COVID-19 has forced us to make many changes, including the practice of social distancing to protect ourselves and our communities. But it has also been the catalyst for our community to provide support where they can. From donating food to frontline workers to sending messages of gratitude, COVID-19 has shown us how people have stepped forward to help others in need. The concept of giving can include monetary gifts, but it can also include the act of saving another’s life through the donation of blood. Here are seven ways you can support a nonprofit organization, like Ochsner, during the COIVD-19 pandemic:
1. Support virtual events: Because of COVID-19, many of the fundraising events for nonprofit organizations have been halted or have turned into virtual events for the safety of our communities. While these virtual events are different from what we are used to, they still are fun and offer an opportunity to support the nonprofits that are close to your heart from the comfort of your home. You can support virtual events in many ways. If your finances allow, you can help raise money for the nonprofit by purchasing tickets to its virtual event, which may include meal tickets, participating in online auctions or simply donating directly to the organization or charity. Don’t have money to give? No problem! Try supporting the virtual event by sharing social posts about it on your channels and encouraging your friends and family to participate. By simply getting the word out, you are helping to raise awareness!
2. Participate in AmazonSmile: If you are like most people during COVID-19, your Amazon orders are frequent. Why leave the house when you can get it shipped to you in two days? Well, did you know you can also support a nonprofit while shopping? Through AmazonSmile, you can choose to support your favorite charitable organization – like Ochsner – every time you shop, at no cost to you. How easy!
3. Make a monetary gift: Throughout our communities, Ochsner Heroes have worked tirelessly to make a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can make a gift to Ochsner’s Excellence Fun, if your finances allow, that will help Ochsner change and save lives. It is because of our generous donors that we can succeed in our mission to serve, heal, lead, educate and innovate. Ochsner’s Excellence Fund is supported entirely by the generosity of our donors. Since 2013, donors have helped support nearly 180 projects! In 2019 alone, 32 innovative projects were made possible. These projects create opportunities for improvements and innovations in patient care that are changing and saving lives every day. Donate to the Excellence Fund here.
4. Give blood: Have you saved a life today? Blood is needed every five seconds – for COVID-19 patients, babies, leukemia patients, burn victims, emergency surgeries, organ transplants, trauma patients, and the list goes on. It may be needed for someone you know – even you. Few acts are as simple, and yet so generous, as donating blood. During the COVID-19 pandemic, blood banks across the nation are experiencing shortages of blood. While all blood types are accepted, we are experiencing a critical blood shortage of platelets and Type O red cells.
You can donate blood at one of Ochsner’s convenient community blood collection centers. We also take safety seriously during COVID-19. Donors will be required to wear masks and will undergo routine screening questions as well as a temperature check before donation. Visit Ochsner.org/bloodbank to find out where you can donate today.
5. Sign up to become an organ donor: More than 114,000 men, women and children are currently listed on the national transplant waiting list, and every 10 minutes, a new name is added to the list. Unfortunately, there are not enough organ donors registered to give those in need a second chance at life. A registered organ donor can save up to nine lives. There are several agencies you can go through to become an organ donor, including the Louisiana donor registry and the national donor registry. No matter how you choose to register your decision to donate, you only have to do it once. You can either register at your local organ procurement organization or the national registry. Registering your decision to become a donor is the most effective way to ensure you can save lives through donations and serves as a sign of hope and support to those who continue to wait. Learn more at ochsner.org/save9.
6. Add a nonprofit into your will or estate planning: Here at Ochsner Health, we know the value of preparing for a brighter future. Estate planning is the best way to plan for the future and to protect what you love. You can also support the nonprofits that are close to your heart by adding them to your will. By adding Ochsner, you can create legacy gifts to support patients across Louisiana for generations to come. Ochsner offers a free, secure resource that makes creating a will easy, fast and more accessible for all. It takes just 20 minutes or less to complete. Visit Ochsner.org/freewill to create yours.
7. Host a virtual giveback for a nonprofit: You can make a difference in your community by raising funds for an area of Ochsner that you are passionate about through crowdfunding, point of sale or virtual event. Ochsner Health's Community Champion program is designed to engage businesses and individuals in our community who are inspired to help advance Ochsner's mission. Join Ochsner Health Community Champions like Winn-Dixie, Kendra Scott, Haydel's Bakery, Reginelli’s and Raising Cane's. Click here to download the Community Champions Brochure or fill out an application for your event today. To submit your application or if you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on ways to give visit ochsner.org/philanthropy.