City of Lincoln and Lancaster County Coronavirus (COVID-19) - How to Help
This fund will provide resources to nonprofit organizations responding to the coronavirus pandemic in Lincoln. Hosted by Lincoln Community Foundation and led by a coalition of leaders from across the community, the Fund will provide resources to organizations in Lincoln working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
Interested nonprofits may apply here for COVID-19 response funds.
The NeighborLNK program is designed to facilitate personal connections by directly linking volunteers with seniors (age 60 and over) or persons with disabilities who are homebound and seeking additional support as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
The program is designed to help keep homebound residents healthy, connected, and independent during the physical isolation required by the pandemic, as well as to cultivate bonds of friendship that could potentially last beyond the pandemic.
NeighborLNK volunteers will do errands for the participants and offer companionship through phone or video calls. COVID-19 precautions will be followed, and volunteers will not enter participants' homes.
Practice Healthy Habits
Continue to practice healthy habits:
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Stay home when you are sick .
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
When you shop:
- Stay home if you are sick or if you have symptoms of COVID-19 - fever, cough and shortness of breath.
- Seniors and others at risk for complications from the virus should take advantage of special hours for them at retailers.
- Arrange for groceries to be delivered, or use the store's curbside pickup service.
- Only one person in a household should go to the store.
- Limit grocery shopping to one trip a week.
- Make a list to limit your time in the store.
- Wear a face covering and disposable gloves.
- Do not take backpacks or reusable bags.
- Use the wipes provided by the stores to clean grocery cart handles
- Take a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you.
- Stay at least six feet away from others.
- Pay attention to one-way aisles and floor markings at the checkouts.
- Only touch products you intend to buy, especially produce.
- Avoid touching your face, eyes and nose.
- Cover sneezes and coughs.
- Instead of using cash, pay for items with credit or debit cards, or use epay options.
- When you get home, wash your hands, wash all produce, and use wipes for other purchases.
- Do not return items to the store.
Keep Physical Distance
Follow guidelines for physical distancing and crowd size limits. Even if you aren't showing symptoms of any illness, you could still be carrying the virus and unknowingly spread it to people with compromised immune systems.
Support Local Businesses
If you have the means, continue to support local businesses:
- Purchase gift cards for future use, if they are offered. Some local gift cards can be found at NebraskaBuyLocal.com.
- Order take-out or delivery. Many restaurants that don't usually offer these options are making exceptions.
- Take advantage of free parking spots downtown designated for curbside pickup by looking for the green curbside pickup signs. This site also contains a list of restaurants and establishments downtown offering curbside pickup.
- Support businesses that are still operating during this period. For a list of open businesses, see the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce's business operation updates and this COVID-19 Lincoln business directory hosted by oh hello!.
- Purchase a Small Businesses, Big Hearts t-shirt designed by one of Lincoln's own small businesses. Profits go toward supporting small businesses across the state.
- Tip generously if you can afford it. Tipped workers are some of the first to suffer in times of economic distress.
- If you're able to work from home and still earn your normal salary, commit to paying someone who provides you with a service – such as a hairdresser or a babysitter – even if they have to stay home.
Volunteer and Reach Out Safely
- Nebraska Impact has organized a portal at NEvolunteers.com/lincoln for connecting people with opportunities to volunteer with or donate to Lincoln organizations. Volunteers can choose "COVID-19" under "select a category."
- Service Opportunities during COVID-19 provides volunteer opportunities in the City of Lincoln. If you would like to volunteer or have an unmet need, you can request to have your opportunity listed in Lincoln's GivePulse portal, a volunteer signup web portal. If you are looking to serve, current opportunities are listed below.
- Reach out to those you know who are isolated or may be at high risk. Ask how they are doing and check in with them regularly.
- Start a group text with your neighbors and friends to keep up on one another's health and needs.
- The COVID-19 Mutual Aid Lincoln/Omaha Facebook Group is one way to offer and provide support to community members with specific needs.
- Start a virtual book club or arrange virtual playdates.
- Do not hoard supplies like hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Panic buying these items will make it harder for at-risk groups to get the things that they need.
- Make an appointment to donate blood if you can safely do so. Blood banks have been faced with a severe blood shortage as a result of blood drive cancellations. Eligible and healthy donors may make an appointment with the American Red Cross or the Nebraska Community Blood Bank to provide lifesaving blood products to patients.
Volunteer for the Tenant Assistance Project
The Tenant Assistance Project is dedicated to providing access to free attorneys to tenants facing eviction in Lancaster County Court. Most tenants facing eviction cannot afford an attorney, and evidence shows that access to an attorney can help prevent homelessness.
The program is currently seeking volunteer attorneys to represent tenants in a limited scope capacity. Volunteer attorneys will be appropriately trained, have malpractice insurance coverage, and will have the chance to provide an invaluable public service.