There are times when communities come together such as during natural disasters and times when everyone is being effected by something global or local. These times can be so stressful, but I am a firm believer in helping each other the get through anything. If we stay strong as a community, really big things can happen even with the smallest of gestures. If you are looking for small ways that you can help those in your community during a time that calls for it, here are some ideas on how to help your neighbors in times of stress.
How to Help Your Neighbors in Times of Stress
Sew reusable masks for hospitals or others– these can be used when PPE (personal protection equipment) supplies are running low such as during a natural disaster or illness spreading. They are fairly easy to make if you have sewing skills. The best ones to make are the ones that also take filters and that could be easily made in just about any pattern. Here is a great post from AgeBerry on how to make a homemade fabric mask. Keep in mind the info she has about the safety and effectiveness of these and make sure you call your local hospital to see if they are taking them.
Buy gift cards– This is especially important to help local small businesses float during this time. You don’t even have to use them right now. Save them for later or even consider giving them as gifts to folks in the mail so they can order takeout if that is still happening in your community.
Foster animals from shelters or donate food- Many shelters are asking for volunteers to take in dogs and cats during this time as a foster. Seriously consider doing this if you can since these guys can be both good for you and your loneliness.
Speaking of donating, if you can, you should– Look at ways you can donate goods or money to local charities that will be running out due to an over-run amount of people requesting help now. Some things that are usually in high demand are non-perishable foods, baby goods like diapers, wipes and formula as well as pet food. Also, consider donating blood if you can. It will truly be critical.
Offer to go grocery shopping for others that may need it– I have seen some communities offer certain shopping hours for those most at risk, but even then, some can’t make it. If you are not at risk and are heading to get supplies, why not call neighbors or friends to see if they need anything while you are out to help them? Also, when you are out shopping for yourself, don’t over shop or stockpile. This is making it really hard for those who have fixed incomes to find their needs.
Sign up to do delivery for your community at food banks– Many of our neighbors have no transportation to even get to food banks right now. Start a community delivery service for food banks to help those that are suffering with food insecurity right now.
Look for Facebook groups in your community to help– There are a couple in my community that are offering help and support to everyone in the community from sparing a roll of paper towels to bringing hot foods to those who are home-bound due to being high risk. If you have skills or extra supplies, look for ways to spread the wealth. Kindness should be sprinkled like confetti right now.
Offer your skills– If you work remotely say, on IT, or something else that doesn’t involve leaving home, offer your services if you can for free. These can help small businesses stay afloat during difficult times.