It may seem like the world’s two deadly viruses — COVID-19 and racism — aren’t headline-worthy news anymore. This isn’t the case for everyday life. Because schools are opening back up, Breonna Taylor’s killers haven’t been arrested, COVID-19 is still spreading, families are still struggling financially, and black men and women are still awaiting equality.

So here’s a little reminder that you have the power to be the change you want to see in the world. You have the power to make this day better than the last. You have the power to give back.

Giving back comes in many different forms. Whether you have money to spare with little time or vice versa, or if you’re low on both, here’s how you can support people in 2020 and beyond.

@feedingamerica

DONATE YOUR MONEY: 

Donating resources and money is always beneficial. It trickles down and supports those most affected by social injustices and life-changing pandemics. 

Start by donating to the people you know and local churches. If you’d like to send relief on a state or national level, donate to charities that provide housing, food, and pay for medical expenses. If you’d like to join the Black Lives Matter movement, donate funds to organizations that push for progressive legislation, bailout protestors, or uplift black communities. If all your money is already accounted for, but you’d still like to support monetarily, try donating your credit card rewards

SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE: 

If local restaurants, boutiques, salons, and any other business is open, talk about your experience. Leave them a positive yet honest review on Yelp or Google. You can even take it a step further by sharing a picture on social media with their handles included. You’ll be making it easier for others to find and support this local business too.

VOTE, VOTE, + VOTE:

Yes, in the traditional sense. But also hell yes in the non-traditional sense. 

I’m a strong believer that voting doesn’t just happen every 4 years; we vote every time we buy something. Our dollar decides what we care about (or, for that matter, don’t care about). Because whether we like to admit it or not, money makes moves. 

Buy from brands and companies that align with your values. Check to see if a corporation is committed to a better future by looking for a B Corps logo on their packaging, on their website, or here. B Corps are businesses that balance profit and purpose by building inclusive and sustainable economies. And if they are not yet certified, research to learn more about their values, beliefs, and inclusivity. 

SHOW UP TO A PROTEST:

Black Lives Matter protests are still happening throughout the country. If you’re an artist, you can create cardboard signs for protests. If you’re a water-boy, you can hand out water, snacks, and masks to the protestors. If you’re a protestor, you can show up and show out. Lead your community with compassion and build a better future together. 

If you don’t feel educated enough about the topic, keep listening and learning. I find that protests are great places to learn and hear about other people’s experiences.

@eb__edits

DONATE YOUR SKILLS:

As many small brick-and-mortar shops have had to switch to an e-commerce model, business owners need people who can create an appealing website, write copy, and photograph products. Your skills are valuable and would be greatly appreciated. You’ll be able to see first hand how giving back delivers positive impacts.

SPEAK UP:

Talk to people in your families, post on social media, and call out your co-workers. (My grandparents would tell me otherwise. They believe politics aren’t a work-appropriate topic, but I say threats to basic human rights are not political.) These conversations aren’t easy, but they are worthwhile.

PRACTICE SELF-CARE:

It’s mentally draining and physically exhausting fighting for equality. It’s even more so for those experiencing the injustices first hand. All this stress and anxiety is heightened when you add a pandemic into the mix. 

But we can’t forget to fuel our fire — check in on yourself and practice self-care. Express your anxieties in a journal, talk to a friend, spend purposeful time on social media (don’t get lost scrolling), move your body, ground in nature, and remember to be a part of conversations at YOUR will. After all, you can’t help someone else unless you first help yourself (airplane safety 101).

SHARE YOUR ENERGY:

If it feels too overwhelming to be on the frontlines, sit the bench. Benchwarmers hold purpose; they uplift the main players’ spirits and keep them motivated. Do the same. Fuel others with reassuring and compassionate quotes and vibes on social media, through text, or even with handwritten letters. Helping release someone else’s anger, frustrations, fears, sadness, or whatever emotion they are feeling at that moment, can help them and yourself regroup.

Establishing a kinder and more inclusive society is exhausting yet rewarding work. So whatever your reason for giving back is and however you’re able to give back, I’m sure is deeply appreciated. After all, people for people are the best kind of people. Wouldn’t you agree?