When you feel the most helpless, you actually have the power to do the most good. 


As we continue to socially distance ourselves and self-quarantine, it’s natural to feel isolated. Staying away from other people, though necessary, doesn’t fulfill our need to take action, to do something in the face of this crisis. Fortunately, even in isolation, you can help the most vulnerable among us. Because we are never truly alone in our human community. 


Here are five things you can do to fight in the face of COVID-19: 


  1. Donate to UWWF's COVID-19 Response Fund. Your gift supports community resources that serve struggling families in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Hours are being cut, services are being eliminated, and wages are being lost. The UWWF COVID-19 Response Fund will support families within our service area that are struggling to keep their lights on or pay their bills. It will ensure that seniors and veterans have food on their plates and provide relief to households that can't access adequate childcare or fill emergency prescriptions. It will provide support to nonprofit agencies and programs that are providing critical services to our community. Text 850RESPOND to 41444 or visit
  2. Direct people to 211. 211 Northwest Florida, powered by UWWF, is working on the front lines of the pandemic. Expert 211 specialists provide real-time information on social services and other resources to those in need. If you know someone who is struggling, or just looking for a source of reliable information, tell them to simply dial 2-1-1 or visit the 211 online database.
  3. Spare something for the food pantries. As stores run out of bulk food and toilet paper, food pantries are struggling to fill their shelves, even as more people are coming in for help. Consider donating what you can spare, especially non-perishable food and toiletry items. Dial 2-1-1 to find out what our local food pantries need most and where to drop off donations. 
  4. Call your friends and family. Loneliness is as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Even during isolation, modern technology allows us to stay connected. Checking in on friends and family is more than polite right now, it’s essential. And don’t forget elderly neighbors or others living alone.
  5. Take care of your mental health. If you’re stuck at home, keep busy with hobbies, try out arts and crafts, pick up an old musical instrument, organize family game nights, and step outside for fresh air and exercise. You can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself. 


Even in these uncertain times, no one is powerless to make a difference. Small acts, taken together across the country, can change the course of the pandemic, bolster those facing economic challenges, and protect the most vulnerable.