During this stressful and uncertain time, it is hard to know how to be a resource for those around you. If you are well and able, it’s important to lend a hand and support your community in any way possible. Whether you are donating to a local charity or helping out a neighbor at-risk, a little bit of love can go along way. We put together a list of ways you can support your fellow neighbors.
1. Be conscious of how you’re shopping.
As a result of this pandemic, more people are buying groceries and household products in bulk, both in-store and online; this has caused local grocers to take a hit. Next time you need to make a grocery run, make sure to visit your local grocery stores instead. Visit during less crowded hours, and limit yourself by not buying more than you need. Market Wagon and Green Bean Delivery are both Indianapolis-based grocery delivery services with a variety of local products, including meat, eggs, produce, and so much more. Also, avoid products labeled “WIC-approved” and buy an alternative, unless you are on the national WIC-program (or food stamps). These products are the only ones that people on food stamps can buy; once they are all out, they don’t have any more options—shop with your own needs and the needs of members of your community in mind.
2. Find ways to support businesses, like gift cards.
If you can afford to continue to support your favorite local businesses, such as restaurants, gyms, salons, etc., buying gift cards is a great way to show your support. This keeps revenue coming in for the business, and you can use the credit later on. Another way to help is by purchasing bags of beans at coffee shops. To support local gyms and fitness studios, find out if they are offering any online classes and memberships. Any way you can show your support and loyalty is greatly appreciated by local businesses.
3. Make donations where they’re needed.
Donate what you can to help maintain the health of your community. Communities around the country, including your own, are susceptible to taking a hard hit from this pandemic if they haven’t already. Donate to local charities, including homeless shelters, food banks, and other non-profit organizations in need. A local food bank, Gleaners has seen a significant increase in the number of our neighbors seeking help, due to COVID-19. And for just $20 you can provide a box of food for a family. To learn more or to donate, visit www.gleaners.org.
4. Be the neighbor you’d want to have.
During times like this, you come across more people lending a helping hand and touching the lives of those around them. If you’re well and able, do what you can to be that person for those around you. For friends, family, and neighbors that are at-risk, this is a uniquely devastating and challenging time. Keep those people informed of what the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends for preventing and preparing for the virus. Reach out to those neighbors and loved ones, and ask about ways you can help while maintaining social distance. Whether it’s a run to the grocery store, helping with some yard work, or assisting with any technical difficulties, make it known that you are happy to help.
5. Follow credible news sources.
Lastly, stay up to date on the latest news, both nationally and locally. It’s crucial to follow credible sources, and be skeptical of what you read on social media. If you’re suspicious of any information you hear, do your research by checking with a variety of sources. In times like these, we are more likely to find common ground and cooperate in ways that will reduce the harmful effects of this virus. Although this is a stressful time for everyone, we can all come together by supporting our communities and one another.