How to Stay Connected
Staying connected to each other is more important than ever. Here are some ideas to inspire your own creativity.
Using FaceTime or other online meeting platforms (e.g., zoom), consider:
Have dinner at the same time with friends. Make the same thing at different locations and compare.
Throw an online game night or dance party.
Watch television shows together.
Create an online band, rehearse songs together. Here's a beautiful example from Italy.
Go online shopping together.
Do a book club.
Do the 36 Questions with friends. Yes, it is ok to do with friends. With a group, have each friend respond to the question, then go on to the next one.
Reach Out to Others
Reaching out to others right now will not only help others but it helps the helper: Helping others increases happiness and our own well-being. It is more important than ever right now to connect to your neighbors, and to offer help to those who are more vulnerable and have fewer resources right now.
Here are some things you can do:
Check on your neighbors (call, text, or leave a note under their door or in their mailbox), especially if they are elderly. You might write a note with a short message -something like, "I'm your neighbor, and am reaching out in case you might need something. Please let me know if I can help."
Pay babysitters, housecleaners, and others who you financially support even if services have been put on hold.
Provided you are not at elevated risk, offer to go grocery shopping for friends or family who are at risk.
Reach out to those who may be lonely via phone, Facetime, email or Skype.
Teach a skill over YouTube (how to draw, sing, cook, etc.)
If you know a health care worker, first responder or someone with an essential job, offer to do chores for them (e.g. childcare, pet sitting, making meals, etc.), or just call them and ask if they need anything.
If you can sew (or want to learn), make face masks for your family and friends.
Support your local Asian market, which may have fewer customers due to racism surrounding the virus.
If this is consistent with your local social distancing guidelines, on Nextdoor.com, start a teddy bear hunt for kinds and families going on walks by asking neighbors to put up teddy bears in their windows.
Build a Neighborhood Pod.
Create simple art projects and leave them on your neighbors' doorsteps or send them to local nursing homes.
Order delivery or buy gift cards from restaurants that need help right now.
Give money to any social service group you value.
If you live in apartments or condominiums, put your name and number on a post it, add "I'm your neighbor let me know if you need anything," and slide it under doors.
Use nextdoor.com, post flyers or post on facebook.
Give blood! The red cross notes that this can be done safely.
Donate to Direct Relief.
Volunteer for Meals on Wheels.
Find your local shelters and donate or ask if they need help.
Donate to the YWCA.
Support local food banks.
Be creative, this list is just meant to spark your own ideas, things that fit your resources and your budgets. We are concerned that people with fewer resources will have a harder time making some of these connections happen. Many of the ideas in the above list can be achieved just with phones. Any connection is better than no connection.
What are you doing? Do you have other ideas? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add them to our list.