These resources were developed as part of our Community Connection Series to help the community in response to COVID-19.
Do you know a teen who feels like they want to give back during these stressful and unknown times, but is unsure of how to help? Sometimes, especially in times of uncertainty, it can feel impossible to know where to start. Many of our teens, who were feeling stress about school, their social lives, the prom, and more, felt this way even before COVID-19 disrupted their lives.
It is important to let teens know that, no matter their current situation, they have the power to make a difference in their home, community, and even the world. Through donations and direct action, teens can be the change they want to see around them. Below are some tips you and your teens can use to make a difference: even without even having to leave your couch!
Tips (Download the PDF)
- Make and donate masks. Medical grade masks should be saved for those who are sick or are working directly with patients, but all types of masks can help flatten the curve. Making masks is also a fun activity and produces a tangible result.
- Support local businesses. Purchase seeds and sprouts from local stores and grow produce to give to local food banks or friends and family. Buying gift cards from businesses that are currently closed can also help keep them going during these times.
- Be cognizant of the homeless community. Many people without homes need our support more than ever. Creating gift bags of sanitary goods, food, clothing, and supplies is one way to help those in need.
- Purchase pizza or cupcakes for workers at nearby hospitals. This small gesture can encourage those who are the frontlines and working tirelessly.
- Do regular check-ins. Encourage your teen to message people like friends, family, and even others in the community or at school who they may not usually talk to. One message can brighten someone’s day and uplift them.
- Foster an animal. Hundreds of animals are in need of fostering and support. If your teen is able to take on the responsibility, introducing a pet into their life can create a sense of purpose and provide companionship, all while helping a pet in need.
- Reach out to a retirement community. Retirement communities are feeling the loss of restricted visitation and would benefit greatly from social interaction. Calling a nearby retirement home to see if they would like to set up visits via Zoom (or a more traditional phone call) can help those experiencing isolation.
- Don’t forget to communicate with those who you want to help. It is important to ask the community what they need and how they want those needs to be met before making decisions.
- Talk to elected leaders. Get involved with organizations that are asking more support from your city, state, and federal government officials. If your teen and their friends are 18 or older, they can register to vote and encourage their peers to register as well.
- Create art and messages for the community. Hanging up art in windows and writing messages on the sidewalks in support of health care workers and others can brighten people’s day.
- Create fun projects and activities for others. Make a coloring book to post online or to send to friends and family.
- Donate money. Encourage your teen to research organizations that support causes they care about.
Did You Know?
- Culture Trip has created a webpage on their site dedicated to ways people can give back to the NYC community.
- Items purchased through Amazon Smile will send 0.5% of the money spent go to the nonprofit of your choice. You can also support Jewish Board programs by purchasing items from their Amazon wish lists:
- HereNow is teen-driven Jewish movement to provide support, build connections, increase wellbeing and resilience, and reduce stigma around mental health for teens, providing resources on how to deal with mental health issues.
A Message from The Jewish Board
If you live in the New York metropolitan area and need help coping with stress in times of crisis, we can help. Call us at 1.844.ONE.CALL to speak with an intake specialist.
Visit our events calendar to see what additional Community Connections are coming up. We also have the following opportunities for those interested in supporting New Yorkers during this time of crisis:
The Jewish Board HelpCorps is a team of paid, temporary full-time and part-time staff to help us serve New York’s most vulnerable during this time of crisis. No specialized skills or training are required to apply — only a passion for helping others. Learn more.
During this time of crisis, there are many ways that we can help the people we serve – children in the foster care system, children and adults with mental illness, and people of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Learn more.
Help us safeguard New York City’s safety net as we continue to provide services to our most vulnerable populations in a time of crisis. Proceeds will go towards providing relief for programs who are struggling in the wake of COVID-19. You can also help spread the word about our fundraiser by creating your own fundraising page or team.