t. 607.272.2292
f. 607.272.7088
e. tompkins@cornell.edu
w. ccetompkins.org

How to Help During COVID-19

Follow Safety Measures

The best way for every resident to contribute during this time is to follow  CDCNew York State and Tompkins Health Department protocols.  Please familiarize yourself with them regularly, as they are being updated with new information.

Connect with Your Neighbors, Friends and Family

If you would like to do more independently, please reach out to all your friends, families, neighbors and contacts to make sure that they are ok.  A text or conversation is very beneficial to combating social isolation. If you choose to run essential errands for them, please follow guidelines set up by the health department links above. Please stay home and advise others to stay home and delay all non-essential errands.

Sign Up To Be Connected with Volunteer Needs

The fastest way for someone to volunteer is through United Way's online form. They are coordinating requests for many other organizations, such as food delivery services and pantries, who are in great need of healthy volunteers. 

If you know someone who does not have access to the online form, they can volunteer through the Human Service Coalition. Please call 2-1-1 or 1-877-211-8667. They will collect your information and share it with agencies in need.

You can also volunteer casually through the Tompkins Covid-19 Mutual Aid Response Group, a citizen-driven grassroots action, by completing this online form,. Join their public Facebook group at  https://www.facebook.com/groups/209042093515340/

Volunteer for Food Distribution

Please note the following criteria for volunteers at the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and Pantries:

  • No recent travel
  • Healthy, able-bodied, not at risk, aged between 13-60
  • No sign of illness in last 2 weeks
  • No contact with anyone who is sick
  • Living alone or with one other person
  • Able to lift 50lbs consistently throughout a 3-5 hour shift
  • Valid NY State drivers license and able to provide own transportation

To assist with food distribution, please volunteer at United Way of Tompkins County or with individual pantries listed here

To volunteer to prepare meals with Loaves and Fishes, please email: info@loaves.org or call: 607-272-5457. Shifts are Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and Tuesday & Thursday late afternoons at Loaves & Fishes, St. John’s Church, 210 N. Cayuga St., Ithaca, NY.

Give Blood

Right now, the American Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to help patients counting on lifesaving blood, platelets or AB Elite plasma. Look for local blood drive opportunities here.

Volunteer to Manufacture Masks

CMC is organizing an effort to make more masks for health care workers. This will be completed in strict accordance with their needs. To sign up to volunteer, contact Crystal Barkman at (607) 274-4331 or Michelle Vallake at (607) 274-4535. An email has also been established for this project: volunteer@cayugamed.org that anyone can reach out to with questions about the project and volunteering at either their home or Cornell.

Specific requests include:

1. Sewing volunteers that are able to bring personal sewing machines or make masks at home.

2. Four (4) to aide in the supply of materials and packing masks to be sent back to the hospital daily into the supply chain at both Schuyler Hospital and Cayuga Medical Center. Patterns are being cut from blue wrap from surgical instruments being upcycled.

3. Sewing machines, rotary cutter with extra blade, cutting ruler, sewing needles (size 90), all-purpose sewing thread, pipe cleaners.

Masks for those outside the health care community can be manufactured from fabrics that can withstand boiling temperatures or that are disposable. Researchers are still investigating the potential uses and needs for these masks. A community resource has been started here, that includes some information and discussion as well as links to instructions for making masks at home. CCE-Tompkins does not yet know or understand the effectiveness of these masks. This option is only available to those who currently have spare materials at home. 

Please note that this resource will be updated as quickly as possible as needs change. Suggestions can be sent to the contact below.