April 03, 2020

20 ways to help metro Detroiters during the coronavirus pandemic

It's easy to feel hopeless right now, especially when we're told to stay home and away from the very people that may need help the most. But now's not the time to give up, and metro Detroit is nothing if not resilient. So suck it COVID-19. You heard us. We have community on our side. It's all hands on deck, and everyone is capable of helping out in one of the following ways — and, if you're in the need of assistance, we hope this is a good resource for you, too.

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20 ways to help metro Detroiters during the coronavirus pandemic
Donate hygiene products and non-perishable goods to Alternatives for Girls
While many close their doors during the coronavirus pandemic, Detroit-based nonprofit Alternatives for Girls is wide open for those who call or walk into their Crisis Resource Center — and they need help. AFG, which aims to help homeless and high-risk girls and young women, is asking for $50 donations to help feed those in need, as well as hygiene products, cleaning products, canned/non-perishable food and drinks, and grocery, gas, and clothing gift cards. 
Photo by Ambaer Marie Smith via Alternatives for Girls/Instagram

Donate hygiene products and non-perishable goods to Alternatives for Girls


While many close their doors during the coronavirus pandemic, Detroit-based nonprofit Alternatives for Girls is wide open for those who call or walk into their Crisis Resource Center — and they need help. AFG, which aims to help homeless and high-risk girls and young women, is asking for $50 donations to help feed those in need, as well as hygiene products, cleaning products, canned/non-perishable food and drinks, and grocery, gas, and clothing gift cards.

Photo by Ambaer Marie Smith via Alternatives for Girls/Instagram
Sign up to be a delivery volunteer for those unable to leave their homes on Mediumize
Founded by 16-year-old Jonah Liss of the International Academy of Bloomfield Hills, Mediumize offers a one-on-one delivery service, pairing volunteers with the elderly or needy people who cannot leave their homes to buy groceries. The group has volunteers in 14 cities in metro Detroit, with aims to expand.
Photo courtesy of Mediumize

Sign up to be a delivery volunteer for those unable to leave their homes on Mediumize


Founded by 16-year-old Jonah Liss of the International Academy of Bloomfield Hills, Mediumize offers a one-on-one delivery service, pairing volunteers with the elderly or needy people who cannot leave their homes to buy groceries. The group has volunteers in 14 cities in metro Detroit, with aims to expand.

Photo courtesy of Mediumize
Make sure our veterans are not left behind
They’ve put their lives on the line to make our lives possible, now they're among the most affected by the coronavirus, due to the closure of banquet halls where those brave men and women often rely on for services, including food. Food and supplies are running low and organizations like Roseville’s Vets Returning Home could use assistance. In addition to food and home essentials, people are also invited to help pay utilities or purchase bus passes or donate unwanted vehicles.
Photo by Glynnis Jones / Shutterstock.com

Make sure our veterans are not left behind


They’ve put their lives on the line to make our lives possible, now they're among the most affected by the coronavirus, due to the closure of banquet halls where those brave men and women often rely on for services, including food. Food and supplies are running low and organizations like Roseville’s Vets Returning Home could use assistance. In addition to food and home essentials, people are also invited to help pay utilities or purchase bus passes or donate unwanted vehicles.

Photo by Glynnis Jones / Shutterstock.com
Buy merch from your favorite music venue to rock when they reopen
We all have a favorite live music joint. But since we can no longer hang out in large groups, our favorite venues are stretching a buck to make sure they can open their doors again when the time is right. Some venues, like Corktown’s UFO Factory, have launched new runs of merch to help keep the lights — and fog machines — on. 
Photo via UFO Factory/Facebook

Buy merch from your favorite music venue to rock when they reopen


We all have a favorite live music joint. But since we can no longer hang out in large groups, our favorite venues are stretching a buck to make sure they can open their doors again when the time is right. Some venues, like Corktown’s UFO Factory, have launched new runs of merch to help keep the lights — and fog machines — on.

Photo via UFO Factory/Facebook
Support southeast Michigan’s undocumented immigrants
While the government continues to roll out grants, financial relief, and medical aid to those impacted by the coronavirus, some folks are not eligible for these relief programs, including Michigan’s undocumented immigrants. A group of friends dedicated to immigrant justice work have launched a $50,000
GoFundMe campaign to help our undocumented brothers and sisters navigate this uncertain time. 
Photo by KelseyJ / Shutterstock.com

Support southeast Michigan’s undocumented immigrants


While the government continues to roll out grants, financial relief, and medical aid to those impacted by the coronavirus, some folks are not eligible for these relief programs, including Michigan’s undocumented immigrants. A group of friends dedicated to immigrant justice work have launched a $50,000 GoFundMe campaign to help our undocumented brothers and sisters navigate this uncertain time.

Photo by KelseyJ / Shutterstock.com
Keep your favorite restaurant open by snagging a gift card, because we know you’ll be hungry later
While some of our favorite spots are offering curbside delivery or special prix fixe menus and meal kits to weather the ban on dine-in restaurants, others have had to close their doors, leaving massive overhead to pay and staff out of work. To help your favorite place weather the economic downturn, you can donate to their personal crowdfunding efforts or purchase gift cards from the restaurant directly. Or, you can refer to Save MI Faves, a database that streamlines purchasing gift cards for Michigan shops.
Photo via Bangkok 96/Facebook

Keep your favorite restaurant open by snagging a gift card, because we know you’ll be hungry later


While some of our favorite spots are offering curbside delivery or special prix fixe menus and meal kits to weather the ban on dine-in restaurants, others have had to close their doors, leaving massive overhead to pay and staff out of work. To help your favorite place weather the economic downturn, you can donate to their personal crowdfunding efforts or purchase gift cards from the restaurant directly. Or, you can refer to Save MI Faves, a database that streamlines purchasing gift cards for Michigan shops.

Photo via Bangkok 96/Facebook
Donate to the Detroit Sex Worker Mutual Aid Fund, because it's going to be a while before we can experience human touch
Created by sex-worker collective ANSWER, the Detroit Sex Worker Mutual Aid Fund is a financial resource-sharing space created by Michigan-based sex workers to provide necessary support for fellow sex workers and their families. Sex workers who are based in Michigan or whose hustle is Michigan-centric in any way are invited to access the fund.
Photo via Shutterstock.com

Donate to the Detroit Sex Worker Mutual Aid Fund, because it's going to be a while before we can experience human touch


Created by sex-worker collective ANSWER, the Detroit Sex Worker Mutual Aid Fund is a financial resource-sharing space created by Michigan-based sex workers to provide necessary support for fellow sex workers and their families. Sex workers who are based in Michigan or whose hustle is Michigan-centric in any way are invited to access the fund.

Photo via Shutterstock.com
Support the cool cats, kittens, sloths, and alligators at Ann Arbor’s Creature Conservancy
While y’all are still trying to wrap your heads around Netflix’s Tiger King, there are some folks who have dedicated their lives to not being total assholes when it comes to helping exotic animals live their fullest lives.  Ann Arbor’s Creature Conservancy is doing just that. Since being forced to cancel private tours and other fundraising programs, the nonprofit rescue habitat and education center needs your help. The center, which is home to a bald eagle, a cougar, an alligator, a kangaroo, and yes, a family of sloths, is asking for donations to keep food on the floor for its brood of amazing creatures. People are encouraged to donate or purchase annual passes or a private tour. Their social media accounts are staying active during the shutdown as they stream animal feedings and educational segments, because holy shit a timelapse video of tortoises eating lettuce is totally cute.
Photo via  The Creature Conservancy/Facebook

Support the cool cats, kittens, sloths, and alligators at Ann Arbor’s Creature Conservancy


While y’all are still trying to wrap your heads around Netflix’s Tiger King, there are some folks who have dedicated their lives to not being total assholes when it comes to helping exotic animals live their fullest lives. Ann Arbor’s Creature Conservancy is doing just that. Since being forced to cancel private tours and other fundraising programs, the nonprofit rescue habitat and education center needs your help. The center, which is home to a bald eagle, a cougar, an alligator, a kangaroo, and yes, a family of sloths, is asking for donations to keep food on the floor for its brood of amazing creatures. People are encouraged to donate or purchase annual passes or a private tour. Their social media accounts are staying active during the shutdown as they stream animal feedings and educational segments, because holy shit a timelapse video of tortoises eating lettuce is totally cute.

Photo via The Creature Conservancy/Facebook
Support our friends in the event industry so they can eat (and so we can party later)
Hey! We know that guy! And you probably do, too. Of course, we’re talking about the figurative “guy,” being any one of our friends in the event, entertainment, and service industries who have been hit hard by job loss or the sudden inability to host events or gallery shows to make ends meet. The That’s Our Friend Fund looks to raise $15,000 through art auctions and collect donations from those with the means to do so to help our friends, you know, that guy. 
Photo by Toya Golden for Playground Detroit/Facebook

Support our friends in the event industry so they can eat (and so we can party later)


Hey! We know that guy! And you probably do, too. Of course, we’re talking about the figurative “guy,” being any one of our friends in the event, entertainment, and service industries who have been hit hard by job loss or the sudden inability to host events or gallery shows to make ends meet. The That’s Our Friend Fund looks to raise $15,000 through art auctions and collect donations from those with the means to do so to help our friends, you know, that guy.

Photo by Toya Golden for Playground Detroit/Facebook