How to make a difference from home during COVID-19

With stay-at-home and physical distancing measures firmly in place, many people are feeling isolated from their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. While we have learned how to stay connected, some of us may be looking for a way to give back.

There are many things we can do from our homes that directly benefit those most affected by the pandemic.


On March 23, UHN’s OpenLab – an interdisciplinary team with the goal of finding transformative solutions to improve the health of Canadians – launched the Friendly Neighbour Hotline, a program to support vulnerable seniors by delivering groceries and household items. The hotline, which is focused on supporting seniors living in Toronto Community Housing, relies on the help of volunteers to staff phone lines, communicate with seniors who need assistance, triage orders and provide deliveries. Find out more about how you can help here.

Shop local 

With non-essential business being forced to close during the pandemic and the high cost of rent in the GTA, many local shops are struggling to stay afloat. If you have the means, supporting your favourite local businesses is a great way to give back. Show your support by shopping online, ordering take-out or purchasing gift cards for when they reopen. You can even help for free by sharing their services on your social networks to get the word out.

Support our healthcare heroes 

Every day, our healthcare heroes are putting themselves at risk to fight COVID-19. They need our support, and you can do your part to help. A personal fundraising page is an impactful way to support frontline workers while respecting physical distancing protocols. Celebrate a milestone or honour a loved one while engaging your community to support UHN’s COVID-19 efforts. You can also help UHN with their urgent COVID-19 needs by donating directly at

Be a good neighbour  

Many vulnerable members of our communities will struggle during this time. Check in on your elderly neighbour who may be isolated and lonely, or offer to pick up essentials or take out the garbage bins for the young family next door. Small gestures can make a big difference, and connecting with your community to contribute in a meaningful way will make everyone feel better. Don’t forget to maintain all physical distancing measures when lending a hand.

Flatten the curve

Right now, the most important thing we can do to help defeat COVID-19 is to stay at home. Follow the guidelines of physical distancing and stay at home as much as possible. By limiting our physical contact with others we will be reducing the opportunities for the virus to spread and will flatten the curve. This will allow us to return to our normal lives much faster. As the warmer weather begins, it is as important as ever to stay vigilant to end this pandemic.

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