Giving Back

Pay It Forward: How to Help Others in Need During Coronavirus (Updated)

by Team Fathom
Helping Let's lend a hand. Photo by Rémi Walle / Unsplash.

This article was updated on April 17, 2020.

We may be socially isolated, but we can still feel connected to each other through acts of care.

We're starting this running list of organizations in the United States that are offering support and that need our help. If you'd like us to add to this list, drop us a line at higuys[at]

Support Medical Relief

CDC Foundation's Coronavirus Response Fund supports those with "fast-emerging needs related to the virus, providing flexible funding that can support state and local health departments, logistics, communication and data management." Facebook has agreed to a $10 million matching gift for their campaign. 

DirectRelief is helping to provide essential protective medical equipment to health workers nationwide, among other initiatives.

If you can do so safely, please donate blood to your local blood bank. The Red Cross is an excellent national resource.

Support Front-Line Workers

If food is comfort, no one needs it more than those comforting and caring for others. Let's break virtual bread: Support these local restaurants and initiatives that are delivering meals to hospital workers in the NYC area. (We've heard about these from our local network, which is why this is a NYC-based list. Please share any you know of elsewhere: Write to us at  higuys[at]

Sauce has already sent 2,500 pizzas (the ultimate comfort food!) to 20+ hospitals. $110 buys 10 pies for 40 meals.

On the gourmet end, one Blue Hill at Stone Barns box will feed ten workers for $150.

Feed the Frontlines NYC, spearheaded by Tarallucci e Vino, is delivering food to hospitals in NYC.

Treats Help: The name says it all. Photographer (and longtime Fathom pal) Melanie Dunea has organized a GoFundMe campaign in partnership with local bakeries and food makers in the NYC area to deliver treats (cookies, chocolates, snacks) to hospital workers. 

Care for the Hungry

Feed America harnesses support from local communities and the federal government to keep low-income families supplied with food. Right now, their biggest concern is children whose schools have closed, cutting off a source of healthy, free meals. Check their list of food banks across the country to donate close to home.

Humanitarian chef Jose Andres' World Central Kitchen has already been deploying meals around the world (Japan and California so far) to those impacted. Donate to their #ChefsforAmerica initiative to provide meals for families in need.

Hundreds of millions of meals — hundreds of millions of meals — haven't been given to America's children as a result of school closures. No Kid Hungry, which is dedicated to ending child hunger, is working with schools and communities to get those kids fed. City Harvest is feeding kids and their families in New York City.

Meals on Wheels will continue to deliver food to seniors — safely, per CDC guidelines — and makes sure they're not left alone. Donate to the national branch or call your local outpost to see how you can help.

Care for the Homeless

Homeless shelters are already-stressed and will need more assistance than ever. Click their map to find a shelter in your community.

Support Your Local Restaurant

If they haven't closed yet, this is the time to support your beloved local restaurants by ordering take-out or purchasing a gift card to use on future nights out. The independent restaurant industry operates on very slim margins. According to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, which has organized a Save Local Restaurants campaign, "11 million people across the country employed by restaurants — and hundreds of millions of workers up and down the food supply and delivery chain depend on restaurants." 

Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, a non-profit that advocates for restaurant workers, started an emergency relief fund.

Also, if you're in the United States, call Congress and tell your Representatives and Senators that restaurants need a government bailout. The Capital switchboard can connect you by phone at +1-202-224-3121. Send email to the House and Senate. Or text Resist Bot, who can do it for you. has a script you can use: What to Say to Your Representatives to Advocate for a Restaurant Bailout

If you're in New York, add your name to this petition created by ROAR (Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants)

Foster an Animal (aka Care for Yourself, Too)

This is a perfect time to adopt or foster an animal in need — and for them to love you back. What's ahead: cuddles on the couch, walks outside, so many too-cute photos.

Best Friends will be updating their COVID-19 landing page with nationwide info.

Animal Care Centers of NYC is actively looking for foster care voluteers.

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.