Hi, Kayla Hughes here, Greg’s daughter and Hughes Private Capital’s Marketing Director. 

The last couple weeks have been scary and confusing for many of us.  Just yesterday, I decided to avoid my parents like the plague!  It seems the smartest way to keep them safe, as much as I would like to see their faces every day – especially right now. 

While tragedy itself is never positive, one thing is does do is bring people together.  In just the last couple days, I’ve been moved by the stories I’ve heard about people generously helping others during these times.  I know my responsibility as a young, healthy American is tquarantine myself in order to keep vulnerable groups safe.  But I wanted to find out what else I could do.  I researched some ways to make an actual impact during this coronavirus pandemic and put together a list of some of my favorite ideas below.  Stay safe out there! 

Donate blood 

Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.  The Red Cross has announced a severe blood shortage due to the coronavirus outbreak.  Over 2,700 blood drives were cancelled, resulting in 86,000 fewer blood donations.  Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to donate if they are healthy and eligible to donate.  You can find your local blood bank by searching here: http://www.aabb.org/tm/donation/Pages/Blood-Bank-Locator.aspx  

You never know who you’ll run into at the blood bank!  I donated on Wednesday and caught up with Reno, one of the vets I befriended on my 2018 Honor Flight. Reno’s healthy and trying to keep busy… especially since his square dancing classes have been cancelled due to the virus outbreak.

Support your local businesses 

Many small businesses operate on small margins and can’t afford to not operate for a month.  Help them by buying gift cards to your favorite places now.  You’ll give them the cash they need to survive and you can looking forward to shopping there later – a win-win!  

I found two websites that make it easy to buy gift cards to all your favorite local spots in one place:

(You can add your own local businesses if they are not there already.)  

If you live in the Reno area, Bareknuckle Branding and others have teamed up to put together a Small Business Punchlist you can purchase for $250 that includes generous offers from 14 local small businesses.  Some offers are available immediately for pickup, others, like yoga and massages, will be available when stores reopen.  Reno’s small business community is a rad one, so let’s make sure it sticks around! 

Learn more here: https://www.bareknuckle-branding.com/punchlist/  

Support some great Reno businesses like Beer NV and Granite Street Eatery. You can cut up your punchcard and share with others however you please!

Help your local animal rescue 

Like other small businesses, your local animal rescue could be closed down or be severely understaffed.  You can donate money or your time by fostering an animal while you’re hunkering down at home anyway. 

I’ve fostered more than 20 kittens from the Nevada Humane Society over the years. Most shelters make it easy for you – giving you food, litter, and all the supplies you need for free. They just want the animals to get some one-on-one attention before being adopted. Pictured above is Bhupinder, who my parents adopted at the end of my foster period.

Call or write your loved ones (especially your grandparents!) 

During this time of social distancing, make sure your friends and family know you are still thinking about them.  It might even be fun to go old school and write a letter to someone you care about.  Social isolation is going to hit the elderly extra hard, so pick up the phone and call your grandma or grandpa!  

Offer to help your neighbors 

Places like NextDoor and Craigslist are useful platforms to connect with your neighbors and let them know you are there for them.  You may have some elderly or immune-compromised neighbors that weren’t able to stock up on necessary supplies or need help getting their medication, but don’t feel safe leaving the house (and they shouldn’t!).  Posting a general post for your neighborhood is a good way to offer help without singling anyone out.   

Donate to your local food bank 

You can donate non-perishable goods you have or donate money.  Either way, the local food bank will be very appreciative as they will likely be facing much higher demand in the coming weeks. 

Stay healthy and help others if you can afford to.  This pandemic will eventually pass and we’ll come out on the other side.  There is always a silver lining in every situation and this time around, I have already been reminded of human decency and how kind we can be to one another in times of need.