As COVID-19 — often referred to as simply “coronavirus” — affects our community, more and more of our friends and neighbors are going to find themselves in need. Already, the outbreak has forced widespread closures and cancellations, business is down at stores and bars and restaurants across the country and the closure of schools leaves parents without child care and kids without those vital school lunches.

How can we help?

Some of the most urgent needs are at local hospitals and health facilities. Visit this page for a list of needed items at UNC Health facilities – including hand sanitizer, hand soap, and masks – and locations where you can drop them off.

And fortunately, our community has a lot of organizations that are actively stepping up their efforts to help those in need. There are many, many ways that you can get involved, by donating your time as well as money and supplies. (Thanks to Molly and Allison DeMarco as well as Sally Greene for compiling terrific lists of active organizations — click their names to see their respective resources.)

Here are some of the other ways that you can help in this time of need:

  • Local performers and artists are being hit hard by cancellations, as many of them depend on revenue from performances and shows. If you want to help local artists in need, the Orange County Arts Commission has established an Orange County Arts Support Fund, raising money that will go to local artists and performers.
  • The NorthStar Church of the Arts in Durham has also established an Artist Relief Fund for local artists and performers. Visit NorthStarDurham.com/ArtistRelief for more information, or go straight to the GoFundMe page.
  • Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels is in need of additional volunteers and additional donations to help them deliver food to seniors in need during the coronavirus outbreak. Visit CHCMOW.org for more information.
  • The Diaper Bank of North Carolina is in need of additional donations to help families get through the coronavirus outbreak. Their biggest needs are for Size 2 and Size 5 diapers, baby wipes and Ziploc bags – and of course you can also make cash donations as well.
  • The United Way of the Greater Triangle has launched a Rapid Response Fund to support residents of Wake, Durham, Orange, and Johnston Counties.
  • Orange County Schools are providing meals for students, weekdays from 11-1 through Friday, March 27. Drive through and pick up meals at Fairview Community Garden, the Cedar Grove Community Center, the Efland Cheeks Community Center, Cedar Ridge High School, Central Elementary, and Partnership Alternative School. Visit this page for more information, in English and Spanish.
  • The schools are closed, but Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools are still preparing meals for local children up to 18 years old. Monday through Friday, now through April 3, you can drive through and pick up lunch and a snack for kids at any of 22 different locations including Northside Elementary School. Visit this page for the full list of locations and times, in six different languages.
  • If you want to donate to CHCCS’ effort, you can do that at PublicSchoolFoundation.org.
  • If you want to help local kids in need in our community, TABLE is still actively delivering meals to children living with food insecurity. Donate supplies or money online at TableNC.org.
  • 97.9 The Hill and Chapelboro.com are still collecting donations for TABLE through April 3, as part of our “Fill The Bus” campaign. At this time we are no longer accepting donations at our office in University Place, so please take them directly to TABLE at 209 E Main Street in Carrboro (across from Rise).
  • PORCH is also actively working to collect food and supplies for families in need. If you want to donate, volunteer, or get more information, visit their website. PORCH is also seeking volunteers to help organize food donations in Hillsborough, weekdays at 8 am at Central Elementary School and 11:15 am at New Hope Elementary School. If you want to volunteer, email Hillsborough@PORCHCommunities.org.
  • The Inter-Faith Council for Social Service is seeing more need for food and supplies, including cleaning supplies. If you want to donate or volunteer, visit IFCWeb.org.
  • Orange Congregations in Mission provides food to low-income families in rural Orange County. If you want to donate or volunteer, visit OCIMNC.org.
  • With seniors being asked to take extra precautions and venture out as little as possible, the Orange County Department on Aging has stepped up its efforts to keep in touch with local seniors by phone. Volunteers make “reassurance phone calls” every weekday morning to seniors who sign up, and volunteers are being recruited to do it on the weekends as well. If you want to volunteer, call the department at 919-968-2070.
  • And with restaurants, bars, stores and venues closing due to COVID-19, local service industry workers are going to find it hard to make ends meet. Local business leaders have organized a GoFundMe to support service workers in Orange and Durham Counties.
  • The Refugee Support Center is facing additional need as they work to help our local refugee community, many of whom are service workers likely to face extra struggles during the coronavirus outbreak. Get more information and donate online at RefugeeSupportCenter.org.
  • Orange County’s Emergency Operations Center has opened a Covid-19 call center for people who want information. Call 919-245-6111, or text the message “OC NC Health” to 888777.
  • Mutual Aid Carrboro is partnering with NC Piedmont DSA to create a Mutual Aid Relief Fund for workers who are having to stay home without pay.
  • Orange County DSS is collecting non-perishable food items at both of its locations: the Southern Human Services Center on Homestead Road in Chapel Hill, and the DSS main office on Mayo Street in Hillsborough. You can also donate money online or mail checks to Orange County DSS, PO Box 8181, Hillsborough, NC 27278. (Make checks out to Orange County DSS and put “Food Drive” in the memo line.)
  • The DPS Foundation is collecting donations to support students in Durham Public Schools. Learn more and donate online at BullCitySchools.org.
  • A fund has been started to help restaurant workers in the Triangle who may be out of work amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Visit FrankieLemmonSchool.org/RestaurantWorkersReliefFund.
  • The organization Down Home NC has organized a Mutual Aid Fund to help members afford cleaning supplies. Get more information and contribute here.
  • A website called the Chapel Hill Community Post has been created to connect people in need with people who are able to give. Visit CHCommunityPost.com to learn more and get involved.
  • The Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill is in need of financial support as they’re having to continue their operations without the help of volunteers. Donate online at this page.
  • The CORA Food Pantry in Chatham County is seeing a rise in need – and a decline in available volunteers. Learn more about how you can help by donating or volunteering.
  • Thrive Kitchen and Catering of Durham is working to donate lunches to healthcare workers who are responding to Covid-19 at Duke Regional Hospital. If you want to help, email carolynk@thrivedurham.com.
  • El Centro Hispano has created a COVID19 Crisis Response Fund to assist families who are being impacted due to the outbreak. Visit ElCentroNC.org to donate and learn more.
  • The annual CROP Hunger Walk had to be called off this year, but organizers are now putting together a “virtual walk” to continue supporting the IFC. Visit CropHungerWalk.org/ChapelHillNC to learn more about how you can still get involved, now through April 20.
  • The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Foodies Facebook group is working to organize meal delivery for UNC hospital workers. Join the group to learn more.
  • Local resident Daniel Toben – who regularly works on trash cleanup initiatives – has organized a GoFundMe to offer financial support for people experiencing temporary unemployment, who want to earn money by taking part in cleanup efforts. Visit the GoFundMe page to learn more and donate.
  • As we get through this outbreak, we all need to be thinking about each other and taking care of each other and helping each other stay healthy. One listener is asking all of us to disinfect your mailboxes on a regular basis, to help protect postal workers who have to touch hundreds of boxes every day in order to do their jobs.
  • Club Nova in Carrboro is setting up virtual connections to help members continue receiving vital healthcare services remotely during the outbreak. If you want to donate, visit ClubNova.org.
  • The Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with the Wooden Nickel to help service workers who are out of work amidst the Covid-19 outbreak. They’ve created a GoFundMe campaign called Hillsborough Hospitality Help.
  • Piedmont Health in Carrboro is doing drive-thru testing for Covid-19, but they’re running low on masks and other PPE. If you have personal protective equipment that you can donate, bring it to the Carrboro Community Health Center, at 299 Lloyd Street.