical and hospital staff is to stay home. Reducing the spread of the coronavirus reduces the influx of patients at hospitals like Long Island Community Hospital in East Patchogue and reduces the risk of exposure to health care workers treating them. To offer further support, consider donating to LICH directly, or offering donations of food to the workers on staff. If you own a business and are able to offer a donation, it would help the people working on the frontlines fighting this pandemic. You can also help if you have access to medical supplies or protective equipment you would be able to donate.

Moral support is also important at a time like this. Local fire departments are honoring health care workers with a nightly siren blast at 7 p.m. You can also show your appreciation on social media or thank the health care workers in your life.

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