The last week flew by. Easter was just not like Easter, but my tulips are still holding up from brunch.
I want to write about the usual things and I have to tell you all I feel torn. I get up and read what so many are dealing with in our country with their health and so many millions unemployed and I feel wrong not bringing it up here. I know we need some distraction, but it seems like there should be more we can do than just keep ourselves and our own families happy.
I don’t like feeling like I can’t make a difference when I see so many are struggling right now. The monotony of things was getting me down and I needed something to feel like I can help with what is happening in this world.
I know a lot of us feel the same, so maybe if we focus outside of ourselves it will help get through this time. I’ve been trying to think of some good we can do, by donating some time or money and sharing kindness amongst us.
My family got an opportunity to make lunch weekly for a local pantry, Loaves & Fishes, that helps those in need. We have a weekly gig to make 100 lunches. It’s been good for four of us, and takes only an hour or so if we all work together. Those days feel busy and purposeful and I like that.
Some even made uplifting notes on the bags. I love that. Maybe next week we will too.
My friend Cindy and her daughter have been making masks for a local shelter that helps kids in need. When they couldn’t find supplies, her daughter thought of using old dresses and their straps to make these. So smart and innovative of her!
I just read two local boys used their piggy bank money and got a restaurant to partner and match their sandwiches they bought for a local sheriff station. For people who want to help others I read you can call local hospitals, fire or police station or shelters and see if they are accepting donations and then arrange to donate food at a particular time, and possibly even coordinate with a restaurant. This is a helpful page of local emergency food places that feed and can use donations or help in the South Bay area and this is the United States directory of food banks and soup kitchens so you can find one wherever you live to help. Each lists where they can use help or money. Those places are a real lifeline for even more people now.
I also like the charity Save The Children, which has been out there from the beginning helping with this pandemic. You can read more about them and donate on this page. One billion children are now out of school, which is a safe space for many of them. They are trying to help here at home and abroad.
The people in our nearest circles are those we can help most easily. If you have a housekeeper, a gardener or music teacher or someone in your life that does a service and lives paycheck to paycheck, I think it’s important at this time to pay them if you can. Many are not recognized by the government now as unemployed and some are not even able to access any aid at all. Give what you can and ask what they need.
Other ways we can all make a difference is in our own families, friends and neighborhoods. I sent a stack of cards off last week before Easter and plan to do more next week. A card, a text, or a call is all someone needs to know you are thinking of them. A lot of people live alone and may be feeling extra lonely right now. Some may be too proud to ask for help, even in your own family. You may have to bug them and ask what they need. Older people can be proud. I have already reached out to the one elderly neighbor who lives alone and she has assured me she needs no shopping and her boys are taking care of her. I am thinking of dropping her some magazines and flowers on the porch. She recently lost her husband and I cannot imagine how hard it is to be alone now.
Max and I have been talking about doing something for our neighborhood. We have received masks, chocolates and uplifting notes from our neighbors like this…
We want to find a way to bring some joy and let them know we are here in this together. Home made baked goods and food aren’t so welcome now so we’ve been brainstorming ideas. One way would be to help the local businesses at the same time and buy each a gift card for a restaurant take-away meal. Another idea is to buy each family a puzzle from our small nearby toy store to work on, or a bird feeder from bird watcher store around the corner and seed. Do you have suggestions for us?
A local place to find help or give help is Nextdoor, where people are offering to grocery shop for elderly or immune compromised people in their neighborhood. As some aren’t on the internet, others are leaving notes on their doorsteps with names and phones and the times they shop. I think this is so kind!
- Contact your hairdresser, barber or nail technician and offer to pay for a service to two ahead of time. You can send them a check or PayPal and they will appreciate having some money now.
- How are your teachers faring in this? Things are so different in each area. Many are working overtime to not only craft these online plans, but also help kids with online tutoring. Making a care package for your teacher with snacks, a book or some flowers or a plant are one way to say thank you. Also arranging to have a meal delivered to them or their family is very thoughtful.
- Leave a box on your doorstep with granola bars, cans of drinks and little packages of crackers for the UPS, FEDEX, mail and other delivery people. A kind note is a nice way to thank you for all the ton of packages they are delivering now to everyone while putting themselves at risk. If you know them personally like your mailman or package delivery guy a gift card to Starbucks or Safeway is thoughtful right now.
- The trash and recycling people are working overtime now. The recycling guy is now 4 days behind here as people are ordering and recycling so much. A note of thanks and a treat is one way to say we appreciate you being out there doing this for us all.
- Think about leaving a note of cheer in your neighborhood or walk with a sign, like this one I saw yesterday. Bowls of apples and dog treats are left by one sweet person’s home I walk by on the weekend and I have seen so many people begin to offer books in their front yard, even without a little library kiosk. I guess others are cleaning out and I saw a pretty china set put out as well. (Books and apples can be wiped down with alcohol- apples washed with hot soapy water, and books left out for a few days if you are concerned.)
- Leave a Teddy Bear or cute stuffed animal or drawing with a happy note in your window for local children to find on walks.
Notes in my neighborhood!
If you’re on Facebook, someone created a wonderful page called View From My Window as a way to connect us all together while we are sheltering all over the planet. People post their views and sometimes a little note about their life. The words of encouragement and kindness on here really warm the heart. I also love seeing the beautiful places around the world, while stuck at home like this below…
I also love Matt Haig and this from him..
Thinking of you friends and wishing you safe and well. Please leave me a note below for other ideas or ways to be helpful during this time.