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How Minnesotans are helping each other through the COVID-19 crisis

April 9, 2020

A man donating blood

When the going gets tough, Minnesotans pull together – and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. We’ve been hearing about acts of kindness, big and small, across our state, and the stories are no less than inspiring. We thought we’d share some of our favorites with you, and let you know how you can help pay the kindness forward, as well.

Blood donation

Just because people are getting sick with COVID-19 doesn’t mean other people aren’t getting sick or injured as well. There’s still a demand for blood. But because of the need for social distancing, 14,000 Red Cross blood drives across the country have been canceled, including 550 here in our region (Minnesota and the Dakotas). That’s 17,500 fewer donations for us than usual. Fortunately, sponsors with large venues, such as Minnesota Army National Guard, the Mall of America, and the Minnesota Wild, are stepping up to host blood drives—that way people can give blood and practice proper social distancing. The blood drives are by appointment only, but in recent drives, nearly every appointment has been filled. Minnesotans understand the need and are stepping up to fill it.

PPE donations

We all know that personal protective equipment (PPE), especially face masks, are in short supply – not only for health care workers, but the general public. That’s why volunteers at the Salvation Army were so touched when a couple gave them a gallon-sized bag with three masks, neatly packaged inside. It was accompanied by a note that read: “Sorry, these three looks not good, but we never weared it. We just put in our backpack. Sorry. Thank you for taking care of us. God Bless us!”

Similarly, when Trooper Brian Schwartz pulled over a woman for speeding, he learned she was a cardiologist at a quarantine unit in Duluth. He noticed what appeared to be two used N-95 masks in the doctor’s purse that he assumed she was reusing. Trooper Schwartz gave her a warning instead of a ticket – and along with it, five N-95 masks he had been issued for his own protection.

How you can help

If you’re inspired by your fellow Minnesotans’ kindness but don’t know how to help, here are a few ideas: