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The Sikh Coalition News
March 30, 2020
  • Helping Your Community During COVID-19

    March 30, 2020 (New York, NY) – In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Sikh Coalition wants to provide information for those looking for local opportunities to safely volunteer and provide support during this time of national crisis.

    Please first assess your own personal medical needs before volunteering. We highly recommend that you review all medical guidelines and practice social distancing. For those looking to volunteer in cities or states that are under 'shelter-in-place' restrictions or other emergency directives, please review those directives before mobilizing.

    Blood Bank Donations

    As COVID-19 spreads across the United States, blood shortages threaten to create another public health crisis. Many places where blood donation might take place--such as campuses and libraries--are presently shuttered. As of March 19, the American Red Cross said that more than 5,000 of its blood drives were canceled across the United States due coronavirus concerns, resulting in approximately 170,000 fewer donations this month.

    The American Red Cross continues to look for volunteers to give blood across the country. You can find a local blood drive here and learn about how you can safely give through the Red Cross COVID-19 safety protocols.

    Feeding Most Vulnerable Populations

    COVID-19 has not led to food shortages in the United States. However, there are significant disruptions in community and regional services that impact meals getting to the most vulnerable populations. Specifically, these disruptions impact the youngest among us, low-income, homeless and the elderly.

    Check with your local gurdwara to see if there are sangat members who need meals delivered or groceries provided. Also, look into programs like Feed America and Meals on Wheels to see how your family or sangat can be mobilizing support and providing for needs in your local communities. Food banks need to be refilled, and there are hundreds of thousands of additional Americans who need meals delivered during this COVID-19 crisis.

    Providing Medical Supplies

    Several states responding to the COVID-19 crisis are concerned about shortages of basic medical supplies. Depending on the state, these shortages include gloves, masks, ventilators, and other critical items. For more ways to support, including making and donating handmade masks, please visit www.GetUsPPE.org. Another way to address the underlying needs in your community is to create and deliver hygiene kits to your local shelters in an effort to keep the most vulnerable in our communities healthy. The more people that stay healthy in our communities during this difficult time, the less strain we will put on our healthcare facilities.

    Support

    As millions of Americans, including many Sikh American families, face severe employment reduction or unemployment, the ability to financially give diminishes drastically. For those who are still fortunate enough to be in a position to do so, please consider donating to local businesses and nonprofits that are providing essential services during this time of crisis.

    The Sikh Coalition recognizes that millions of American families are being impacted by COVID-19, including many Sikh American families. As a civil rights organization, we are in the process of shifting some of our organizational priorities, and working with partners, as quickly as possible to better meet some of the unique challenges that we are facing as a nation. Please expect more local volunteer opportunities to emerge as we continue to mobilize support in response to COVID-19. To see the resources we have collected to date, please click here.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.
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