Life feels a little unsettling right now. We get it. So as we adjust to new routines and work together to keep everyone healthy, we’re all looking for ways to safely support the people around us.
Even with social distancing, we can work together as a community. From supporting small businesses to checking in with vulnerable neighbors and family members, here are a few tips for lending a helping hand during times of need.
Donate to programs that work with vulnerable populations.
Elderly people and medically fragile individuals rely on relief organizations to provide food and medical care during times of crisis. Here are three suggestions for donating your time or volunteer services.
- Meals on Wheels delivers food to elderly or otherwise immobile individuals. Many local chapters are asking for volunteers to help deliver meals in response to increased requests for help. Even if you can’t go inside, a friendly smile and wave at the door can mean the world.
In addition to their meal service, some Meals on Wheels chapters also offer telephone calls to senior citizens in need of social interaction and reassurance. So charge up your phone and get ready to make someone’s day a little brighter!
- Direct Relief, an international humanitarian group, provides medical organizations with needed supplies like gowns, masks, and gloves. As the demand for these things grows, your monetary donation can go a long way to helping others all over the world.
- Your local food bank needs you. Some foodbanks need healthy volunteers, others need food donations, and others prefer financial help, so contact your local center for information on what’s most pressing.
Shop local whenever possible.
Small businesses are relying on us to help them stay solvent despite reduced staff, drops in sales, and canceled events. While visiting brick-and-mortar locations may not be feasible right now, consider shopping online, ordering gift cards for future use, or scheduling and paying for future services to be redeemed at a later, safer, time.
Check-in with your community and neighbors.
Phone calls and email are preferable right now. A simple porch visit can also confirm that everyone inside is safe and sound. Consider organizing a phone tree or email group for your street or neighborhood to coordinate food drop-offs or any necessary transportation needs.
Work with local schools.
There are many students who rely on school services for breakfast and lunch. Help collect bulk food donations, pack grab-and-go food bags, or distribute meals to students. Let’s make sure our kids are still getting plenty of healthy food.
It’s important to work within our communities to stay safe and healthy while using our best judgement. These new routines might feel scary, but they’re also an opportunity to band together for a common good.
We’ve been inspired by our own community during this time—countless acts of kindness and genuine care, all motivated by the belief that we are stronger together, even when we need to be apart. So call your Dad to check-in, support the organizations serving the most vulnerable, and show up for the small businesses that make our neighborhoods great.
We’ll see you soon.