We’re now nine months into COVID-19, and until a vaccine is available, we’re still focused on staying active and staying safe. The virus has impacted all of our lives, but it’s taken a toll on our communities too.
The good news is that you have the power to safely reach out and make a positive difference with simple acts of kindness and charity that will help others see joy and hope in the midst of struggle. You may even inspire others to do the same, creating a ripple effect of goodwill in your community.
Seven simple ways to help your community right now
- Support small, local businesses. If you’re someone who buys holiday gifts at this time of year, consider purchasing gift certificates from small local businesses who have been hardest hit during the pandemic. Your loved ones will enjoy getting to choose the perfect item or planning a takeout dinner for after the holidays using your generous gift.
- Shop for others. If you have family members or friends who are older or immunocompromised, offer to pick up things they might need while you’re out and about. Outings are riskier for these groups, so they will surely appreciate your care and concern.
- Stop panic buying. Take only what you need to last between grocery store visits or deliveries. Panic buying was rampant at the beginning of the pandemic, but we all learned that there really was enough to go around. The same is still true now.
- Donate as often as you can. If you’re able, pick up a few nonperishable food items for your local food bank, and continue supporting other charities doing work that helps to keep your local community strong and healthy.
- Donate blood. If you can safely do so, consider donating blood, plasma and platelets. Call ahead to ensure that you are eligible, since some guidelines have changed due to COVID-19. Visit Canadian Blood Services, The American Red Cross or Give Blood in the UK. Blood and blood products are still urgently needed, and are the most precious gifts you can give.
- Safely volunteer. You can still make an impact by volunteering virtually without leaving your home. Or you can find safe ways to help by contacting local charities to find out what their needs are. Or, visit MyForesters.com to see what Community Volunteer activities are currently scheduled in your area.
- Keep in touch. Pick up the phone and call family, friends and neighbors to check in, particularly during periods of bad weather. Staying connected will help you manage feelings of isolation, and help those you reach out to feel loved and cared for.
Remember, we’re all in this together. We can help each other through this difficult time by being kind, being aware of the needs of others and stepping in to do whatever we can to make a positive difference in the lives of the people around us.
417965B CAN/US 12/20