I am grateful and honored to work for a company that was recently able to donate one million masks to help with the personal protection equipment (PPE) shortage through our “A Million Masks. A Million Thank Yous.” initiative. You can read more about it in the blog by one of our partner distributors of the donated masks, DonatePPE.org. And here’s Debbie Bolton, Norwex Co-Founder and Global Chief Sales Officer, announcing this initiative.
I’ve also been inspired by all the creative ways people are finding to help their communities and families, as well as ways to thank healthcare professionals and other essential workers. As “sheltering-from-home” fatigue begins setting in for many, I thought I’d share some of my favorite ideas. They’re easy to do and are likely to make your own spirits soar. In the words of the great Booker T. Washington: “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”
If you have neighbors, friends or family who may be feeling isolated, reach out with a call or card or through social media. Set up scheduled, daily check-ins with the elderly or anyone you know who lives by themselves. Knowing you care will help them feel they’re not alone.
Use a neighborhood social app like Nextdoor to keep up with what’s happening in your area. I’ve discovered a network of caring people offering to help their more vulnerable neighbors by running errands like picking up groceries, offering to walk people’s dogs, loaning books, donating magazines and even giving away some spare tissues or toilet paper.
I recently saw a family on the news who had a “Give and Take” table in their front yard. Anyone was welcome to take items they needed and leave items they didn’t need that might help others.
You can donate blood, foster an animal (what a great time to help shelters while reaping the rewards of enjoying some unconditional love) or while you’re on that grocery store run, if your budget allows, you can pick up some extra items for the local food pantry.
Remember, if you have essential workers who live in your neighborhood, they can likely use some help or words and gestures of encouragement, too.
The classics are as true now as ever, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends eating healthy meals, exercising regularly, fitting in time to relax, connecting with others and getting plenty of sleep. They also suggest taking breaks from watching or listening to the constant barrage of news stories about Covid-19. Everyone deals with this unprecedented situation differently; kids and teens may find it especially unsettling. You’ll find a wealth of information and resources on the CDC website about the Covid-19 virus and recognizing the signs of and dealing with the stress it can cause.
On a lighter note, there are so many ways to help keep your kids entertained and learning while you stay at home. Here are few great resources I’ve found: “Avoid Cabin Fever With These 125 Ideas to Keep Kids Entertained During the Coronavirus Crisis” from parade.com, “Coronavirus and Kids” which includes tips on talking to your kids about coronavirus from savethechildren.org, and “101+ Ideas to Keep your Kids Busy During Coronavirus Closures” from forbes.com. While so much togetherness can be trying, I think it’s important to look at the very bright side of having this rare, precious time to spend with your family.
When New Yorkers started the “Clap Because We Care” movement—when people of New York stop what they’re doing and clap, bang pots and pans, and even ring cowbells at night during healthcare professionals’ shift changes—I was moved. Now I love watching the videos of people who wake up to cheer the essential workers in their own neighborhoods, across the country and around the world, as they head off to work. There’s such a sense of solidarity and support.
Some of my other favorite gestures include leaving snacks and water out for delivery people, purchasing small gift cards at the grocery store checkout and distributing them to the surprised store employees, putting signs of encouragement in yards for workers to see, using sidewalk chalk, ribbons and posters to decorate the mail carrier’s route to say thank you, treating workers to lunch or coffee, sending flowers to brighten a workplace, and of course, people simply expressing their sincere thank-yous, and perhaps most importantly, following and respecting social distancing rules. Whatever your budget, there’s a way to show you appreciate all these amazing people and what they do for you. Be sure to get the kids involved, too. There’s a great lesson in understanding the important roles so many people play in our lives and in keeping the world running.
It’s said a lot, but we truly are stronger together. I believe that kindness has a power that will help see us through these times and carry us into a brighter future!
Up until and during the time of the Civil War, you had to go to the post office to pick up your mail. Joseph Briggs of Cleveland, Ohio, is credited with coming up with the idea of free mail delivery in 1863 to help the many customers who waited in long lines, often in freezing weather, to get news of their loved ones fighting in the war. The idea was adopted by other U.S. cities and eventually became the home mail-delivery norm we take for granted today.