Empty shelves at a Ralphs store in Long Beach due to over-buying in response to the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday, March 14, 2020. Photo by Stephanie Rivera.

As local and state leaders issue precautionary measures to stem the spread of coronavirus, leaving many stuck at home, we’ve reached out to community members, nonprofits and other leaders to find out the different, safe ways we can help each other. This is what they suggested.

Stop hoarding

By buying more than the necessary amount, you are limiting the food and supplies for others, especially high-risk populations like senior citizens and those with compromised immune systems. Mothers of young children are also struggling to feed their family.

Food and supplies are being stocked every day, but over-buying is putting a strain on grocers, according to elected officials. Some of the essential food and supplies that continue to run out include baby formula, toilet paper, eggs, bread and meat.

Donate to the Long Beach Coronavirus Relief Fund

The city has partnered with the Long Beach Community Foundation to launch the Long Beach Coronavirus Relief Fund.

It’s focus is to provide grants to local nonprofits providing immediate help to those most impacted by the pandemic. To apply for a grant, nonprofits are urged to check the foundation’s website in the coming days for the launch of the application process.

Community members with means can donate money by visiting longbeachcf.org or texting “SupportLB” to 501-55. More info here.

Donate to human-I-T so low-income families can get laptops and Wi-Fi hot spots

Local nonprofit human-I-T is raising money to help bridge the digital divide for low-income families as they switch from school to home learning.

The organization is hoping to raise $10,000 to donate 250 hot spots to underseved households within the next month. They already provide refurbished laptops at a low cost (as low as $55), and help families subscribe to affordable internet ($15 to $25 a month) in their area with no contract. For some qualifying families, they can also get a free Chromebook laptop.

To donate, click here. To receive service by human-I-T text 562-372-6925, call 888-391-7249 or complete an online request form here.


Donate unused masks, protective equipment to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center

Community members who want to donate unused personal protective equipment like disposable gloves, masks and gowns, can do so at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center.

Starting Monday, March 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday, a donation site will be open in the Todd Cancer Pavilion parking lot at 2810 Long Beach Blvd. Click here for more information.

Anyone who isn’t feeling well should wait until they’re feeling better to donate, officials said.

We Love Long Beach’s Neighbor relief postcard

We Love Long Beach has just launched a “neighbor relief postcard” initiative that allows you to provide help to your neighbors—who may be self-isolating—with anything from picking up groceries, running urgent errands or picking up mail. You can use this link to print out the postcard and fill it in.

Pro-tip: If you don’t have a working printer, get a marker and paper and write it out.

Nextdoor’s ‘Help a neighbor in need’ post

If you are on Nextdoor you may have seen an alert pop up with the option to “Help a neighbor in need.”

“This is an uncertain time for many neighbors. If you’re healthy and able, posting an offer to help can make a world of difference” the notification stated. If you are, “click the I can help” button and share it on your timeline.

Buy food gift cards, order take-out or delivery 

Bars, wineries and brewpubs are closing to help stop the spread of coronavirus while restaurants—at least for the moment—can only operate at half occupancy for dine-in patrons, focusing instead on delivery and take-out.

If you don’t want to order take-out or get food delivered—or if your local restaurant does not have those options—consider buying gift cards instead to help them weather the lack of customers.

Make loans to your favorite small business 

The city of Long Beach in 2017 started a partnership with Kiva to provide a crowd-funding platform for small businesses. Consider making a loan to your local business. The city is also offering special benefits during the COVID-19 emergency, according to Economic Development Director John Keisler.


Donate blood

The American Red Cross is in an urgent need of blood due to the coronavirus outbreak. “Right now, eligible and healthy donors are strongly urged to make an appointment to give soon,” according to its website. Read more here.

Join this Long Beach support group on Facebook

A Facebook group has been established to provide community support and share knowledge and resources. Join the Coronavirus Long Beach Community support group here.

Stay calm

Lastly, please don’t panic. It will exacerbate the situation and put a strain on resources. Stay up to date by checking our live blog here.

We will update this story with more resources as they become known. If you  have any suggestions, email [email protected].

Stephanie Rivera is the community engagement editor. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter at @StephRivera88.