“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King
Looking ahead to days spent lying in the laps of friends (am I the only one who does that?), lounging in the grass, carefree sipping iced coffee. Patience, perseverance, they will come.
Given my line of work, I won’t be back to work for a spell. The silver lining is that I’m blessed to have a roof over my head, food in my fridge and the health of myself and my loved ones; anything else is just icing on the cake. I also have a lot of time on my hands: to write and to read; to take the dog on longer, more leisurely walks; to organize and to plan. However, right now, my mind is most focused on how to support others in the community (and my community net is cast further than my own backyard) as we navigate unfathomable circumstances that our generation has never had to before.
For the foreseeable future, each week, I’m going to round up organizations that are doing on the ground work to fight the good corona fight, along with other suggestions for how to join the battle. I hope this is helpful and inspires you to step up in your own way. Sending love and light your way.
Sidewalk Chalk Paintings. That one catch you off guard? Where I live, kids have started drawing inspirational messages or just colorful drawings on the sidewalks outside of their houses. My husband, dog and I have started an “evening constitutional,” tradition and I’ve enjoyed seeing the messages. Yesterday’s highlights? Be kind. Be patient.
Unselfish Grocery Shopping. People are stocking up. It should go without saying, you don’t need to drag your arm along the shelves and take all the product for yourself. That being said, you might have never noticed the WIC symbol next to an item’s price listing on the shelf of the grocery store. WIC is a government nutritional assistance program that serves economically vulnerable women, infants and children (hence the name). If a woman is shopping under this program, she can only purchase food with that symbol. If that shelf is cleared by hoarding shopper #1, there goes her option for that item of food. Food for thought when you are out there shopping and are lucky enough to have options.
Your Local Food Pantry. Our town has revved up its food pantry initiatives. There are local angels who will drive to your home and pick up your donation and those who don gloves and maintain that crucial social distance while collecting donations in person at the designated drop-off. When you’re shopping for yourself, pick up a few items, whatever you can swing, and make that donation. We’re all in this together. Nationally, organizations who already do fantastic work like No Kid Hungry (who work to ensure that sure that kids who count on the free lunches that schools provide have access to them while classes are cancelled) and Meals on Wheels (who provide meals to the elderly who are even more vulnerable right now) are even more in need of support.
Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation. Our favorite restaurants have played vital rolls in the happiest and most important times in our lives. They’re there when we get engaged, they’re there to celebrate grandma’s 90th birthday and they are hurting right now and need help. This initiative is providing relief to restaurant workers and non-profits serving restaurant workers affected by COVID-19, along with zero-interest loans to help restaurants out. Additionally, if you can, why not purchase a gift card to provide a restaurant with some cash flow that you can use later? Or now for that tasty take-out.
Supporting our Nurses and Doctors on the Front Line. A friend of mine from college is an ER nurse on the frontlines of this nightmare. I haven’t seen her in years, but I reached out and offered to Venmo her money to cover a pedicure once this is all behind us. It’s a small gesture, but I’m hoping it will be a tiny thing to look forward to and just let her know how grateful we the n0n-medical public are for her sacrifices.
Be well, everyone.