Ordinary Ways to Give Back During Extraordinary Times
Dear Readers: From singing on the balcony to community cheers for those on the front lines to young people grocery shopping for elderly neighbors, people around the world are reaching out in support of others during these difficult days. If there's a bright spot to what we're all going through, it's that a crisis seems to bring out a positive side of our human spirit: the desire to help.
Today, with so many people facing extraordinary personal and financial challenges, there are lots of ways for all of us to help. From small personal gestures to larger contributions, if you have the desire to give back to your community, now is a perfect time.
Show your appreciation by giving what you can.
While many of us stay safely at home, there are others performing extra services. Are you having your groceries delivered? Ordering takeout? Tip generously. Or how about buying gift cards from a small business or restaurant? Whatever and however you give, any extra dollars will be greatly appreciated -- and are well deserved by those out there risking their own safety for the good of others.
There are also many people who help us in our everyday lives whose incomes have taken a big hit -- people like nannies, housekeepers and landscapers. If you have the means, consider keeping them on your personal payroll. If that's not possible, consider offering to pay them something in advance until things get back to normal.
The extra money you can afford to give will mean a tremendous amount to the individuals you pay. But don't overstretch your finances; give only what you can. Even a little can mean a lot. And the fact that you care enough to offer may mean even more.
Small personal gestures have a big impact.
Of course, it isn't always about giving money. Check with older neighbors to see if they need something from the market or the pharmacy, and offer to pick it up for them. A friend of mine in her 70s made such an offer to her 90-year-old neighbors. Then she was offered the same courtesy by some 50-year-olds who live across the street!
No matter your age or your need, just knowing that someone else is willing to look out for you can make all the difference.
Supporting your community expands your reach.