Johanna Rumphorst

During a crisis like this it’s important to not only look after yourself, but also for people in need. Research has shown that helping others can also help you personally, by reaching out to others you can benefit your own mental health. These initiatives and tips are worth considering if you’re in the fortunate position to be able to help others.


With many Australian families struggling to buy groceries due to job loss, #shopwithyou is an initiative helping out with free $50 grocery vouchers for Coles or Woolworths for those that need support! if you would either like to donate or if you want to register to receive a voucher. Alternatively, if you have extra bits in your cupboard or at the end of your next shopping trip, food banks across Sydney are accepting food donations. You can also donate useful items like toilet paper or sanitiser – or you can donate manpower, banks across Sydney are taking on volunteers to cover the extra work. As well as food banks, you could volunteer roles for the elderly or vulnerable persons in your neighbourhood – one common role is to help doing the grocery shopping for neighbours, which can help them self-isolate as much as possible. Rather than volunteering yourself, there is a great scheme on GoFundMe to help pay for coffees and supplies for our health workers, donate here to do your part.

Don’t donate clothes

Despite than you might think, donating your clothes is currently not beneficial for Australian charities. So many Australians are using their lockdown time to declutter their closets and clear out old clothes that this has led to charity shops being overwhelmed with donations dumped in front of their stores. Although people mean no harm, the piles of clothes and clutter outside charity shops is actually adding to the workload for these charities. It is estimated that this has already cost charities across Australia around $18 million in cleaning and tipping costs – money that, naturally, could’ve been spent more productively. Instead of heading to the shops, we recommend either waiting until the end of lockdown to deliver or head to your nearest donation bin. ​

Reach out to people that might face domestic violence

Since the start of COVID-19 and social distancing being enforced, domestic violence numbers are rising. Due to the lockdown measures, many vulnerable women and children are being forced to stay with an abusive partner. The frontline services in Australia are aware of the risks in the current situation and are calling for a coordinated national response. In the meantime, there are some things you can do, like reaching out to others via social media. Many women have encouraged others to reach out on Facebook if they’re facing domestic violence or abuse – you might have someone in your friends list that needs help. In Australia, if you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit webchat: (