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.
💙 Support some college students. Help support current Miami Dade College students with a donation to the COVID-19 Student Relief Fund. Funds will help students meet basic needs such as food and cover tuition so they can continue their education. (Sponsored)
🙌 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.
📚 Check out these United Way volunteer opportunities. If you have the time and are looking for a way to give back, the United Way needs help with two projects. They’re looking for volunteers to record themselves reading a book that will be shared with families in the United Way’s Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership. And they’re also recruiting folks to write letters or record videos to thank healthcare professionals and first responders for their work.
🙌 Help Goodwill South Florida. The company is asking for donations as COVID-19’s financial impact resulted in more than 2,200 employees being laid off. You can donate here.
🌱 Support Health in the Hood’s feeding program. Health in the Hood created the Filling Fridges program to provide food delivery for 500 students and families every week, to give $100 gift cards to unemployed folks, and to make thousands of meals for low-income families. You can donate to support their work through Paypal or Venmo: @HealthintheHood-Inc. And head here if you’re interested in volunteering with the program.
😊 Help the Smile Trust support families. The Smile Trust operates here in Miami and Atlanta. They’re looking for donations to help support families in need and mothers with young children. Head to their website to donate and to apply if you or someone you know needs financial help.
💵 Donate to this fund for Little Haiti businesses. The Little Haiti Small Business Relief Fund aims to collect $150,000 to support business owners in the neighborhood. Head here to donate. If you’re a business owner in the area, head here for more info on the program.
🌿 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 the Frontline Foods Miami program. Frontline Foods and the World Central Kitchen are working to provide meals for health care workers while also supporting local restaurants impacted by COVID-19. Head here to donate.
🎨 Donate to the Laundromat Art Space. Like many local art spaces, the Laundromat Art Space took a financial hit from closing their doors and canceling events because of COVID-19 restrictions so they’ve created a GoFundMe to help support the space and their artists. Head here to 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 Sacred Space’s feeding efforts. The Sacred Space Miami, Paradise Farms and Plant Miami are donating immune-boosting meals to healthcare workers and have started their work by donating to workers at the University of Miami’s UHealth Tower. Head here to support their GoFundMe.
👶 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.
🍞 Support former Zak the Baker employees. The former baristas and front-of-house staffers at Zak the Baker created a GoFundMe to support employees who were laid off last month. Head here to donate.
🖨️ 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]
🤝Support local PPE production. Under normal circumstances, Moonlighter FabLab is a membership-based digital makers’ lab. During the crisis, they’ve shifted operations to create face shields for the front lines. Here’s how to help.
🎨 Donate to the Arts: The $23 million impact to our local arts scene just hurts the soul. There’s so much talent down here — let’s make sure we show them love right now. Consider donating to the Funding Arts Network COVID relief fund here.
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.
🚗 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.
👩🏻⚕️ Feeding the frontlines. There’s no doubt our local healthcare workers—from cleaning staff to docs in charge—are putting themselves in the line of fire every day. One org is partnering with local restaurants to provide hospital staff meals. The silver lining is that the meals also support the restaurants, who are also trying to stay afloat. Win-win. Consider supporting the initiative here.
🍲Miami Eats is supporting Meals for Heroes. The Greater Miami CVB has been helping get the message out to support local restaurants from the jump. Now, they’re partnering with Meals for Heroes, to help set those same restaurants up to help get clinical staff fed. More info here.
Unemployment, business and housing help
🗣️ Get interview tips for your job hunt. The MDC Works career studio is hosting two interview skills workshops as part of their lunch-and-learn professional development series. The first session is in Spanish and is happening next Wednesday, April 15, at 3 p.m. The English session is the following week at noon on April 22. (Sponsored)
🙌 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.
🏠 Learn about local and statewide eviction policy. If you’re wondering how recent federal, state and local changes to eviction policies will impact you, check the Florida Eviction Protection website. The project is a collaboration between the Community Justice Project, the Florida Housing Umbrella Group, and Code for Miami.
🙌 Find financial resources with Axis South Florida. Some locals working with Citi Community Development and Microsoft Philanthropies built this website to be a one-stop resource for people who are dealing with various struggles like paying rent or utilities, a lack of food or a sudden loss of income due to COVID-19. And also for businesses wondering how they’ll make payroll or struggling to stay afloat.
⚖️ 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.
🏠 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.
🚌 Learn about the Transit Alliance Miami’s new focus. Transit Alliance Miami is focusing its attention on the COVID-19 response by improving transit options for folks who need to get to essential services, jobs, grocery stores and pharmacies, or coronavirus testing sites. You can learn more at their upcoming webinar on April 21.
🌊 Check out a job focused on climate resilience. If you’re interested in climate resilience work and you’re out of a job due to COVID-19 — or just looking for a new gig — then check out this job listing from the company ISeeChange. They do community-level work to highlight how cities across the U.S. are dealing with the climate crisis and they’re hiring a Miami community manager.
🏥 Join the healthcare staff at UM. The University of Miami’s UHealth Tower hospital is hiring for several jobs including entry level spots, social work and other administrative positions.
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.
🐱 Support these animal businesses. In some non-COVID news, the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station is about to expand to a new space as they continue to treat small birds and wildlife, and they need donations to support their work. The recently opened Cat’s Meow Cafe on Biscayne Boulevard is also looking for some financial help by selling T-shirts to support their staff and operations.
💰 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.
💰 Support local black-owned businesses. Miami-Dade’s Black Affairs Advisory Board organized a list of black-owned restaurants that are offering takeout and delivery during this pandemic, including spots like Lil’ Greenhouse Grill and Jackson’s Soul Food.
🗂Answers to all your business-related CARES Acts questions. Mark your calendar for this program diving into the CARES Act and what it means for your business. Join on May 19.
📰 Small business owners, the Miami Herald wants to hear from you. They’re doing a survey to understand the full impact of COVID-19 on the community. Make sure you’re heard and fill it out here.
🤝Launch that business you’ve been meaning to get off the ground. Swat 305–a small biz incubator of sorts from Krillion Ventures and the Knight Foundation–is hosting a digital coaching pop-up called Swat 1:1. Think business coaching that’s personalized to managing your start-up during these crazy times.
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.
🎨 Support or apply for Artist Relief. Multiple arts organizations, including the Miami-based National YoungArts Foundation, teamed up to create a fund that will give out $5,000 grants to artists in financial need due to COVID-19. Head here to apply and head here if you want to donate to the fund.
🎨 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.
💰 Get support for COVID-19 solutions. The Desai Sethi Foundation is giving out biweekly $5,000 prizes to support organizations in Detroit, New York, and Miami-Dade County working on community-focused solutions to challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic. The next round of applications opened April 10.
🌾 Do a Push-up Challenge for a cause. It’s no secret that Feeding South Florida has moved quickly and fiercely to provide meal assistance to those impacted by COVID-19. Now, they’re challenging the community to do 19 push-ups and donate $19 to support their initiative. Every dollar = seven meals. So even if you’re not the type to pump ’em out, think about donating or joining them to pack meal boxes.
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.
👶 Donate diapers: The request for diapers has increased significantly in the past few weeks and our youngest community members could use your support. Miami Diaper Bank is the best bet to get them to those who need it most.
💻 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 out CIC Miami’s resource page. The coworking space (and former home for The New Tropic!) has collected a list of state and local resources. Their page also includes information for small businesses, tax tips and information on phone and internet service deals. Check it out here.
⚖️ 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.
🌿 Buy a mask, just not a medical grade one. The shortage of surgical masks and N-95 masks should be saved for healthcare workers. That’s why everyone from The Upcycle Foundation to Martha of Miami are selling simple yet effective masks to get out of the house for essential functions safely. Check out more mask resources here.
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.
💃 No time like now to learn how to dance. The Koubek Center at MDC has a whole slate of amazing cultural programming during this time, and Afro-Cuban dance classes feels like the perfect way to spice up your Tuesday. Learn more here.
💃 BeyHive: This one’s for you. The Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation is hosting a dance off on Instagram, while they raise money to support their neighborhood. So turn up Beyonce’s cover of “Before I Let Go” (and tag us in the videos). You can donate here.