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COVID: What can you do?

05/04/2020 10:56:53 AM


Marc Rutman

What is the role of social activism in the age of social distancing? Activists are brainstorming and recalculating their options in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

This generation is aptly suited to face this challenge to take on causes and continue the fight. The younger generation of activists have honed computer skills since birth. Their technological savvy has prepared them for such a challenge. Activists are adapting to an online existence. The questions stands, how does one remain relevant in the absence of large-scale demonstrations?

As social distancing becomes the norm, how does social action retool itself for change? The answer to this question is adapt and overcome. Political and cause related ralleys have been suspended. Protests and marches across the country have been cancelled. What are we to do?

Swedish teenage Greta Thunburg encourages others to participate in what she deems a “digital strike” instead of gatherings in public and a coalition of members. Attend and participate in causes online. Let your voice be heard.

Take a class. Online classes to train others in organizing and campaigning tactics have been established by The Sunrise Movement.

Pressure your local and statewide representatives. An excellent website and app called resistbot,, facilitates communication at the state and local level. This site allows you to communicate with elected officials and text or email them on issues you deem important.

The following organizations and websites need your support. Get involved. Do your part. Help any way you can.

VCU Health

Hospitals across the country are looking ahead at how they can care for many more patients to come during the COVID-19 outbreak. We currently have sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep our doctors and nurses safe on the frontlines of care, but we cannot predict the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To prevent future shortages of PPE and protect our clinicians until transmission of the virus is over, we are reaching out to the community of Richmond and beyond.

For more information on donations, please call VCU Health - (804) 628-0400.

If you are an organization or business (labs, construction, machinery, salons and other personal services) with supplies of PPE, please consider a donation of your supplies to help us protect the physicians, nurses and team members of VCU Health working on the frontlines for the safety and wellbeing of our community.

We welcome donations of the following items:
Surgical masks
N95 masks
Face shields
Digital thermometers
Disposable gowns
Latex-free gloves
Shoe covers
Head covers
Germicide wipes

Please bring your donations in a bag or box, if possible.

If you would like to make face masks, here are the instructions. We recommend you use 65% polyester and 35% cotton cloth material.

Bring donations to:

VCU Medical Center Gateway Building
Valet entrance
1200 E Marshall St, Richmond, Va.

Hours: Monday-Friday, 5 a.m.-11 p.m.

Valet personnel will assist you with your donation. When you arrive, they will ask you some quick questions and offer you a tax deduction form that you can mail to us for your receipt.

Words of encouragement and thank you notes
We greatly appreciate and happily accept notes of thanks and encouragement for our team members from the community.

Financial contributions
VCU Health has created a COVID-19 Response Fund to support our patients' and care providers’ most pressing needs. Please visit this fund to make your gift.

Beth Sholom

1600 John Rolfe Parkway, Richmond, Virginia 23238

During these challenging times, Beth Sholom needs help boosting the morale of our over 250 employees who are working around the clock to care for our residents. Your contributions enable us to remain a leader in healthcare, and also demonstrates the generosity and dedication of the greater Richmond community to its seniors.

Please find COVID-19 Staff Appreciation Giving opportunities as well as others below. Reach out to Beth Sholom at or call  (804)750-2183.

Due to necessary precautions at this time, Beth Sholom Senior Living is unable to receive visitors. To write cards or letters to residents, please mail to:

Beth Sholom Senior Living
c/o Mo Funk: Resident Card
1600 John Rolfe Parkway
Richmond, VA 23238

Donate to the local public schools

Richmond Public Schools Food Distribution Information
Henrico County Public Schools Food Distribution Information

Jewish Federation

Volunteers will continue making telephone calls to support homebound seniors. If you’d like to volunteer from home to call seniors, please contact Teresa Baldwin at or 282-5644 ext. 265. If you or someone you know would like to receive daily telephone reassurance calls, please reach out to us at 804-282-5644.

Jewish Earth Alliance Letter-Writing Campaign

Jewish Earth Alliance is asking Congress to protect us from COVID-19 and accelerating climate change. Your help is needed. Visit to find an Action Alert/Sample Letter. Email your letters to All ages are welcome to participate. Contact Jen Odintz at with questions or for more information.

Donate Blood

Since hospitals in our area and across the country still need blood in these difficult times, please consider donating blood. American Red Cross multiple blood donation centers in the Richmond area. If you still wish to give blood, we recommend you check with Please visit their websites for information on how to set up appointments and precautions on how to donate safely.


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