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Where to Donate to Support Nurses and Other Frontline Workers

Gayle Morris, BSN, MSN
Updated April 1, 2024
    It is crucial to support nurses on the front lines against COVID-19 this holiday season. Discover several ways to support frontline workers this year.
    Credit: Getty Images

    Nurses and nursing students are fighting a war in hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices against COVID-19. COVID-19 has claimed the lives of family and friends, and nurses are caught in a difficult situation. They are providing care and treatment while placing their lives on the line each day they are at work.

    It is more important than ever to support our nurses on the front battle lines this holiday season. Giving to those in need and supporting causes through donations is a great way to give back during the holidays. On this page, discover ways to help through funding, donating supplies, and volunteering to aid those affected by COVID-19.

    Ways to Support Nurses and Frontline Workers

    Nurses and other frontline workers have experienced the main impact of caring for patients with COVID-19. We can take steps to help support these frontline workers and their families this holiday season. We can do this by donating blood, considering vaccination, and donating time and money.

    Get Vaccinated

    Many healthcare workers across the country are asking people to get vaccinated. As the latest variant of the virus continues to spread, hospital beds are once again taken up by people infected with COVID-19.

    Despite a tremendous toll, nurses’ unwavering spirit and compassion shine through. Nurses treat their patients and families with compassion and sensitivity. They hold the hands of people struggling to breathe and grieve with families over the loss of a loved one.

    Getting vaccinated is one way to take a major load off nurses. COVID-19 vaccines are proven to reduce serious infections and hospitalizations. As you weigh your healthcare options, it’s important to have all the facts. The American Hospital Association has put together a frequently asked question page about the vaccine.

    Donate Blood

    Local communities need blood donations. Donor turnout is at its lowest. The American Red Cross is reporting an emergency blood and platelet shortage. They are urging those who are eligible to donate now.

    Blood donations are essential for hospital patients in emergency care. To overcome the current shortage, 10,000 blood products must be collected every week for a month.

    The American Red Cross is following the highest standards of safety and infection control. Individuals who have been vaccinated must know the manufacturer of the vaccine to determine eligibility. Donors should bring their blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification. They must be at least 17 years old, 110 pounds, and generally in good health. You can donate blood through the following organizations:

    Donate Funds

    Charitable organizations need funding to help those affected by the illness. Engaging in mutual aid through donations is one way to address hardships in your community.

    We’ve listed several organizations whose focus is on the COVID-19 pandemic. As you consider donating, remember the rewarding reasons to support mutual aid:

    • Mutual aid, a solidarity-based support method, unites communities in a fight against a common struggle instead of leaving individuals to fend for themselves.
    • Donating gives you the chance to improve lives and reinforces your values.
    • Donations are tax deductible.
    • Mutual aid donations promote generosity and a charitable spirit in children. When children see you donate, they are more likely to have a giving mindset as they grow up.
    • Mutual aid donations may be the only way to support your community if you are unable to volunteer your time and effort.

    Every little bit helps. You don’t have to donate $1,000 to make a difference. The amount you can send is put together with the donations of others to make a bigger impact. Your donation can go further when you encourage others to give as well. For example, your employer may be willing to match the contributions made by employees.

    • New York Life Foundation/GoFundMe

      In January 2021, New York Life Foundation donated $50,000 to the COVID-19 Relief Fund. The relief fund supports people and organizations facing immediate needs due to COVID-19. The tax-deductible donations are collected and distributed by GoFundMe.
    • COVID-19 Frontline Health Worker Fund

      This fund is administered by IntraHealth International. It is a global health nonprofit organization with offices in over 100 countries. Donations are used to purchase equipment and train healthcare workers. The fund also provides essential services for families and communities.
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation

      The CDC Foundation has collected over $51 million to support global and domestic emergency response needs. This includes providing staff, oxygen, and vaccines to high-need communities.
    • The Center for Disaster Philanthropy COVID-19 Response Fund

      This organization launched the COVID-19 Response Fund in the same month the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the pandemic. Donations support containment, response, and recovery actions for those affected by the pandemic.
    • GlobalGiving Coronavirus Relief Fund

      Donations are used to help stop the spread of the virus. Resources are also sent to the front lines. This includes vaccines, staff, personal protection equipment (PPE), and mental and emotional support for frontline workers.
    • COVID-19 Local News Fund

      The fund is administered by the Local Media Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. Its purpose is to raise awareness and increase coverage of COVID-19 issues in local communities. The organization supports independent and family-owned news organizations.
    • DirectRelief’s COVID-19 Relief Campaign

      Devoted to the COVID-19 response, this organization is devoted to the global distribution of resources like vaccines, respiratory equipment, PPE, and antibody therapies. The organization also creates tools to predict transmission.
    • National Domestic Workers Alliance

      This organization supports domestic care workers, such as nannies, house cleaners, and others who work in people’s homes. Donations are used to build a grassroots effort to promote the rights of domestic workers.
    • Project Hope

      Project Hope is mobilizing a global response force to COVID-19. It provides essential medical supplies, PPE, medicine, vaccines, and training.
    • The WHO’s COVID-Solidarity Response Fund

      The WHO is coordinating a global effort to prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic. The 2021 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan needs close to $2 billion to control transmission, protect the vulnerable, and increase equitable access to vaccines.
    • Doctors Without Borders

      Teams are working in 70 countries with existing medical projects. They have launched temporary operations in the U.S. and Europe. The team is working toward equitable distribution of vaccines to vulnerable communities. They also work alongside local healthcare workers, supporting hospitals and facilities.
    • First Responders Children’s Foundation Emergency Response Fund

      The foundation supports children who have lost a parent in the line of duty. This includes families of first responders who are enduring financial hardship from the pandemic.
    • Gary Sinise Foundation Emergency COVID-19 Combat Service

      This foundation has long supported service members and first responders. Its campaign provides grants for PPE. The foundation also provides financial assistance for healthcare professionals, first responders, and their families.
    • International Medical Corps COVID-19 Response

      Since 1984, this organization has provided global emergency relief. It works closely with international, national, and local agencies. The corps brings medical expertise and other services to regions responding to COVID-19 outbreaks.
    • La Jolla Institute for Immunology – Support Coronavirus Research

      The institute was established in 1988 to create a partnership between basic science and applied research. It studies the immune system and improves how medicine responds to emerging infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.
    • Medical Teams International COVID-19 Response

      The organization provides global emergency relief. It works closely with international, national, and local agencies to respond to COVID-19 outbreaks.
    • La Jolla Institute for Immunology – Support Coronavirus Research

      The institute was established in 1988 to create a partnership between basic science and applied research. It studies the immune system and improves how medicine responds to emerging infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.
    • Medical Teams International COVID-19 Response

      The team was initially inspired to recruit a medical team in 1979 as refugees fled Cambodia. Their mission is to care for frontline clinics and remote villages during crises, including COVID-19. Donations help deliver food and medical aid.
    • MedShare Responds: Coronavirus

      The humanitarian organization delivers medical supplies and equipment to communities in need around the world. Since the WHO declared the pandemic, they have donated 4.7 million units of PPE worldwide. Donations are used to ensure healthcare professionals have the supplies they need.
    • Partners in Health COVID-19 Response

      Its mission is to fight injustice by providing healthcare to those who need it most. The organization believes that everyone has the right to be healthy. It partners with local governments to provide healthcare in areas hit hardest by COVID-19.
    • UNICEF Response to COVID-19

      The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund was created in 1946 for the survival, protection, and development of children worldwide. During the pandemic, it has distributed 1.4 billion doses of vaccines. UNICEF works on prevention measures and strengthening healthcare systems in communities.

    Donate Your Time

    Your volunteer efforts do not need to be in clinics or hospitals. For example, you can advocate for nurses and other frontline workers by urging Congress to help fund resources. The American Hospital Association’s campaign called “Support Health Care Heroes” explains three areas funds can help:

    • Tax-free child care, housing, transportation, and education for hospital workers
    • Bonus pay tax credits for hospital workers
    • Compensation funds for COVID-19 healthcare workers and their families

    If political advocacy is not your strength, there are several other ways to volunteer your time and effort.

    • Crisis Counselor

      Fear, worry, and stress have triggered a surge in mental health crises in both teens and adults the last two years. Crisis centers need volunteers throughout the U.S. You may consider a volunteer opportunity with the Crisis Text Line. This organization offers a 24/7 text line for people in crisis. Counselors respond to people through text, offering active listening and problem-solving. Counselors go through 30 hours of training at home and must commit to volunteering at least four hours a week.
    • VolunteerMatch

      Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity that is a little closer to home or face-to-face? Consider searching for your ideal opportunity on VolunteerMatch. Enter your city, state, and zip code. You’ll immediately see a list of virtual and local options like animal shelters, food distribution, and tutoring.
    • American Red Cross

      Ninety percent of Red Cross workers are volunteers. You can find opportunities to work as a disaster health services volunteer or in blood collection.
    • SCORE

      Do you have a knack for business? SCORE is looking for volunteers to support entrepreneurs. During the pandemic, many small businesses had to close permanently, but many still need help. SCORE helps small businesses create financial plans that will see them through the next year.
    • Community Organized Relief Effort

      CORE works with local governments and community partners to bring aid and recovery to underserved communities. In the U.S., it staffs COVID testing stations to free up firefighters and police officers to respond to everyday emergencies.
    • United Way

      United Way maintains a database of volunteer opportunities that you can search by zip code. You can narrow the search to those aimed at COVID-19.