The Helpers: How San Antonio is Meeting the Coronavirus Call to Action

Healthcare workers, first responders and government agencies are working around the clock addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

But nonprofits, individuals, schools, businesses and grassroots groups are doing their part in the battle to slow the spread of coronavirus, especially when it comes to helping the more vulnerable members of the community.

Here’s a bit of what’s happening around town and some ways you can help:

* Corona Bands

Four local young men began this nonprofit within a week in March, selling specially designed wristbands for a donation.

The wristbands can be ordered through the Corona Bands’ website. Each nonprofit member uses gloves to insert the prepackaged wristband into a pouch.

All orders sit in isolation before they are shipped out to their destination. The men use social distancing, working from home while they fill orders.

Corona Bands’ goal is to use the wristbands to raise awareness of keeping safe during the outbreak, and to help raise funds for health organizations and those who have been furloughed or laid off from work due to closures.

* Candlelight Coffeehouse, Wine Bar and Cafe 

has a family market 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Call (210) 738-0099 for details. They are working with various apps for deliveries.

* Folklores Coffee House 

is raising money to help deliver “survival bags” containing non-perishables and produce for elderly members of the surrounding neighborhood. A GoFundMe  is set up for the effort.

* Hearthstone Bakery Cafe

has a “warehouse 2 table” program, taking surplus inventory from distributors and offering it to those in need. Call (210) 826-5668 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays to place your order for next-day pick-up from either Hearthstone location (Olmos Park or Harry Wurzbach Road). No pick-ups Sunday or Monday. See this link for details.

* La Gloria

restaurant at Pearl offers a grocery market for the public 12-5 p.m. daily, and 6-9 p.,m. daily for medical professionals and first responders. 

* San Antonio Food Bank

has various ways to provide food assistance. Pre-register here  to reserve a spot for mobile food distribution. The food bank also seeks volunteers to help with food distribution. Call (210) 431-8326 for details

* SAMMinistries

has a special emergency fund at this link. Individuals can deduct up to $300 for contributions.

* San Antonio Apartment Association

has proposed an emergency rental assistance program,  urging members to forgive 25% of their residents’ outstanding rent and waive any late fees during the public health emergency. 

* San Antonio Area Foundation and United Way of San Antonio

have created a community response fund to help individuals and families and others struggling at this time. See the link here  .

* Masks for Heroes 

is a local initiative raising funds to buy materials for supplies used to make masks for doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, paramedics, and nursing home aides.

* North East Independent School District

career and technical education teachers and librarians are working with Canopener Labs  to produce masks for health care workers.

Mister Rogers quote, "Look for the Helpers."

* Canopener Labs 

is also working on prototypes for portable ventilators.

* Northside Independent School District

has donated hundreds of masks, gowns, and thermometers to local hospitals, and has challenged other local school districts to donate what they can to local healthcare providers.

* Reyes Hayashi Automotive

Local Tier 1 Toyota supplier, is producing plastic face shields for local and state healthcare systems and emergency responders.

* Roots of Change

is offering free compost from its community garden, 311 Idaho St. Supply is available around the clock until gone. Bring your own tools and bags to fill or old into a truck. One truckload per household allowed.

* Culinaria

is operating an emergency relief fund for members of the local hospitality industry. Hospitality employees may get a free meal (while supplies last) at 511 E. Grayson St. between 1 and 3 p.m. and 6 and 8 p.m. daily.

* Houston Street Charities and San Antonio Cocktail Conference

are running a one-stop shopping website  for San Antonio restaurant gift card purchases to help support some of your favorite restaurants while dine-in operations are closed.

* EVO Entertainment Schertz

is providing some basic groceries (and toilet paper) along with meal kits for pick-up or delivery in the surrounding area.

* Artisan on Alamo , Maverick Whiskey , Seersucker , Dorcol   and Ranger Creek

are some of the area distillers who have shifted part of their production to making hand sanitizer for the public, with free allocations set aside for healthcare workers and first responders.

* Spay Neuter Inject Protect San Antonio (SNIPSA)

is accepting $25 online donations here  to help maintain its mission of rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing adoptable animals from high kill shelters. In exchange, you get a unique drawing of your favorite pet.