Times are challenging right now for both individuals and our community as a whole. In addition to posing public health risks, the Covid-19 outbreak has prompted closures of schools and businesses and is straining resources. The pandemic is hitting some people and organizations harder than others, and now is a great time to give back if you are able to do so. Here are some ways to help in our local Inland Valley community.

Red Cross/Blood Donation
Like many non-profit organizations, the Red Cross is facing increased demand while being forced to cancel fundraising and donation events. Due to the cancellation of blood drives nationwide, the Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage. They are in dire need of healthy individuals who can donate now to maintain a sufficient supply. Make an appointment here or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to find a donation site nearby.

Food Banks
The financial fallout from the pandemic is triggering a hunger crisis. Food banks are struggling to help the record numbers of Americans who are out of work. Conventional donations to food banks are down, as restaurants and supermarkets have less surplus food. In the Inland Empire area, Hope Partners operates seven food security locations for those in need. You can donate food and dry goods, volunteer your time, donate your store rewards points, or make a monetary donation here.

Local Restaurants & Employees
Many restaurants have closed or reduced their operations to only takeout or delivery due to the outbreak. If you want to support your local eateries, consider ordering takeout or purchasing a gift card or merchandise. Having some income from gift cards could help a restaurant get back up and running again when the crisis abates. You might also consider supporting servers and other workers who have been laid off by donating to a fund or nonprofit, such as the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation.

Adopt or Foster a Pet
Local animal shelters and rescue groups are currently reducing services and canceling fundraisers to protect their staff during this pandemic, but they still need to care for the animals in their facilities. One way you can help is by adopting or fostering a pet, which will reduce the strain on shelters at this time. You can search the adoptapet.com website or the Inland Valley Humane Society’s adoption page for animals in need near you.

Neighbors
Older people and those with pre-existing health conditions are among the most vulnerable to complications from Covid-19, so it is especially important for them to stay at home right now. If you know someone at risk or elderly in your neighborhood, consider checking in on them periodically. You can also ask if you can help shop and deliver groceries for them.

Community Resources
If you have general questions or want information about the coronavirus, you can call the San Bernardino Department of Public Health at 909-387-3911 or visit their website. For businesses that need assistance, the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) offers information and resources to help local companies navigate current economic difficulties, including lay-off aversion, loans, and tax assistance programs. Visit their website for more information.

Finally, we hope you are able to take care of your own health and well-being in the midst of this pandemic. If possible, get outside for some sunshine and exercise (while safely social distancing), do your best to stay healthy, and if you or someone you know is struggling to get through this time, you can call or text the NAMI California Warmline at 855-845-7415, which provides emotional support and resources to California residents. The Covid-19 outbreak is a rapidly-changing, fluid situation and all of us at James Litho hope to get back to normal soon. Take care, and we hope that you remain healthy and safe during this time.

James Litho

4462 E Airport Dr, Ontario, CA 91761
(909) 390-2452

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