When the world hurts, those who naturally help want to, well, help. If you’re a natural helper, you may be torn between following shelter-in-place orders and finding a way to help your neighbor, encourage your friends, and being there for your family.
Fortunately, the 21st-century world is a very different place than previous eras. There are numerous ways for individuals, groups, and even businesses to reach out and support those around them while still following social distancing recommendations.
Support Local Businesses
One of the easiest ways to lend a helping hand is to redirect your spending towards local businesses. It’s tempting to take advantage of that Amazon 2-day shipping or those Walmart prices. However, if you can afford to pay a little more for your goods, you may want to put on a mask and head to the nearest mom and pop shop. Buying your products locally in this way can make a meaningful difference and indirectly aid your neighbors.
Whether you’re getting groceries at a nearby farmers market, hiring a small business owner to fix your computer, or ordering curbside pickup from a local restaurant, there are plenty of ways to be a part of bolstering your local economy. The best part? You get to benefit from their products and services as you go.
Set Aside Your Stimulus Checks
As a born helper, you may feel the need to help others financially, and there are certainly many cases where people are in financial need at the moment. As unemployment continues to rise, tens of millions of Americans are facing genuine financial concerns as they scramble to find ways to either pay or defer their bills. Sure, stimulus checks are in the process of being sent out, but many haven’t arrived yet.
If you’re the recipient of a stimulus check and you don’t need some or even all of the funds, one obvious way that you can help others is to give where you see a need. You may have even already done that.
If you haven’t, though, there’s another way you can wisely help with your stimulus check — by saving it. No, this isn’t a recommendation to stow it in a savings account or stash some cash under your mattress. It’s a call to save cash to give in the future.
No one truly knows what the economy will look like a few weeks, six months, or a year from now. While there are certainly real needs at the moment, many people are able to get by at the moment on emergency funds, credit cards, and personal loans. The real needs may become much more acute in the future, and that’s when having some money set aside to help others may be instrumental.
Lend a Tutoring Hand
As millions of students remain home from school for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, there are countless educational needs cropping up. If you have a child who is struggling to learn from home, one way you can help is to take the time to genuinely invest in setting up an education-friendly homeschool classroom for them to study in.
Even if you don’t have a student living within your own four walls, you can still find ways to reach out to others. If you have any friends who are trying to take care of their own children’s needs as they work remotely from home, you can offer to help by tutoring.
Set up a time each day or a few times a week where you can sit down over video chat and help them go through their homework. This can have a two-part effect of both helping a student that is struggling to learn in a strange, new environment and allowing their parents to focus on remote work, housework, or any other neglected responsibilities.
Remotely Uplift Spirits
Emotions have run high throughout the coronavirus shutdown, and sometimes the best way to help others is by simply looking for ways to lift their spirits from afar. There are numerous ways to do this:
- Do a drive-by “hello” for a birthday, a special event, or just to brighten someone’s day.
- Conduct “storytime” over video chat with younger family and friends.
- Set up remote gaming sessions, such as a multi-player video game, or even have everyone join a video call, share your screen, and then use a gaming site like jackbox.tv to play a party game remotely.
- Bring a social group together on a larger video conferencing site like Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts.
Regardless of the medium, there are plenty of ways to encourage others from afar.
Get Business Busy
Finally, it may be worth looking for ways to encourage your own company to get in on the remote good deed doing. There are plenty of companies already making a difference. Automakers, for instance, are shifting into making medical equipment and giving monetary donations.
What ways can your business help? Donations are nice and manufacturing is helpful, but even if your company isn’t in a position to do either of those, there are likely many ways they can impact their customers in the name of solidarity and togetherness. Spearhead brainstorming sessions to come up with ideas like paid volunteer hours or donating products in order to see what your company can do to help.
Helping During a Pandemic
From spearheading your company’s aid efforts to supporting local business and even conducting storytime over Skype, there are numerous ways to help while still maintaining social distancing. The crucial element revolves around the fact that you take stock of your situation, identify the needs, and then get proactive, offering support to those who need it.
Photo is from Pexels
Guest Author Bio
Magnolia Potter is a muggle from the Pacific Northwest who writes from time to time and covers a variety of topics. When Magnolia’s not writing, you can find her curled up with a good book.
Blog / Website: Magnolia Potter