How Can I Help?

ways to serve during the pandemic

While we are obeying the stay-at-home order, some are asking, “What can we do to serve and help others in these crazy times?” The prime directive, if you will, for followers of Jesus is to love God and love others. And, while we are hunkered down in our homes, trying to maintain safe physical distance from others, there are still ways to do what Jesus said.

  • First, we should maintain our connection with God—taking comfort in his Word, spending time pursuing him in prayer, continuing to worship, even though our current options for worship seem limited or strange. This will help us to keep the proper perspective, and keep our focus outward, on the needs of others, rather than the inconveniences we may be saddled with ourselves.

  • We should obey the directives that have come from governmental authorities and health departments regarding slowing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most important ways we can love others is to follow the guidelines we all know by now—washing our hands, maintaining proper physical distance from others outside our own homes, staying at home, etc. It is useful to think of this as something we are doing to protect others, not only ourselves.

  • Check on our neighbors—particularly if we have neighbors who are elderly or who are in higher-risk categories for other reasons. We took five minutes to call the neighbors on either side of us, both of whom are older than we are and in higher-risk categories, just to check in, and to volunteer to get groceries or medicine for them. It gave us opportunities to connect with them, and they were very appreciative.

  • We’re allowed to get outside to exercise, walk, etc.—these can be great times to connect with your neighbors or to meet neighbors we haven’t yet met. On a recent evening walk, we connected with some neighbors up the block whom we didn’t know—they were putting up Christmas lights on their house as a way to bring a little joy into the neighborhood during the pandemic! It was a great opportunity to say hello and to thank them for doing that, and now we have a connection that we didn’t have before—who knows where that might lead?

  • Many local organizations are in need of financial help during the pandemic crisis. If you have the means to make even a small donation during this time, here are some organizations that need your help:

  • There are still ways to volunteer in our community, even during the stay-at-home order. Here are a few:

    • Heartland Community Health Center is asking for those who sew to make masks. Handmade masks, while typically not N95-compliant, can help health care workers save their N95 masks for situations where that level of protection is required. Patterns and instructions are available here. To donate masks, call Heartland (785-841-7297) to arrange a safe drop-off or pick-up.
    • If you are a retired doctor or nurse, there may be opportunities for you to volunteer at Heartland. Call (see number above) to inquire.
    • Just Food, the primary food bank in Douglas County, continues to provide food to combat food insecurity throughout the county, and you may always donate food, or make a financial donation to support their work. During the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers are still needed to package food for safe distribution in the community. If you are healthy and able to volunteer, contact Just Food (785-856-7030) to see if there are ways you can help. A brief training session is usually required.
    • LINK (Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen) is an “essential service” during the stay-at-home period, and volunteers are still needed to make food (mostly sack lunches and “grab ‘n’ go” meals, under the present circumstances, and to help distribute those meals on the days LINK serves (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday). River City Church is scheduled to serve lunch on Tuesday, Sept. 22. If you are available to serve on other open service dates, email LINK ( to find out what dates are available.