Donate Blood: Blood drives are being cancelled and with more people then ever heading to hospitals, officials fear they will not have enough blood. In New York you can find a donation site through the NY Blood Center.
Donate Medical Supplies: Some of you may have access to urgently needed supplies through your shops or employers. The following supplies have been identified as urgently needed:
- Surgical grade N95
- Surgical masks
- Isolation gowns
- Face shields
- Hand sanitizer
- Non-surgical grade N95s
- Sanitizing wipes
- Latex Gloves
Other items such as Crocs can also be donated so that medical professionals don't bring coronavirus outside of the hospital. However please stick to just these items.
In New York City, these supplies can be donated by clicking here. In other areas please contact your local hospital to find out their donation setup. Make sure you communicate your findings to the union office so that they may help you get the word out.
Relief Funds: There are also opportunities to support workers whose livelihoods have already been impacted by the outbreak. In NYC the American Federation of Musicians Local 802 and the New York Nail Salon Workers both have relief funds set up to help their members meet their most immediate needs. The Independent Drivers Guild (a Machinists Union project), staff have created a fund to help unemployed Uber and Lyft drivers make emergency home meal deliveries to high-risk seniors during the crisis. As the virus continues to impact the economy, we anticipate that more unions and worker organizations will be setting up relief funds and we will do our best to make their links available to you as they develop. The AFL-CIO also has some resources including help for people with Union Plus accounts.
Mutual Aid Groups: Local Mutual aid groups have also been set up for healthy people to handle shopping and deliveries for elderly and immune compromised people in your neighborhood. For Suffolk County, NY please click here. New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman's charitable foundation HDMH is also accepting donations for Long Island Cares and food banks in NYC. All proceeds go directly to providing food for those in need. You can donate by clicking here.
There are also a number of restaurants that are providing free meals to sick or unemployed families. Please consider supporting them with your business (take out and delivery only.) Some on Long Island, NY are listed here. Please contact your union office if you become aware of an active Mutual Aid group in your respective areas.