‘Help the Helpers’: New initiative started to encourage community to help each other during COVID-19 crisis

Help the Helpers,” a new joint initiative of the City of Pittsburgh, UPMC, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Pittsburgh Steelers, encourages the community to look for ways to support each other and the essential workers on the front line.

“During times of crisis, Pittsburghers remember the advice of Mister Rogers to look for the helpers,” a release from the City of Pittsburgh said.

The initiative is an invite to show support to health care workers, grocery store clerks, pharmacists, garbage collectors, delivery drivers and others who continue to work and keep our communities safe.

A phone call to a neighbor, a card to an isolated elderly person, an offer to order groceries, donation of protective equipment or handmade face masks are just a few ideas the city provided to help contribute.

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Window signs of support, social media frames and sharing personal stories of how we are supporting each other are key to the initiative, and community members are encouraged to share their “helping the helpers” stories with the hashtag #HelpTheHelpers. Window signs and social frames can be downloaded at

“Any gesture of support is welcome, but please be smart about it. The best way to help everyone continues to be staying inside and keeping the virus from spreading,” Mayor William Peduto said. “For the safety of our community, and to lower the likelihood of exposure to or spreading of COVID-19, you should always follow the social distancing and self-isolation recommendations from federal, state and local governments.”

“The community response and support to our UPMC staff is extraordinary and heartwarming. Hundreds of caring people and organizations have offered their supplies, their help, their encouragement. Simple actions like these make all the difference, allowing first responders and hospital teams to help those in need of our care. We are grateful for the outpouring of support, which is no surprise from the good people and the good neighbors in all of the communities that we serve,” said Donald M. Yealy, M.D., chair of emergency medicine at UPMC.

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