How to Help and Where to Get Help During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Volunteers put together meals for distribiution
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NBC 4 New York and Telemundo 47 work closely with many Tri-State non-profits, all of whom deliver important services to our viewers and the communities we serve. 

As we continue through the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, our stations will continue to highlight important ways you can help make a difference.


1. Give blood!

Our medical professionals desperately need blood and platelet donations. You can help.  Click here to find an American Red Cross donation location closest to you. 

2.  Support a local animal shelter/rescue and consider fostering a pet!

With many animal shelters and rescues need additional help with many basic tasks, including feeding and walking pets.  In addition, some shelters are asking the community to consider fostering pets. 

More than 100 shelters and rescues regularly participate in our Clear the Shelters program, connecting homeless pets with forever homes across the Tri-State region.  To find a participating shelter or a rescue near you, click here and scroll down to the map where you can enter your zip code.  

3.  Support our regional food banks!

The Tri-State’s regional food banks are the distribution hub for many local pantries and community-non-profits, all of whom deliver nutritious food to those in need. They need financial donations to help restock their shelves, particularly with pre-packaged items that can be easily distributed to those in need.

For more information and to donate, visit our Feeding Our Families partners below:

New York City

Long Island

Northern New Jersey 

Monmouth and Ocean Counties

Fairfield County

Westchester County

Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster and Sullivan Counties

4.  Support your local small businesses!

Many local businesses have been forced to close while others are operating under restricted hours and work conditions.  If you have a favorite business and have the means to do so, consider purchasing a gift certificate to use in the future.  You can also order from a local restaurant for dinner, with many offering curb side pick-up for take-out orders - as well as expanded delivery.  

5.         Donate medical supplies!

Our region is need of personal protective equipment for medical professionals and first responders.  If you have gloves, masks, gowns or other important equipment that can be donated during this time, please click on the links below.

6.  Volunteer!

There are several ways in which you can volunteer.

  • Skilled health, mental health and other related professionals are needed throughout the Tri-State.  Visit sign-up pages for New York, New Jersey, and  Connecticut
  • New York State has opportunities for experienced technology professionals working in engineering, product management, software development, hardware deployment and more.  Click here to learn more
  • For those interested in general opportunities, the New York City’s Volunteer Coordination Taskforce is coordinating local efforts with New York Cares.  Click here to share your information.


Many in the tri-state are facing an assortment of needs due to the Coronavirus. We have built a quick guide of resources currently available.

A. Food

New York City is now making free meals available to anyone from hundreds of sites around the city. Click here for details.

Food banks work with local pantries to ensure that families without access to food can receive it.  Many also help residents sign up for government nutrition programs such as SNAP.  Some also offer additional services to families, such as tax preparation services, access to healthcare and more. 

Click below for resources available in:

B.    Paying Mortgage or Rent

  • In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a moratorium on evictions of any residential or commercial tenants in New York for 90 days.
  • In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy has also announced a moratorium which will continue through their State of Emergency.
  • In Connecticut, courts have issued a stay against all evictions through May 1.
  • In New York City, Mayor De Blasio has established a “Tenant Hotline” for renters, available to answer their questions. You can call 311 to access the service.
  • Many mortgage providers are working directly with their customers to provide flexible options that will provide greater ease.  Please contact your mortgage provider for details.

For more information on the help available to renters and homeowners, click here.

C.  Paying for Utilities

  • In New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, major utilities providing heat or power are not conducting shut-offs throughout their state’s period of emergency. Visit your utility provider for specific information.

D.  Paying your taxes

  • The federal government is allowing taxpayers to delay paying income taxes on as much as $1 million in taxes owed until July 15. For details, click here.
  • In New York and Connecticut, the state filing deadline has also been extended to July 15. New Jersey did not initially match that extension, but has now done so as well for individuals and businesses.

E.  Paying your bills

  • If you believe that you will be unable to pay your bills due to hardships created by the coronavirus, contactcreditors right away and consider sending temporary hardship letters. For more specific advice on how to do this,click here

F.  Accessing Wi-Fi

  • Some Tri-State broadband carriers including ComcastCharter and Altice are waiving public wi-fi access fees or taking additional steps to support public access, particularly for students in need.  Programs and details vary.

G.  Filing for unemployment and COBRA/healthcare benefits

  • If you are laid off, confirm with your employer in writing that they won't contest unemployment. This will ensure that no unexpected surprises emerge throughout the process.  
  • Inquire about healthcare continuation. Many employers will allow for healthcare continuation for a month or longer after work ends, especially for people with families. Inquire about COBRA coverage. 
  • Apply for benefits: New York has waived the 7-Day waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to COVID-19 closures or quarantines. New Jersey and Connecticut also have a range of sick leave benefits for those off work due to the outbreak.

H.  Consumer and labor protections

  • Resources are available to individuals in New YorkNew Jersey and Connecticut who believe that they have been the victims of consumer fraud, unfair labor practices and discrimination and much more.

I. Finding work

  • In New York, visit the Department of Labor’s Job Express portal featuring thousands of opportunities for New York residents.
  • In New Jersey, visit the state’s new Jobs and Hiring Portal, designed to match workers with employers seeking immediate help.
  • In Connecticut, visit the state’s CT Hires portal, complete with resources for job seekers and employers alike.
  • In New York City, Mayor De Blasio has announced a number of temporary positions available through Health & Hospitals Department.  To access available positions, click here.

J. Finding someone to talk to

  • In New York, thousands of mental health professionals have volunteered to support their neighbors during this time of crisis. Residents can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for counseling services.
  • In New Jersey, residents can contact NJ Mental Health Cares at 1-866-202-HELP (4357) for free, confidential support. The service is offered through NJ Human Services’ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Mental Health Association of New Jersey (MHANJ).

K.         Reporting COVID-19 discrimination

  • In New York, you can review the answers to many frequently-asked questions by clicking here.
  • For those who wish to report discrimination, you can call the Attorney General’s Civil Rights hotline at 1-800-771-7755, or email
  • In New Jersey, you can view the answers to many frequently-asked questions by clicking here.
  • For those who wish to report discrimination:
    - Persons who would like to speak with a Division on Civil Rights housing investigator can call their Statewide Housing Hotline at 1-866-405-3050. For all other types of complaints, members of the public can call Division on Civil Rights offices including: Newark (973-648-2700); Trenton (609-292-4605); Cherry Hill (856-486-4080) or Atlantic City (609-441-3100).
  • In Connecticut, you can view the answers to many frequently-asked questions by clicking here.
  • For those who wish to report discrimination, you can file a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities by clicking here and contacting the regional office closest to you.

L.         Reporting COVID-19 price gouging

  • In New York, you can review information related to price gouging by clicking here.  To report price gouging, click here or contact the consumer assistance hotline at (518) 474-8583 or (800) 697-1220
  • In New Jersey, you can review information related to price gouging by clicking here. To report price gouging, click here or contact the Division of Consumer Affairs hotline at (973) 504-6240.
  • In Connecticut, you can review information related to price gouging by clicking here. To report price gouging, click here or contact the Attorney General’s hotline at (860) 808-5318.

M.         Reporting COVID-19 wage theft and other workplace violations

  • In New York, you can learn more about available worker protections by clicking here.  To report labor violations, click here or contact the Attorney General’s labor bureau at (212) 416-8700
  • In New Jersey, you can view the answers to many frequently-asked questions by clicking here.  To report violations, click here to access the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and follow the directions outlined for safety & health, wage & hour compliance and more.
  • In Connecticut, you can view the answers to many frequently-asked questions by clicking here.  To report violations, click here.

N.        Getting more answers to my questions

State governments have established COVID-specific web portals filled with updated information and the answers to other questions.  Click on the links below for:

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