During times like these, it’s more important than ever to take care of each other. Take a moment to consider all of the different communities you are a part of, big and small. Are you in a book club? Do you volunteer with your church? What about your neighborhood community center? Your circle of influence is likely much bigger than you think. Here are a few easy steps you can take to extend kindness to those in your community.
1. Check in on your elderly friends and family.
Even if you are not considered ‘high-risk’ for COVID-19, you likely know at least one person who is. Take a moment today to give them a call and see how they’re doing. If they have been self-quarantined, they are likely feeling lonely (and maybe a little anxious, too). Simply talking to each other is a great way to stay connected during this time of rapid change and uncertainty.
2. Support local businesses.
Many cities are mandating closures of gathering places such as restaurants, bars, and gyms. Many of these establishments are still offering drive-thru, curbside services and delivery; if the restaurant itself is not delivering, they may still be partnered with an outside delivery service. Many of these services are also offering discounted rates or promo codes due to high demand.
Your local businesses need you, and are likely doing their best to not have to close their doors. By ordering food or purchasing a gift card to be used later, you are directly impacting your local economy. Not hungry? No problem! Consider sending a treat to your local nursing home, or your at-risk friends you checked in on earlier (make sure the delivery is contactless, for their safety!). They will surely thank you and appreciate the gesture.
3. Donate to a local charity.
Many food pantries and safe houses are asking for financial donations so they can feed the community. But monetary donations are not the only thing needed; many organizations are asking for other resources. Churches are packing box lunches for children whose schools are closed. Hospitals and nursing homes are requesting greeting cards to be sent to their patients. Many animal shelters are overcrowded and are seeking food donations or even foster volunteers. There are multitudes of ways to donate time and/or treasure.
4. Grocery shop only for what you need.
It’s no secret that grocery store shelves are sparse at the moment. Employees are working hard to keep us informed and to stock shelves as often as they’re able (be kind to them, they’re doing their best!), but certain supplies are still limited. Rather than stockpiling resources, buy only what you and your family will realistically need and leave the rest for your neighbors.
If you are unable to grocery shop for yourself, many stores are offering curbside pickup. If you are looking to shop for family members who live far away, consider grocery delivery services like Instacart or Delivery.com. This allows you to shop virtually and get the groceries delivered right to your doorstep, keeping you and your family safely at home.
5. Practice good hygiene.
The best way you can love your neighbor is to do your part to help them stay well. By regularly washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, practicing safe social distancing, and staying indoors if you’re feeling ill, you are keeping others (and yourself) safe. Here at DreamMaker, we are following these practices and keeping a close eye on the CDC’s recommendations. We encourage you to do the same. Stay safe, stay healthy, and above all else, be kind. Love your neighbor well today.