Right now, we are all concerned about friends, family and loved ones, as well as our neighbours and communities. So it's the perfect time to reach out and help others, but maybe you don't know where to start. We can help with that!
Now is the perfect opportunity to get inspired and commit to some simple acts of kindness to support our community. Here is a list of seven things you can do to help:
1. Check in on neighbours
Although necessary, physical distancing can be lonely whether people live alone or with others. We all have neighbours who might appreciate some support. The elderly, newcomers, single parents or just about anyone could be struggling during this time. Try texting, phoning, emailing or doing live video check-ins with friends, family and neighbours. Even waving at them from a safe physical distance might be appreciated. If you are healthy and willing, consider buying groceries (ensuring you do doorstep drop-off) for neighbours to help them ride out their self-isolation.
2. Reach out to people who are in self-isolation
Don’t forget about the people you know who may be in self-isolation. Send funny memes or GIFs to cheer them up. Call them or invite them for a coffee over video chat. Help them feel less alone and supported.
3. Support local businesses
The COVID-19 pandemic will impact some businesses more than others. Small businesses are most likely to be hit hardest. Here is a good resource to find which of your favourite local stores are still open for business.
- Shop local: online or call-in
Some businesses are closed to customers but may provide pick up and/or delivery options. Inquire with your favourite place to shop and see what options they have for purchasing during this time.
- Order out
Order food from restaurants that still offer pick-up and/or delivery service. The Tomato has published a list of many of the places that are open for takeout and delivery.
4. Share positive news and acts of kindness with your community
There are many examples of people helping each other. Share and talk about them. Together we can prevent getting caught in a bad news spiral. Then, spread the word with your online community about how you’re making a difference. You can find these stories on Twitter searching #yegcares or #edmontoncares.
5. Be kind and say thank you
During stressful times, it can sometimes be hard to see the good in people. Being kind and compassionate will go a long way. Grocery store employees, delivery personnel and especially medical professionals are exhausted. They are dealing with the public during a very chaotic and tense time. Showing patience, understanding and courtesy can make a world of difference and brighten someone’s day. Say thank you to all the essential service workers you come across in your day.
6. Give a shout-out online
Reviews can have huge impacts on a business. If you have a good experience to share, take a few minutes and leave your favourite small business a review and post it proudly. Reviews can have huge impacts on people as well. If you experienced or noticed a good deed, take a few minutes and post it proudly on social media to spread goodwill and love.
7. Volunteer for organizations helping to respond to COVID-19
Reach out to the charities you regularly support and ask how you can continue to support them with your time, keeping safety in mind. Search for other volunteer opportunities in your area as there may be some things you can do safely from home. Nonprofits are making adjustments to help keep volunteers safe—for example, meal delivery services may be moving to a doorstep delivery instead of bringing it inside. Due to health and safety considerations, many regular volunteers may need to restrict their usual commitments in the coming weeks and months and this will leave nonprofits shorthanded. However, needs will continue to rise and demand will likely increase for food pantries and other services, increasing the need for volunteer time to deliver. You can find some volunteer opportunities listed on the Volunteer Connector website.
Above all stay safe and healthy during these times and know we are all in this together. Just a little bit further apart.