Dear friend,

The governor’s Stay at Home Order means that many of us are disconnected from our usual social circles. It’s important that we follow recommendations from state and federal health officials and stay home as much as possible.

However, there are many ways to feel more connected to your community while practicing social distancing—help out your neighbors safely by donating your dollars, time, or talent to COVID-19 relief efforts.

Here are some ways you can lend a (clean) hand:

Volunteer with Serve Illinois

Serve Illinois connects healthy volunteers with community service opportunities. During the COVID-19 outbreak, several civic and faith-based organizations, especially those organizations that focus on homelessness, meal delivery, and senior citizens, are in need of extra help. Find a statewide list of volunteer needs here.


Check on your family, friends, and neighbors

Seniors and immunocompromised individuals are at especially high risk during the COVID-19 outbreak. For many of them, simple errands—like going to the grocery store or the pharmacy—may put their lives in danger. Call, text, or video chat your friends and loved ones to ask how you can help. Even if they have everything they need, it could comfort them to hear a friendly voice.

Give blood

Social distancing measures have resulted in the cancellation of many blood drives in the state, but a blood shortage would only worsen the health care crisis we are facing right now. The American Red Cross is looking for healthy, eligible individuals to donate blood. Sign up to donate or volunteer here.

Assist your local food bank

With schools closed and many Illinoisans out of work, some households are running low on food. That’s why local food pantries are especially important right now. Whether you’re in need of assistance or you’d like to donate, use this online locator to find your nearest food bank.

Donate supplies to first responders

Health care workers across Illinois are in need of personal protective equipment, or PPE. If you or your business would like to donate unopened, factory-made masks, gowns, gloves, or other protective gear, contact Serve Illinois here. Note: The state is not accepting homemade supplies, but your local first responders might be able to use these items—contact them directly for more information.


Do what you can to help others in little ways, too.

  • Make sure everyone has access to basic necessities by buying only what you need—no need to hoard.
  • Order delivery from local restaurants or buy a gift card from your favorite boutique to keep small businesses afloat.
  • Complete the census online or by mail to ensure our communities receive the funding they need.
  • Stay home as much as possible to protect others from the spread of coronavirus.

During these challenging times, we must remember to stick together. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean complete isolation—there are safe ways to remain active in your community, even from home.

As always, please reach out to my office with questions and concerns. My staff is working remotely, but we are still answering calls and emails—contact us by calling (708) 848-2002 or visiting

Stay safe and healthy.



Senate President Don Harmon