a woman packing food donations into the back of a car
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Helpers Are Everywhere During The Coronavirus Pandemic & You Can Be One, Too

This post is updated regularly with stories of people helping others in their communities and around the world during the coronavirus pandemic.

School closures. Nursing home visitation restrictions. International travel bans. These are definitely trying times. And it’s easy to get scared, especially because there’s no real way of knowing how long the coronavirus scare will last — and how it will all eventually unfold. But instead of panicking, it's sometimes better to channel that energy towards doing something positive. So how can you be a helper during the coronavirus pandemic?

That’s what Mr. Rogers would tell you to do. His “look for the helpers” quote is famous in its simplicity to help soothe the soul of both young and old (and everyone in between) in times of turmoil. Here’s the quote, published in the Mister Rogers Parenting Book, in case you’ve never read it before:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”

Becoming a helper can create calm and lessen the chaos that has come with this COVID-19 pandemic. It propels people into positive action as opposed to worrying and being afraid.

Here are some examples of people who have already heeded Mr. Rogers’ advice. They are helping their communities (in ways both big and small) to work together to make life better during the outbreak. You might just become inspired by their stories and look for ways to become a helper, too. Mr. Rogers would be proud.


Free Door-to-Door Delivery in Italy

It’s kind of mind blowing to think that an entire country is under quarantine, but Italy is. To help elderly residents who cannot leave their homes, volunteers are delivering food to them for free. Now that’s Italian.


No Child Should Go Hungry

More than 11 million children face food insecurity on a daily basis, reported No Kid Hungry. And the last thing parents need to worry about during the pandemic is being able to feed their kids. This FB user offered to help provide food for kids who might be hungry — no questions asked.


An Actor Offers Help To His Fellow Angelenos

Actor Luke Baines took to Twitter to offer his help to those who might be immunocompromised or elderly. He’s willing to get groceries or medicine for people in the L.A. area.


Community In CT Helping To Cover Kids’ Food Needs

For kids who rely on breakfasts and lunches provided by their schools, the coronavirus school closures can be devastating. Thankfully, the Bristol, CT school system is creating a plan to ensure that every child has a full belly.


Volunteers Are Mobilizing

While some people might get frustrated by the lack of structured resources, others are mobilizing to make it happen. @AdyBarkan is creating a COVID-19 volunteer network that is willing to pitch in wherever possible, whether it’s babysitting, a food run, or anything to help make life easier.


This Is What Is Needed Right Now

Coronavirus testing kits and masks? Yes, please! Jack Ma, reportedly China’s wealthiest person, donated 500,000 COVID-19 testing kids and 1 million masks to the United States.


Singing Away The Sadness

As of this writing, over 1,000 people have died in Italy due to the coronavirus, the BBC reported. With everyone in lockdown, this community came together one night to sing, and in doing so, inspired a nation — and the world. The human spirit is Truly unbreakable.

There’s a second part to the Fred Rogers quote. It reads:

“To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers ― so many caring people in this world.”

There are so many helpers out there. Strive to be one of them, and we’ll all come out of this soon — and hopefully safely.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all our Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here on this page, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.