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How to Help in the Face of the Coronavirus Crisis

These are stressful times. There’s no way around that.

But what we are facing is not insurmountable – our ancestors have been through world wars and pandemics, and they came through it stronger than they were before. We know this, because we are here today. With difficult times comes the need for action. Many of us our knee-deep in our journey as parents, while also trying to navigate a new way of working, and the thought of taking on one more thing can seem overwhelming. There are simple ways to help, however, that can make a big difference along the way. Here are just a few:

Look out for our senior citizens

Our community’s seniors are at the greatest risk amid COVID-19. Becky Wass of Cornwall, England, came up with a brilliant plan to help the senior citizens in her area. She created a simple postcard that would allow her to reach out to seniors in her area, who could in turn let her know how she could best help them. Now you can use this printable template to share this postcard in your neighborhood, while following CDC guidelines for social distancing at all times. Whether it is a bag of groceries, a quick phone call, or simply just knowing that someone is willing to help – this postcard can go a long way to ensure our seniors don’t feel alone at this scary time. 

Order from your favorite local restaurant

The restaurant industry has been hit across the board, but smaller local establishments and mom-and-pop shops are particularly struggling to keep their doors open. Helping these businesses stay afloat will help our local economy, which strengthens our community as a whole. Many have come up with creative ways to continue to offer their services. Start by checking the website, Instagram or Facebook page of your favorite spots to see if they are offering carry out at this time, and whether they will be using a delivery service like GrubHub, DoorDash or UberEats, or if they will be offering take-out or curb-side pick up only. Some, like local-fave, Baby’s, are offering both options. If you feel more comfortable cooking for yourself for now, why not go online and order gift cards from your favorite spots to be used when we are back to business as usual (and we WILL get there!)

Check in on local businesses – virtually

The restaurant industry isn’t the only service industry struggling right now. Your local swim school, gymnastics facility, art center, recreation center, and many more have all had to shutter their businesses for now. Thankfully, many are finding ways to stay connected with the community. Ninja Zone is helping to keep kids moving with their Move it Mornings on Facebook every morning at 10:30 a.m., Indy Parks & Rec is offering virtual story hours and Carmel Clay Parks & Rec is leading all-level fitness classes and Q&A sessions with their Natural Resources Coordinator via Facebook Live. That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to virtual offerings. Many of these places are also still taking enrollments for summer camps (did we mention, this WILL pass!) and planning ahead for your kid’s future adventures can help these business when they need it most – today. Click here for some great summer camp options.

Take care of yourself

This situation we are now faced with is unprecedented – and scary. On top of that, chances are you are now playing the role of homeschool teacher, housekeeper, chef, parent – on top of your 9 to 5 workload that is now being performed from your dining table or the corner of your couch. That is a lot for anyone to handle, and our kids need us now more than ever, so it is important to be sure we keep our mental and physical health in tact. Start by reading this poignant piece by Kate Fisch of Northside Mental Health. Then, be sure to carve out at least a few minutes of time each day for yourself, whether that means joining in on a virtual workout session, hosting a virtual happy hour, reading a book or enjoying the arts from the comfort of your couch.

The phrase, “We are all in this together,” has likely never been so true. We will get through this, and taking a little time to help others and yourself will go a long way in the process. 

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