WASHINGTON — On this page, we’ll be listing places to get help and opportunities to volunteer or donate during the coronavirus outbreak. This is not a comprehensive list and will be updated on a rolling basis.
FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT
Many of you may be out of work during the coronavirus outbreak as orders to shut down bars, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms come. Here's how to file for unemployment in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.
If you're needing to file for unemployment, call 410-949-0022 or 1-800-827-4839 and if you’ve recently moved into the state but still need to file, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know the best time to call you back.
Free meals are being given out across the DMV to students who otherwise would have gotten them at school. Here's a comprehensive list.
If you're in need of finding food, two local food banks are working to strengthen and fill in gaps in the hunger safety net in the D.C. Metro area:
- Capital Area Food Bank is committed to connecting their partners and neighbors in need with healthy food by creating links to the CAFB's network of food assistance partners and programs while providing real-time access to services such as affordable housing and job training.
- SHARE Food Network is a non-profit, community-based organization dedicated to offering healthy, nutritious groceries at a roughly 50% discount.
FINDING TEMPORARY SHELTER
The group RVs 4 MDs is helping frontline medical staff and first responders by providing a shelter away from home. Their goal is to help these workers protect their loved ones at home by giving them a place to shower and change clothes. Here’s where you can submit a form to be paired up or to offer your RV for someone else to use.
RESTAURANTS AND WORKERS
With dine-in down as much as 75%, local restaurants need support more than ever.
How to help:
- Order take out or delivery and pay online or use a cashless form of payment
- Send a tip through Venmo to a growing list of restaurant workers here.
- Purchase a restaurant gift card over the phone or through its website. While this will not help servers and bartenders, it will help shore up their reserves.
- Buy their T-shirts, hats, glassware and other merchandise
- Sign up for a subscription service if they offer one.
- Sign up for future cooking classes
- Donate through a national emergency fund through One Fair Wage to support tipped employees
The Small Business Association announced that it will work with state governments to provide targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans to small businesses severely impacted by the outbreak. You can find out more about these loans and how to access them here.
Community Service Agency to support affected union workers and their families through emergency wage assistance.
Use Online Food Delivery Services:
GrubHub: is deferring commission fees for impacted independent restaurants. It is providing additional financial relief for drivers and restaurants through the Grubhub Community Relief Fund. With this fund, all of your Donate the Change contributions will go to charitable organizations that support drivers and restaurants impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
RAMW members and Hook Hall have started Hook Hall Helps to support restaurant and food service industry workers who may need assistance with supplies, community support, family meal, and more. RAMW's Education Foundation, Educated Eats, has partnered as a conduit to receive donations which Hook Hall Helps and Educated Eats will work together to distribute to support worker relief measures. Visit Hook Hall Helps for more information and a schedule of ongoing programming.
D.C.'s Virtual Tip Jar: Here's a list of servers and bartenders you can send money to via venmo
D.C. Mutual Aid Network for Ward 7 and 8 Hotline: 202-630-0366
Mayor Muriel Bowser's #FITDC brings workouts that you can do from home.
HOTLINES & RESOURCES
PEPCO: Offering temporary or extended financial hardship assistance. It is suspending service disconnections and waiving late payment fees through at least May 1. It will be working with customers on a case-by-case basis.
VERIZON: Waiving late fees for those impacted.
Mental Health America: Free anxiety and mental health resources
WASHINGTON GAS: Is temporarily suspending customer disconnections and waiving late fees for anyone unable to pay their monthly bills. Call 844-WASHGAS (844-927-4427) or visit our E-Service portal at for assistance.
DOMINION POWER: will not shut off your power for non-payment. It has suspended all service disconnections. If your service was previously shut off for non-payment please contact them and the company will work with you.
Virginia Tire & Auto has a complimentary pick-up and drop-off service VTA2You
FLEX YOUR BRAIN & FITNESS
Simple Habit is offering new meditation plans and collections designed specifically for stress and anxiety related to Coronavirus. Topics include Self-Care, Easing Fear, Mindful Communication With Family, and Guided Yoga. Listen for free
Online Mindfulness: Meditation expert Jeremy Mohler will be leading an online guided mindfulness meditation each evening except Sunday from 7-7:30 p.m. Join live facebook.com/jeremymohlermeditation or on Instagram @futuredebris
Up your yoga skills for free with Haus Yoga
Free home workouts by Cut Seven
Sign Up for BrightestYoungThings "Your Daily Survival Guide"
The Smithsonian's Open Access is a place you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images for free. They have images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.
National Gallery of Art has two online exhibitions you can scroll through using the help of Google Arts & Culture. Check out Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting or drawings from the index of American Design.
National Portrait Gallery has a fantastic online exhibition. You can see both of the Obama presidential portraits.
Check out the Soloman R. Guggenheim from the comfort of your couch. You can take a virtual walkthrough see hundreds of contemporary works, sculptures and exhibitions from Latin America and more.
The Whitney Museum of American Art is in NYC but don't let that stop you from enjoying realism and Precisionism.
FeedingAmerica.org is a nationwide network of food banks. You can search by zip code to find you local community food bank for emergency food boxes, drive through pantries and long term support.
Maryland Food Bank is packing emergency prep "back up" boxes for neighbors in need.
Prince George's County & Capital Area Food Bank hosts food pantry pop-ups for industry workers in the parking lots of Giant Food stores from 3-7 p.m.
- Giant in Largo - 10480 Campus Way South
- Giant in Greenbelt - 6000 Greenbelt Rd.
- Giant in Camp Springs - 7074 Allentown Rd.
United Way of the National Capital Area activated its Emergency Assistance Fund to help its non-profit partners during this time.
Those partners expect increased demand from people who will need economic assistance, access to food and other basic necessities during this time. You can donate here, or text "UNITED20" to 41444.
Right now, United Way NCA's Emergency Assistance Fund is being directed to the following organizations:
- Martha’s Table to support food distribution throughout the DMV and 350 families around wage assistance and food insecurity.
- Capital Area Food Bank to support their food distribution through pop-up markets in the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, and Northern Virginia.
- Northern Virginia Family Service to support their Hunger Resource Center’s food distribution. They are expanding their services to target over 500 school-aged children and their families in their catchment area.
- Arlington Food Assistance Center to support individuals and families with their food and nutrition needs through the distribution of pre-bagged groceries.
- Manna Food Center to meet the nutrition needs of MCPS students and families impacted by school closures and food distribution and delivery to those in need throughout Montgomery County
“As businesses and agencies across the region undergo temporary closures and other restrictions, much of the region’s workforce will experience a severe reduction in income that they desperately rely on to live,” said Rosie Allen-Herring, president and CEO, United Way of the National Capital Area. “These emergency resources will enable our nonprofit partners to meet the increased demand for economic assistance and access to food and other basic necessities. By first increasing capacity to these non-profit organizations, we want residents to know their United Way stands by them through this crisis.”
Shepherd's Table in Silver Spring is boxing meals to go and bringing them outside the shelter for the safety of volunteers and meal recipients.
Anne Arundel County Public Library has virtual programs and resources on its Facebook page as well as:
- Daily live storytimes from trained staff at 10:30 am (for next two weeks, except Sundays)
- Daily 30-minute concerts from the band SQRRL! at noon
- Miss Johanna’s STEM activity of the day at 1:15 pm
- The Great Movies discussion club on Friday at 7 p
- TumbleMath resource
- Library staff is increasing their already extensive digital collection of eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, streaming movies, music and databases available on the library’s website
- Genealogists will enjoy having access to Ancestry.com Library Edition, normally only available in library branches.
Common Sense Media is a great resource for quality screen-time recommendations both free and paid, educational and purely recreational — including privacy tips. I (Anya) like Duolingo for language learning, Tynker for coding and Khan Academy for academic subjects. Epic is a subscription service with endless books and comics for tablets, searchable by age.
GoNoodle offers both physical dance/movement and meditation-videos,
It engages 14 million kids every month with movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. Available for free at school, home, and everywhere kids are!
Get outside. It's good for your physical and mental health. Go for a walk, a bike ride, or, if possible, a family hike.
And here's a wild card: While everyone's home, try giving the kids more responsibility around the house, including cooking a meal or doing the laundry. And cleaning — there's going to be a lot of cleaning to do!
HOW TO HELP
Islamic Relief USA: The largest Muslim-based nonprofit humanitarian and advocacy organization has launched a $1.9 million grant program to facilitate the operations of mosques and social services providers in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The organization is also accepting donations to help provide hygiene kits and medical support to people suffering from this disease around the world. Click here to donate.
University Of Maryland Student Crisis Fund provides immediate assistance to any student who faces an unanticipated emergency financial need. With the continued COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland students have been hard hit by the campus disruptions and need help to continue their education. It typically receives 2-3 requests per week. Since the spread of the virus, these requests have increased to 50 or more per day.
In just 12 days, we have distributed over $250,000 to nearly 700 students representing every college and school. The fund is now depleted, as the need from our students continues to grow.
A gift to the UMD Student Crisis Fund will help our students meet their basic needs—transportation, food and housing—so that they may continue their education during these challenging times.
BethesdaCares.org is working to keep our street homeless population safe and healthy. It's doing everything it can to perform welfare safety checks and provide the homeless population with supplies that will help them get through this difficult time. You can donate here to help our clients get the supports they need during this challenging time.
The Maryland Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism, Maryland Unites has information on supporting businesses, seniors and families as well as opportunities for Marylanders to give back.
Donate to the Children's Inn at the National Institute of Health
Donate to the Red Cross
Donate to the United Way of the National Capital Area
Do you know a hospital worker or medical professional who needs a meal? Sweetgreen is giving away free salads and bowls to hospitals in D.C.
Looking for ways to volunteer to help neighbors in need? Check out DCValues
Montgomery County, MD's Volunteer Center has a portal for people interested in volunteering for coronavirus related opportunities
Volunteer Fairfax has established a portal for COVID-19 related volunteer opportunites.
Alexandria’s Medical Reserve Corps is looking for people to help support the health department’s response.
Offer assistance to ask risk neighbors. The Nextdoor app is a social networking platform for local communities and neighborhoods.
Plan to stay in touch from afar. Challenge friends to virtual matches and share photos online. Swap recipes in your chat groups and simply let people know you are thinking about them.
Stock up, then stop.
Kroger: Through Kroger’s Community Rewards program, Kroger Plus card members can designate a nonprofit of their choice to receive funds from the grocery chain every time they shop.
Community Food Rescue is a network of businesses, volunteers and hunger relief organizations is committed to eliminating hunger and food waste here in Montgomery County. Local farms and businesses with unsaleable and used foods to food assistance organizations. They use volunteers to transport food from donating businesses
Get outside and pick-up trash
The Little Falls Watershed Alliance has bags and gloves to help you do a trash pick-up. Students can get SSL hours for trash pick-up. Email info@LFWA.org for more information and some ideas on trash hotspots.