Ways to help your fellow Hoosiers amid global coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– As the worldwide coronavirus pandemic continues to impact us, there are ways to give back, find assistance and help other Hoosiers. Here are some resources we’ve gathered along with some from of our newsgathering partners at the IndyStar.

Childcare

Families who need help paying for childcare can call Brighter Futures Indiana at 1-800-299-1627. A referral specialist can support them in their search.

Your community’s Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&R) can connect parents with local childcare options and provide referrals. You can find your local CCR&R by calling 1-800-299-1627.

You can call 1-800-299-1627 or visit this website to make sure a childcare environment is licensed or regulated.

The Family and Social Services Administration says child care providers are needed to care for children of first responders, health care and other essential workers, so the rest of us can stay safe and healthy. The FSSA is working to link Hoosiers willing to serve Hoosiers with these available opportunities. Click here to learn more about these opportunities.

Give blood or plasma

There is a critical need for people who are healthy to donate blood right now.

Organizations like the Red Cross are actively encouraging blood donations from healthy people during this time.

The Red Cross says people should not hesitate to give or receive blood, but says to postpone your donation for 28 days following travel to China, Iran, Italy or South Korea, or if you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 or had contact with someone with a suspected case.

Those interested donating can make an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor smartphone app, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-733-2767.

Dan Waxman, vice president and senior medical director of Versiti Blood Center of Indiana, told the IndyStar there’s no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted via blood transfusion

Here’s a list of places where people in Indiana can give blood.

Click here to learn more about plasma donation from IU Health. Versiti is also taking donations.

Food banks and food assistance

Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana is in need of both volunteers and donations. They say they will need $40,000 in weekly donations to meet the new level of demand. Donations can be made here.

If you’re healthy and would like to help Gleaners pack meals, you can find a shift that works for you here. You can find information on how and when to pick up food here.

Second Helpings is limiting its number of new volunteers, but you can put your name on the emergency wait list here and they will call you if needed.

Midwest Food Bank is still accepting volunteers and is in need of donations.

Westminster Neighborhood Services needs volunteers who can pack bags of food to distribute to near-east side families via its pantry. Those interested should contact volunteer coordinator Azaria Brown at azaria.brown@westmin.org. Visit westmin.org for more information.

Mozel Sanders is also accepting donations and volunteers as they work to feed Indianapolis families.

You can find a food bank in your area here. Call ahead or check online before going to ensure they are still currently operating.

Many restaurants and local establishments are offering takeout and delivery options, so check with your favorite spots around town or try services like GrubHub, DoorDash, FastTrack, UberEats and Postmates.  The Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association has a huge list of options from all around central Indiana here.

HI-FI in Fountain Square is accepting snacks, coffee, and supplies for care packages to be sent to healthcare workers across Central Indiana hospitals.

Farmers Finest is offering free grocery delivery with no upfront payment. You can learn more on their Facebook page.

The Law Office of Keller and Keller at 28th and Meridian launched their “Keller Cares” initiative, which aims to provide free lunch to their neighbors in the area on Fridays from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. for the duration of the stay-at-home order.

Support Local Restaurants

Many local restaurants are offering food via carryout and delivery. You can help support your local businesses by ordering food for pickup and tipping well for delivery orders.

Find a list of restaurants offering carryout and delivery services here.

The Milk Bank

The Milk Bank is suffering from a shortage of milk because they needed to cancel their donation drives due to the coronavirus.

The Milk Bank says new donors will complete a short screening via phone and sign some forms with their pediatrician or obstetrician. Then, they will arrange for you to get your blood drawn. The Milk Bank covers the costs associated with that step of the process. Once The Milk Bank receives all of the paperwork and the mother’s blood work, the clinical coordinator will officially approve them as a donor.

Mothers must be in good health, willing to get their blood drawn and willing to donate at least 100 ounces of milk by the time their child turns two years old. More info here.

Domestic violence and family assistance

Those in need of help or safety planning can reach out to one of these organizations:
 
Domestic Violence Network is advising people to text “love is” to 225-22 if you are in need of assistance.

Local artists

The Indy Arts & Culture COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund is working to bridge lost wages for local artists and arts and culture workers. These grants can be applied for here. Donations can be made here.

More ways to help

The United Way of Central Indiana’s Central Indiana COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund will provide grants to help offset the costs of increased demand on service organizations. Learn more and donate here.

The Horizon House is helping Indianapolis’ homeless population, offering services and medical screenings. You can find hours of operation and how to donate here. You can also help them out by purchasing something on their Amazon wish list. The item will be shipped to them directly.

Wheeler Mission, which also helps Indy’s homeless population, is looking for donations to help offset the cost of medical supplies and temporary staff who will take the place of older employees who are in the “high risk” category. Click here to learn more.

Riley Children’s Foundation is asking the public to donate to a new relief fund that will provide emergency assistance to Riley patient families who are struggling to pay bills and meet everyday needs.

The Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association (InRLA) launched its new Hospitality Relief fund, aiming to help as many out-of-work hospitality workers in the state as possible. In the face of mass COVID-19 shutdowns, the organization revamped its Indiana Tourism and Hospitality Foundation, Inc. to create the special fund. To donate to this cause or to apply for relief, click here.

The town of Speedway launched a program to help support local businesses. Learn more here.

ITOWN Church is doing a huge list of things to help people through the coronavirus including:

  • providing mental, emotional, spiritual support through text, phone call, zoom
  • giving away food
  • purchased medical masks

Have something to add or update on this page? Send us an email. You can find more helpful resources from the State of Indiana here.

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