One need only read local newspapers, watch COVID-inspired YouTube shows such as “Some Good News,” or peruse social media clips to glean compassionate ways to express generosity during this challenging crisis. Even as states lift shelter-in-place guidelines, vulnerable populations remain isolated in nursing facilities or at home; and health care workers, first responders and food bank volunteers continue to work long hours.

A sampling of empathetic gestures, expressed nationwide in small communities and large cities, include these:

• Donated tablets, loaded with a few basic communication apps, distributed to able-bodied individuals quarantined in rooms at nursing care facilities so loved ones can be seen.
• Purchased buy-one-get-one floral arrangements at local florists so one or both can be delivered anonymously.
• Child-made encouragement cards and letters sent to nursing and health care facilities.
• Gift cards, purchased at local small businesses, delivered to isolated individuals and frontline workers and volunteers (even if a business is still closed, gift-card recipients can use it at a future date and stimulate local economies).
• Donated money and food to strained-beyond-capacity food banks; also, stocked mini roadside food pantries, perhaps in an existing Little Free Library.
• Offers to pick up prescriptions and groceries for neighbors or those who can’t leave home.
• Donations of blood and platelets; offers site information.
• Neighborhood doorstep or drive-by birthday recognitions for area children and the elderly; neighbors can clap, cheer, honk and write messages in chalk on sidewalks and driveways.
• Filmed classes in everything from ballet to crafts, music to yoga and fitness offered free online.
• Mini concerts provided free online, especially by local musicians as well as those whose spring and summer tours have been cancelled.
Plus, on May 1, Men’s Health provided sites where people can purchase masks, if they are already not making their own to use and donate, that benefit various charities. A few on the list are:
•’s benefit New York State’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
• benefits City Harvest food bank in New York City.
•’s benefit the United Nations’ COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
• benefits LA Protects and frontline workers in Los Angeles.