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Feeling worried about coronavirus? Here’s how to help

Maryland officials continue to implore residents this week to wash their hands, maintain social distancing and disinfect surfaces in an effort to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

Even with the latest, stay at home order from Gov. Larry Hogan amid the COVID-19 pandemic, his office on service and volunteerism has compiled a list of civic-minded ways Marylanders can help during the outbreak.

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Many organizations are looking for help in the form of nonperishable food items, financial assistance and volunteers. Some organizations are calling for medical contributions like donating blood as thousands of drives across the state have been canceled.

Here are some local organizations that are asking for help:

Maryland Food Bank has issued an urgent call for volunteers between the ages of 13 and 60 to pack up boxes containing 30 pounds of food for distribution to pantries and community organizations across the state for the remainder of the public health crisis.

The Red Cross is asking people to make an appointment to donate blood at a center by going to RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-900-RED-CROSS.

Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland delivers two fresh mails daily to residents in need. The organization is looking for financial assistance and volunteers. All volunteer orientations have been converted to webinars.

The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund uses donations to fight the outbreak including by distributing supplies to frontline health workers and enabling countries to boost laboratory capacity through training and equipment.

Baltimore Community ToolBank is accepting donations that will allow the organization to continue to loan various tools including tables and chairs to health professionals and first responders. Financial donations can be made on Facebook or on the Mighty Cause website.

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Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism is asking organization with the capacity to coordinate volunteers and or those with a volunteer opportunity for Marylanders, please email gosv.md@maryland.gov.

Baltimore-area restaurants were hit hard after Hogan ordered all eateries and bars to halt on-premise dining. Marylanders wanting to support restaurants can order carryout or delivery from these establishments during the duration of the pandemic.

A group of graduate students from Johns Hopkins created the website www.standbybaltimore.com, which lists and links to local businesses that have gift cards available for purchase.

Maryland Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (MD VOAD) and the Adventist Community Services (ACS) are partnering with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to provide drop-off sites for donations of medical and cleaning supplies.

Officials will ONLY accept the following items:

  • Unused N95 masks with or without valve
  • Protective goggles in original packaging
  • Unused nitrile gloves in original packaging
  • Unused hospital gowns in original packaging
  • Tyvek coats and bodysuits
  • Bleach, Lysol, cleaning supplies – must be unopened and unused
  • Face shields
  • Hand sanitizer

Handmade, prototype or unapproved personal protective equipment WILL NOT be accepted. Food and household donations also WILL NOT be accepted at these locations. Also, DO NOT bring cash to these locations. Residents are encouraged to send monetary donations to local nonprofits and churches for support.

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The four donation drop off locations in Maryland are:

  • Cambridge: 3105 Mallard Court., Cambridge, Md. 21613 Visible from Rt. 50. Drop off in the parking circle.
  • Ellicott City: 3291 St. John’s Lane, Ellicott City, Md.. 21042
  • Hagerstown: Mt. Aetna Retreat Center, 10375 Retreat Way, Hagerstown, MD 21742 May also be listed on GPS as 21905 Mt. Aetna Road
  • Silver Spring: 15930 Good Hope Road, Silver Spring, MD 20905 Corner of Route 198 and Good Hope Road. Entrance right off of Good Hope Road, lower parking lot

Locations will be open:

  • Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday hours are 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact ngs.mema@maryland.gov .


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