9 Ways to Support Your Community During Tough Times

Shop locally, volunteer, buy gift cards and other ways to connect with those around you during the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted in , Sep 10, 2020

An online book club.

The coronavirus pandemic: it has impacted each and every one of us in ways that we could have never imagined or anticipated. Heading into the fall, the great shock of 2020 continues to bring many challenges, including uncertainty in our schools and our jobs. We’ve all been called to harness our inner strength to deal with the instability as we adjust to the new normal.  

Many of our communities have been severely impacted, with many service industries, gyms, stores, and restaurants fighting to survive; sadly, some have been forced to close their doors forever. And while this loss is hard to process, there is still so much goodness all around us, and we can all do our part to help those in need and spread positivity.

Here are nine ways you can support and connect with your community:

Shop locally. With so many small businesses suffering, you can lend your support by enjoying take out once a week at your favorite restaurant or visiting a beloved local boutique, toy store, or bookstore instead of shopping at a big box store. Many stores also offer curbside pick-up, which can be a safe way to support and shop!

Buy gift cards. If you aren’t comfortable with visiting businesses in person, you can also support them by buying gift cards for a future purchase or as a gift. This is a great way to support a gym, local salon, restaurant, and a spa, among others.

Spread the word. Another way to support without visiting a business in person is to show some love by sharing, posting, or re-sharing their messaging on social media. Online mentions and re-shares can reach your immediate community (and beyond) and help extend their engagement and reach.

Create a virtual group. Online communities are an especially fun way to connect with people in your community who have shared interest. Create a Zoom book club, virtual gardening group, or even a Facebook page about your neighborhood, highlighting local businesses and happenings.

Volunteer locally. Albert Einstein said: “Only a life lived for others is worth living.” You can give back to your community by helping out at a local garden, food bank or church, or by participating in a diaper drive or other event.

Donate. If you are able, a monetary donation can go a long way to your local community organization or non-profit. The money could also provide support to employees or be used for other internal needs.

Be consistent in your communication. While you may be socially distanced from those in your community, you can still check in by sending notes to let people know that you are thinking of them, organizing Zoom calls, or calling them to ask how they are doing. A friendly check-in goes a long way, especially for those who are alone or don’t have any family nearby.

Be a kindness leader. Kindness is free and something we can all share with others. You can check in on elderly members of your community by visiting them (if you feel safe), offer to go grocery shopping for them, help with small tasks, or simply ask people how they are coping through these tough times.

Reach out for help. Sometimes you are the one who needs support. You can reach out to your local church or community organization for advice or support or if you simply need someone to talk to. One thing that Covid-19 has taught us is that we are all in this together.

Connecting with your community—in both big and small ways— is vital in uplifting ourselves and others during these turbulent times.

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