Time is a funny thing. We have been working from home for the past four months. It seems much longer than that, but if I were on sabbatical for four months it would have gone by in the blink of an eye. But why is that? Perhaps it is because I felt needed and useful if I was able to help out. Being tucked in safe at home I do not feel as useful to my community. But then I realized I am able to help out my community during this time. Here are some ideas on how you can put some of your community energy:
Cleaning out. So, we all did this at the beginning of our quarantine, but have you disposed of your belongings? If your items are still hanging around the house in garbage bags, I think it is time to contact your local goodwill. Many are open and have designated drop off times and locations. You can also donate your items to independent thrift stores or consignment shops to make a couple of extra dollars. Please be kind and only donate good items. You can toss the old VHS tapes.
Organize a virtual walk/5k. I see these on Instagram all the time. Just because we are not able to join together for a race does not mean that we cannot do it virtually. Have friends and colleagues keep track of their steps/minutes walking and donate proceeds (if any) to a local organization that needs funding. Make it even more fun and have t-shirts designed for all those who participate!
Your parish. I see this multiple times a day in emails from local churches. They need ushers to help with both indoor and outdoor masses. Many are there to help families navigate the new normal in attending mass. Without ushers some parishes may not be able to continue to hold mass. We want everyone to be safe and keep social distancing with a mask, and we also want for those who like to attend mass to be able to do so safely.
Food pantries. For those in your community who have lost their job because of Covid they are able to lean on food pantries for staples in their diet. You can start small and donate food items you purchased but turns out you do not like (goodbye Albacore tuna pouches…). If you look at your labels prior to purchasing your food, you can then shop staple items for the pantry. Many need fresh fruit and vegetables, proteins such as chickens and eggs, and sometimes you just want to surprise people with a treat of bakery cookies. There is no wrong food to purchase!
There are so many ways to be a community band aid! These are just a few! How are you helping your community while at home?