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March 23, 2020

Dear Public Service News subscribers:

As the coronavirus pandemic has created broad and intense challenges, we have a new opportunity to connect and support one another through service that protects public health.

There are a lot of resources circulating online in relation to COVID-19 and how to respond. This email presents some of those resources, with two main goals:

1. To help you directly during this time of crisis, and
2. To enable you to be supportive of others.

We are providing information that is neither exclusive nor exhaustive. We are not endorsing any specific sites or agencies but rather providing them as a starting point for you to explore and investigate on their own.

All of the resources we provide below are organized by government agencies or nonprofits. We encourage you to look for private-organization opportunities as well.
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Mental health

COVID-specific University resources for students

  • Later this week, the University will launch a CV19 Virtual Student Care Hub. Students can contact the hub via email.
  • Carolina Student Impact Fund: Carolina students facing financial hardships because of COVID-19 can apply for assistance with various expenses from housing and food to travel, technology and more. Learn more online and email fund administrators with your needs.

Emergency funding for citizens

Food programs

  • No Kid Hungry student meal updates by county
  • Orange County Schools (NC) food resources
  • We encourage you to search online for similar programs in your county (some local and state resources are listed in the “Information Resources” section below).

Childcare / home schooling resources

Senior citizens

Social services

Nonprofit / business support

  • NC Center for Nonprofits: compilation of resources
  • Complete this survey to help the NC Center for Nonprofits better understand the needs of the North Carolina nonprofit community.

Career services for students

  • University Career Services is offering alternatives to the cancelled career and graduate school info fairs, plus additional experiential learning opportunities for job (or graduate school) seeking students. Learn about upcoming deadlines and other details on the UCS website.



Service during the coronavirus pandemic will look different.

  • The greatest public service many of us can provide our community—and the global population—is social distancing.
  • As each of us become more socially isolated, we can support our communities by reaching out to one another through phones, the internet and other channels.
  • Remote service can include donating or online fundraising, providing organizational service and helping promote accurate and up-to-date public service information.

Communication remains essential.

  • Don’t forget to communicate directly with partners that rely on your work. Keep them up to date about your availability and ask for ways to help remotely. Remember that they may be swamped right now and might not immediately have volunteer opportunities available for you.
  • Listen for new community needs. You can use social media and email to stay engaged with groups that are important to you and help those groups to connect with others.

Prioritize health and safety.

  • The University is not recommending any in-person direct service. You can’t help if you’re sick, and you can spread the virus even if you’re not sick.
  • This is a stressful time for everyone. Don’t neglect your mental health!


We know nearly every nonprofit, community-based organization and small business—and many individuals—are struggling at this time. Below, we’re highlighting a few groups that are involved in the immediate crisis.

1. Donate money

  • Many of our partners have shared with us that their highest need right now is funding, rather than volunteers. Keep this in mind when deciding how you can best support community organizations.
  • Do you make a yearly donation to a specific nonprofit? Consider moving the timing of that donation to now.
  • You can donate to the Carolina Student Impact Fund to support UNC-Chapel Hill students affected by COVID-19.

2. Donate personal protective equipment

  • UNC Health is now accepting donations of personal protective equipment. Most urgent needs are: N95 masks, surgical masks and nasal swabs. Other needs include disinfectant, eye protection, disposable gloves and gowns, hand sanitizer, hand soap, shoe covers and handmade masks.
  • Consider searching online for other health organizations that may be accepting donations of personal protective equipment.

3. Donate food

  • For residents in Chapel Hill-Carrboro: Donate food at TABLE drop boxes.
  • Also in Chapel Hill: Inter-Faith Council is accepting food donations.
  • Consider searching online for similar programs wherever you live.

4. Donate blood

5. Donate personal necessities

  • The Inter-Faith Council website lists a variety of products that are in need.
  • Consider searching online for similar programs wherever you live.

6. Remote service