How to Help Others Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Here are some ways you can help members in our community during this time:

Support local businesses by buying gift cards:

Buying gift cards from local businesses gives them immediate revenue at this much needed time.

Sentara Healthcare is accepting personal protective equipment (PPE) donations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you would like to donate, they are in greatest need of the following items:

  • Masks (N95 or Disposable Face Masks)
  • Nitrile Gloves
  • Impervious Gowns (level 1 – level 4)
  • Disposable Shoe Covers
  • Fog-free Face Shields
  • Goggles

Click here for locations to drop off and instructions.

Give blood:

The American Red Cross is asking for healthy donors to give blood or platelets to make sure supply doesn’t run low during the coronavirus pandemic.

Amid the coronavirus closures, many annual blood drives canceled their events.

The American Red Cross says there’s no data or evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through blood.

If you’d like to donate, you can go to the American Red Cross website and register or you can walk into any of their offices.

Help those disproportionately affected

The United Way of South Hampton Roads has established a Coronavirus Recovery Fund.

United Way officials say they are working closely with local and state leaders to discuss “a response plan with an emphasis on under-resourced populations and those who will be disproportionately affected.”

To donate to the Coronavirus Recovery Fund, you can visit United Way’s website HERE.

100% of the funds will go to help support recovery efforts. You can also text COVID to 41444 to make a gift.

In addition to the recovery fund, United Way has set up a Coronavirus Response Hotline for those experiencing closures and missed work. Anyone needing assistance can call (757) 858-7777.


Help feed the hungry.

The Virginia Peninsula Food Bank has released the following guidelines for donating food supplies.

Food donations:  As we distribute more food, our inventory depletes quickly.  Due to the increased demand for food in grocery stores, our Food Rescue Program has experienced a significant decrease in food pick-ups and store donations.  This makes food drives and food donations even more essential.  New or recently purchased food (case lots, if possible) is preferred, as our volunteer base for sorting incoming donations is also presently more limited.

Through YouGiveGoods and on-line retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Costco, etc. you can host a virtual food drive or ship items directly to our doors.

Please contact Tracy at if you have any questions.

Monetary donations: We are purchasing truckloads of food items to nourish individuals, families, children, seniors, and veterans, to fill in the gaps in service created by the temporary suspension of traditional food distribution avenues, including schools.  If you can give, please click here

Donate online to The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia. 

The Foodbank will distribute food at these YMCA locations Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Suffolk Family YMCA
2769 Godwin Blvd., Suffolk, VA 23434

Greenbrier Family YMCA
1033 Greenbrier Pkwy., Chesapeake, VA 23320

The Foodbank will distribute food at these YMCA locations Fridays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

The Y on Granby
2901 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23504

James L. Camp Jr. Family YMCA
300 Crescent Drive, Franklin, VA 23851

USDA Disaster TEFAP Distributions

These distributions are held for households suffering significant economic losses or significant food access challenges due to COVID-19. You will be asked to provide a name for an adult in the household and information on the number of people in your home receiving food. Individuals are only permitted to visit one of these Disaster TEFAP Distribution sites per week.


Find additional Summer Feeding information here:

  • Text ‘Food’ and your zip code to 877-877
  • Summer Meal Site Finder:
  • Dial “211” or visit


Help Local Animal Shelters:

Donate to shelters in need.

Foster and adopt! Local animal shelters have been forced to close to switch to on-line adoptions only or have implemented adoption appointments.  Contact your local shelter to make an appointment or ask about fostering an animal in need.

If you need assistance:

The Norfolk SPCA has created an Emergency Pet Pantry. This effort will directly benefit families and their pets experiencing financial hardship. Unopened pet food and treats can be delivered 9:00am – 4:30pm daily at 916 Ballentine Blvd. After-hours drop-offs may be placed at the front door.

A Pet Pantry has also been established by Portsmouth Humane Society.  PHS can supply up to 5 animals with food per household per month. Fill out this form to set up a contact-free pick up.

National Nonprofits:

Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP)
The CDP COVID-19 Response Fund to support preparedness, containment, response and recovery activities for those affected and for the responders. The focus is on supporting local nonprofit organizations working in areas identified as having high numbers of affected individuals and those who are working with the most vulnerable populations

World Health Organization
The Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund

The fund will enable us to:

  • Send essential supplies such as personal protective equipment to frontline health workers
  • Enable all countries to track and detect the disease by boosting laboratory capacity through training and equipment.
  • Ensure health workers and communities everywhere have access to the latest science-based information to protect themselves, prevent infection and care for those in need.
  • Accelerate efforts to fast-track the discovery and development of lifesaving vaccines, diagnostics and treatments