Right now, we’re all feeling a little helpless. If you’re not a healthcare worker on the front lines, or serving the public by working at an essential business, then you’re doing your part and staying home. But, you feel like there's more you could be doing to ensure that those most impacted by the pandemic are taken care of, especially with all this extra time indoors. Aside from social distancing and abiding by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ current stay-at-home order, there are several different ways you can help our West Fel community.
Help the food bank feed the hungry. The West Feliciana Food Pantry is affiliated with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, which urgently needs donations to ensure it can continue to meet high demand and serve thousands of those in need. Giving financially will have the most impact, but you can also donate canned and dry foods. Go to brfoodbank.org for more information on donations and volunteer opportunities. To learn more about how COVID-19 is impacting the food bank, click here.
Shop for supplies for senior citizens. You can help keep our senior community members safe by running essential errands for them, so they can avoid putting themselves at risk. Reach out to your grandparents or elderly neighbors to make sure they have everything they need. Remember to disinfect the groceries during your contact-free drop-off.
Support local businesses. Never has it been more vital to invest in our community by supporting local businesses. Thanks to the St. Francisville Strong initiative, you can purchase gift certificates to local restaurants, shops, attractions, and more online to redeem later.
Sew protective masks for medical staff. If you own a sewing machine, you can help combat the PPE shortage our healthcare workers are facing by making protective cloth face masks. Area hospitals including West Feliciana Hospital, Our Lady of the Lake, and Baton Rouge General are currently accepting donations. For more information on homemade masks, sewing patterns, no-sew mask tutorials, and more, visit the CDC’s help page here.
Donate blood at donation sites. Hospitals and blood banks nationwide are facing a critical blood shortage, and are in need of healthy donors to help replenish the dwindling supply. You can donate through Our Lady of the Lake, Vitalant, The Blood Center, and LifeShare. Additionally, if you or someone you know has recovered from COVID-19, donating plasma at any of the above centers could help current patients fight the virus. Find more information on the sites linked above.
Bonus: Donate to Capital Area United Way or Baton Rouge Area Foundation. The Capital Area United Way COVID-19 Community Relief Fund will be used for pandemic recovery efforts. Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s emergency relief fund provides grants to local nonprofits that are servicing a surge in demand, such as Baton Rouge General Hospital and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.
Over the next few weeks, Bank of St. Francisville is publishing a series of Coronavirus-related articles with financial advice for this unprecedented time. Check back here for local resources and additional information on how to handle your debt, investments, and more during the pandemic.
Now more than ever, BSF is here to help. Call us at 225-635-6397 to speak with a loan officer to explore your options, or click here to make an appointment. To access our Covid-19 resources page, click here .