Looking for ways to give back, get involved from a distance, or donate to local organizations as coronavirus restrictions and changes continue to impact Miami? We’ve been collecting recommendations from our readers and have collected them below.
We’ll continue to update and tweak this list (since new regulations and advisories continue to roll in from national, state and local officials) and we’ll have the latest updates in our newsletter every day. Know of some other opportunities, online events or other resources? Email us at [email protected] and include the subject line COVID Bulletin Board.
Volunteer and donation opportunities
📱Call or volunteer with the Community Emergency Operations Center. The same center that opened to respond to Hurricane Dorian last year is operating an information hotline to answer coronavirus questions. The number is 1-888-600-5762. The center is also looking for volunteers — reach out to [email protected] if you’re interested.
🚶Volunteer to help the homeless. The CEOC is also looking for healthy volunteers to do community surveys of people experiencing homelessness in Miami during this crisis. The organizers say to expect a lot of walking and that they’ll offer protective gear. Email Dr. Armen Henderson at [email protected] to sign up and get more info.
🙌 Check out the United Way’s opportunities. The organization has created a special page with coronavirus-related volunteer efforts. They include assisting with emergency relief, helping with food distribution at Comstock Elementary and putting together food boxes at Feeding South Florida. Head here for info.
🙌 Help out with the Lotus House. The shelter is looking for help in serving meals, cleaning, and helping out with activities for children and teens. If you’re feeling healthy and up to the task, email [email protected]. And if you can’t help in person at the shelter, the organization is also accepting donations here.
😷 Volunteer or help donate PPE. Personal protective equipment is becoming more and more scarce in our local hospitals so a group of University of Miami medical school students created the Miami Med COVID Help Coalition to collect PPE. Head here to donate or volunteer to support their efforts.
🚚 Volunteer to deliver food and supplies. The Miami New Times highlighted the work of a few locals that have created a buddy system to deliver supplies to sick and elderly folks here in SoFla. You can learn more about volunteering, or request a delivery, by emailing [email protected].
🏠 Find some ways to volunteer from home. The folks at HandsOn Miami have created some volunteer activities and guidelines for people looking to volunteer from a safe distance including a pen pal program, helping homebound neighbors, and DIY activities to support organizations like the Miami Rescue Mission.
🌿 Donate to a food bank. Feeding America is collecting donations to assist the organization’s COVID-19 response. In Florida there are nine food banks in the organization’s network, and the closest one in SoFla is in Pembroke Park. Head here to learn more and donate.
🌾 Support this fund for farmworkers. Justice for Migrant Women, and several other organizations that support farmworkers, are collecting funds to support workers impacted by COVID-19. Head here to donate to the fund.
👶 Donate to the Miami Diaper Bank. The organization is looking to purchase and deliver diapers to families in need. Head here to make a financial donation.
😷 Donate or sell some crucial supplies. The Miami-Dade Beacon Council is looking for businesses that are able to sell or donate supplies like masks, gloves, face shields and other equipment to hospitals and medical facilities. Head here to fill out their survey.
💰 Support Fort Lauderdale restaurant workers. We mostly focus on the 305 in our newsletter but here’s an opportunity to support folks in the 954 through the Hands for Hospitality fund.
🖨️ Connect with some potential PPE makers. Some local makers are looking to connect with others distributing or creating personal protective equipment through 3D printing and other methods. If that’s you or if you know of other efforts, email O. Montealegre at [email protected]
Testing and food distribution information
📍 Check out this map of drive-thru testing centers and food distributions. The Miami Climate Alliance put together a statewide map of testing sites and places for folks in need to get food.
🌿 Spread the word to support the food insecure. Farm Share is hosting multiple drive-thru food distributions in SoFla this weekend and into next week. You can find the full list here. The first event is happening today at Goulds Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
🚗 Find some food pickup locations. If you or someone you know is in need, Miami-Dade County, Share Your Heart and Victory for Youth have worked to open drive-thru food pickup locations across the 305. The locations are broken down into north, central and south and stretch from Miami Gardens to Perrine and Florida City.
Unemployment, business and housing help
🙌 Find (and support) some unemployment resources. The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce put together this guide for folks that have found themselves, or expect to find themselves, without a job. This Facebook group is also collecting resources and information. And chefs like Michael Schwartz, Brad Kilgore and Michelle Bernstein have teamed up to create a GoFundMe to support restaurant workers.
🏠 Follow the work of Miami Homes for All. The group is continuing to advocate for affordable housing solutions in response to COVID-19. Here’s more information on their action plan, and this document has information and resources for homeless youth looking for support.
✊ Check out some community protection efforts. The folks at the Community Justice Project along with several other civil rights groups, are advocating for vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can learn about their efforts here.
⚖️ Get legal help and resources. Legal Services of Greater Miami has staff on hand to give assistance on legal issues related to COVID-19. You can call 305-576-0080 or apply for services online. And they’ve compiled some info on evictions, immigration services and more on their website.
Local business support
🛍️ Shop local. Local businesses and restaurants are going to need our love more than ever as more of us practice social distancing. If you want to support them from afar by ordering delivery or stopping by (if you’re not feeling sick, and while the state and local governments still allow it, of course) to pick up an order, now’s the time to do it. Also smaller chains like Tropical Supermarket, Navarro, Sedano’s and more might have the supplies you’re looking for if Publix and Target are sold out.
If you’re still shook from a recent grocery run or in need of some fresh food, you can still snag some of the produce and goods you’d normally find at local farmers markets. Check out the full roundup from the Urban Oasis Project.
If you can afford it, try to order some delivery from your favorite spot especially if it’s via Grubhub, DoorDash or UberEats as the companies are making efforts to reduce fees for customers and restaurant owners.
🎶 Support a local record shop. Sweat Records and Technique Records are both adapting to social distancing by limiting their hours and accommodating for online shoppers. Sweat’s online store is live and if you’d rather not buy swag or new vinyl, you can also donate to the shop’s fundraising campaign here.
Technique is allowing crate diggers to make appointments to browse one at a time and also delivering to neighborhoods near the Upper East Side. You can set up an appointment by calling 786-717-6622, or emailing [email protected]
💰 Check out these small business resources. The Miami-Dade Beacon Council has compiled a resource center including information on emergency loans, the state’s short term compensation program and much more. Head here for details.
Funding and fundraising opportunities
💰 Support this Miami Foundation fund. The foundation is raising money to assist nonprofits as they deal with unexpected expenses, the loss of revenue-generating events, and more tough decisions due to COVID-19. Here’s how you can donate to their community recovery fund.
💰Contribute to the United Way’s pandemic fund. The organization partnered with the Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald to collect funds that will support families with help on rent, utilities payments, food and medication. The fund will also support micro-grants for small businesses. Head here to donate or call 1-800-226-3320.
The Food Plug Project is also collecting donations for a community relief fund aimed at getting food and resources to food insecure residents. Head here for info on those efforts.
🎨 Find some support for creatives. The folks at Fountainhead have compiled a list of resources and emergency grants for artists, including local and national organizations. The New Times also has a list of grants for musicians and artists.
🎨 Apply for this Oolite Arts fund. Artists looking for financial assistance can receive up to $500 in funds to make up for income they’ve lost due to COVID-19. Head here to apply. Applications are open through April 16. The organization has also collected some other resources on their website, including details about their other awards and grants.
🍽️ Support, or apply for, this SOBEWFF relief fund. The organizers of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, and FIU’s hospitality school, created a relief fund to support independently owned and operated SoFla restaurants that have suffered losses or had to lay off employees because of COVID-19 closures and restrictions. Head here to apply or donate to the fund.
💅 Apply for this fund. Local beauty brand Baiser Beauty is giving out $1,000 to someone impacted by COVID-19. The deadline is May 30 and they plan to select a winner on June 5.
Family and childcare resources
👪 Connect with family for free. Locally-founded education company Caribu is extending its “FaceTime meets Kindle” services for free to families looking to connect with their elderly relatives from a distance or hoping to keep their kids entertained while schools are closed.
👶 Find some more activities for the kiddos. With Tuesday night’s announcement that schools will remain closed through April 15, Munchkin Fun at Home is another resource for entertaining the young ones in your life. The site has recs on arts and crafts, STEM experiments and even some recipes you can try with your little sous chefs.
💻 Get some tips on distance learning. Formal educators and plenty of parents are adjusting to teaching kids from home and through online connections. One of our members compiled this resource guide that includes lessons and tips that work for teaching K-12 students and up to college-level coursework. Thanks, Natasha E.!
🗒️ Get info from this Facebook group. Some local community leaders have created a group called Coronavirus 305 that’s been a pretty constant mix of updates and community resources related to COVID-19.
🔎 Learn how states are reacting to COVID-19. Wondering how Florida and the 305 compare to other efforts around the country? This website has collected that data into a policy tracker that includes details on stay-at-home orders and state legislative responses.
⚖️ Check this collection of local, statewide, and national resources. The Florida Community Development Legal Project has a list of COVID-19 resources which includes information for Miami-Dade and Broward counties and links to statewide and national assistance for nonprofits and small businesses.
Ways to destress
🍿 Enjoy some Black Lounge Films faves from home. The folks at the Black Lounge Film Series compiled this list of ways to stream some of the movies they’ve screened and supported at the Miami Film Festival over the years. They also have a few general recs if you need to pass the time at home.
🗣️ Share your Miami story with HistoryMiami. If COVID-19 has inspired you to connect with older relatives, you can share some of those stories and history with the HistoryMiami Museum. They’ve created a digital option for folks to share their personal stories for the museum’s My Miami Story project.
😂 Enjoy a few laughs. Looking to support a local business and get a few lols along the way? Villain Theater had to close their physical space but they’re doing shows on Youtube and other streaming platforms like Twitch. Get updates through their newsletter.
🖼️ Take classes and explore art online. Miami New Drama is offering a series of online master classes, starting with a writing course tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. And Culture Shock Miami has put together a list of classes, virtual museum tours and even a way for college seniors to showcase their musical theater skills.
🗣️Gear up for some online poetry. The folks at O, Miami aren’t giving up on their annual poetry festival’s goal to bring poetry to everyone in Miami-Dade County, after cancelling their public events, they’re just moving that mission online. Sign up for updates on their plans and some daily readings here. And follow their social media for updates on the online version of the April festival.
🖼️ Pass the time with a virtual tour. Vizcaya Museum’s website offers online tours of the main house at the historic site and a 3D look at the barge and swimming pool grotto on the property. Gather the kiddos or your bored roommate for a virtual field trip if cabin fever’s already setting in.