The Helpers: 18 More Ways You Can Find Help or Be a Helper

More and more businesses, individuals and organizations are heeding the call to help in COVID-19 outbreak recovery efforts.

Here are some local relief efforts, and some ways you can help others:

Meals on Wheels San Antonio:

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg helps at the Food Bank

The nonprofit has been working to help high-risk, elderly clients and addressing the growing inquiries for service daily. 

Meals on Wheels is partnering with Chef Johnny Hernandez and the La Gloria culinary team as well as nonprofit The Chow Train to get extra meals to their clients’ homes.

(Chow Train chef/owner Joan Cheever is also working with Catholic Worker House to help feed the homeless. Chever and her four colleagues have cooked more than 17,000 meals for local homeless, disabled and elderly individuals.)

In This Together campaign:

Magaly Chocano, chief executive officer of Sweb Development, recently suffered the loss of the Sweb building in Southtown to a fire. But Chocano has proven resilient. Because the San Antonio community showed her support after the fire, Chocano was moved to give love back in this time of need.

She and her colleagues designed custom “In This Together” T-shirts and stickers to sell. All proceeds will go to local businesses.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop:

San Antonio locations have launched Potbelly Pantry, allowing shoppers to stock up on fresh ingredients and sides to make their own favorite sandwich at home. Orders can be made at or through the Potbelly app.

Orders available through no-contact curbside pickup or delivery, free through April 12. All deliveries include tamper-proof stickers to ensure safety.


The nonprofit is modifying its donation drop-off process. For now, it will only accept the following donations at its SAMMExpress donation station:

  • Cleaning supplies and disinfectants
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including gloves and masks
  • Diapers (all sizes)
  • Wet Wipes (baby wipes but also disinfectant wipes for cleaning)
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Paper products (including napkins, paper towels, and toilet paper)

All donations will be cleaned and sanitized before they are distributed.

To help ensure the health and safety of donors, clients, and staff, donors must call (210) 321-5678 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays to make an appointment before dropping off donations.

South Texas Blood and Tissue Center:

The organization is taking part in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigational program, collecting convalescent plasma donations from people who have recovered from COVID-19.

FDA believes it is possible that convalescent plasma, which contains antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19, may provide passive immunity to certain patients with severe forms of the illness. Recovering patients interested in donating may email for details.

San Antonio Food Bank:

With double the normal demand for food, the San Antonio Food Bank needs monetary donations, as well as volunteers to help deliver food to individuals and families need. Volunteers also are needed to help provide individuals with groceries in a distribution events. Find out more at the food bank’s website.

Soldiers’ Angels:

Volunteers are sewing masks to donate to VA hospitals and nursing homes. The nonprofit also is gearing up to offer meals to medical staff at Audie L. Murphy VA Medical Center three days a week.

Blessed Angels Community Center:

The local group seeks monetary and volunteer assistance to shore up its emergency food pantry. Bags of food provided to individuals and families include masks, perhaps diapers for a young family, too. Call (210) 284-4391 for details.

Valero Energy:

The San Antonio-based energy company has shipped out 10,000 fuel cards to communities where Valero has a presence, donating to local organizations that rely on transportation for their services.


The San Antonio-based bank is donating $2 million to Texas nonprofits, with $1 million going to various local organizations. Recipients specialize in economic development, health and human services, and arts and culture. Other large local ventures and organizations such as USAA, USAA Foundation and H-E-B collectively have donated nearly $8 million toward coronavirus relief efforts locally and statewide.

United Way of San Antonio and San Antonio Area Foundation

The two organizations are operating a COVID-19 Community Relief Fund with grants for nonprofits. Get more information here.

Stay Safe SA page from esd & associates:

The website has details on local community resources regarding food and supply assistance for individuals and families and more.

Big Lou’s Pizza:

The eatery is offering sales of fruits, vegetables, soup, rice, beans, beverages, paper towels and toilet paper in addition to regular food menu items to go. Call (210) 337-0707 for more.

Mi Tierra Cafe and Bakery:

The popular restaurant is offering grocery staples along with food and beverage menu items to go. Call (210) 225-1262 for information.

Mina and Dimi’s Greek House:

Besides menu items to go, the restaurant is offering grocery and household staples. Call (210) 674-3464 for details.

YMCA of Greater San Antonio:

The YMCA is offering low-cost emergency child care for essential workers. Click here for more info.

In addition, although all locations are temporarily closed in accordance with social-distancing requirements, the Y is offering virtual workouts for stay-at-homes who want to stay in shape. Click here to get started.

Texas Diaper Bank:

To comply with COVID-19 social distancing, the Texas Diaper Bank is asking clients to make an appointment to request assistance - call (210) 731-8118, option 1.

The diaper bank is also in need of diapers sizes 3, 5, 6; menstrual pads (not liners or tampons); and incontinence products; and monetary donations. Click here to donate.