Without jumping right into the cliched “in unprecedented times like these” or “now more than ever we have to look out for each other”, no doubt everyone has noticed things are not like they used to be.
The COVID-19 pandemic has required everyone to be confined to their homes for the past two months, and all non-essential businesses have closed their doors; consequently the sense of community felt before might not be felt as strongly now.
That doesn’t change the fact that the wellness of the community is still important, and there are many ways that we can show our support, even during a pandemic. You may not think your contribution plays a large role on its own, but with everyone taking part, we can all make a big difference. Here are a couple ideas on how you can support your community right now and in weeks to come.
Support local businesses
Small and local businesses play a key role in a community’s economy, but right now many shops are facing the fact that they may not be able to survive much longer, or reopen after quarantine ends. It’s a great time for members of the community to come together and spend their dollars on locally owned companies, as opposed to chain stores that are more likely to stay afloat through the pandemic.
To support shops, cafés and other businesses in your area right now, consider buying gift cards to spend at a later date, or writing recommendations and reviews on social media. If they have the option to order online, make a purchase or order for contactless pickup – every bit helps. Many shops and restaurants are also giving out coupons with orders made now, so that you can come back post-quarantine with a discount.
Support neighbours and other community members
Another way to keep the community in happier spirits is to reach out to neighbours and friends. That could be something as simple as a phone call or text, or something thoughtful like a letter in their mailbox or an offer to pick up items from a store for them (this can be very helpful for any elderly neighbours you might have).
If you have kids at home, a fun idea could be to create a chalk mural on your driveway, or the sidewalk outside your home. Or dig up some craft supplies and help them design a mural that can be hung in the window, offering kind words of support.
It’s also super important amid the calls for racial justice in the United States – and ultimately North America as a whole – that we remember to support and reach out to all members of the community. Marginalized communities here – and across the country – need help from everyone. There are many resources online that you can look to for ways in which you can help and show your support.
Now, more than ever before, creating wellness in our communities starts with listening to those seeking justice and equality.
Support local charities
Additionally, you can support your community by researching some local charities and find ones that are helping the public right now, and which may need assistance through donations or supplies. Many charities in your town, city, or even province, are most likely channeling their efforts towards providing services to vulnerable Canadians, and those on the frontlines, during this pandemic. Many non-profits right now are facing funding shortfalls, so donations from able community members are happily accepted.
All in all, we are each experiencing new struggles during this quarantine. We can probably all agree that coming out the other side of this will also be a unique challenge, and the best thing for all of us is to stick together and support our communities.