When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers
Mr. Rogers’s mother was wise to suggest we look for the best in humanity in the middle of a crisis. After all, helpers are easy to find when the world looks daunting and scary. They’re the ones running toward the problem while everyone else is running away. They’re the ones bringing solutions, encouragement, and hope. They’re the ones shining a light in the darkness.
While there’s a great deal of negativity flooding the headlines these days, there’s also an abundance of good news, joy, and inspiration. Every blogger, author, and social influencer has flocked to social media in the past few weeks with what they hope will be helpful tips, lifehacks, or profound musings regarding our current COVID-19 pandemic.
In an online world full of death tolls, quarantines, and Coronavirus memes, we want to shine a bit of light into the darkness from our little corner of the internet, too. We want to be helpers and we want to show you how you and be helpers, too.
Want to see what love can do during a pandemic? Love can…
#1: Love can bring joy to the elderly. They don’t have social media to keep them connected like we do, so a little love in a letter or phone call can go a long way. Call your grandparents. Send cards to older relatives in nursing homes or those confined to their homes. Don’t have older relatives? A simple post on Facebook led to my inbox getting flooded with addresses of my friends’ relatives who could use a bit of cheer via snail mail.
#2: Love can bring comfort to kids. Just like young Fred Rogers, our children today are overwhelmed with images and ideas that seem very scary and difficult to understand. They miss their friends at school. They don’t understand why they can’t go to gymnastics and soft ball practice. And now everyone seems tense. But love can bring them comfort! Try reading a children’s book on video to send to your niece and nephew. Play “ding dong ditch” by dropping off some kid-friendly goodies on your neighbor’s front porch. Hang hearts or teddy bears in your windows for kids to enjoy in a safe and socially distanced scavenger hunt. Donate books to The Learning Movement’s Little Free Libraries.
#3: Love can help protect others. We can’t all be doctors, nurses, or scientists who are fighting this disease, but there are many other ways we can help. Many hospitals, nursing homes, and first responders have requested home-sewn face masks. Joann, the popular craft and sewing supply chain, makes it simple for us to meet this need by offering step-by-step instructions for sewing these masks as well as offering supply kits, tutorials, and collection sites. Got some extra toilet paper or cleaning supplies? Communicate with neighbors from the safety of your phone or computer and arrange to share resources to meet the needs of others. Offer to pick up groceries or prescriptions for older neighbors or those who are at a higher risk of infection. Donate groceries locally to The Picnic Project to help feed the hungry in our community.
#4: Love can help small businesses. Businesses around the world are suffering during this time of isolation and many small businesses are fearing they may never recover from the loss. But love for our neighbors and our communities means that we can do our part to help keep them afloat. You may not be able to dine in or shop at your favorite local shop, but chances are you can order take-out or purchase gift certificates to be used later. Palate Coffee can be ordered for curbside service using the Joe App by texting “coffee” to 474747 while Palate Bubs & Ice Cream offers pints to go and the opportunity to purchase e-gift cards for future use. And don’t forget, a little patience and kindness can make a big impact.
#5: Love can help local charities. When people stop working, they stop giving. And when people stop giving, charities are unable to help meet the needs of the community. Love can help those charities meet the needs of others when you and I decide to give generously online. We can also share giving opportunities on social media and remind others to reach beyond themselves during this difficult time. Since sharing is caring, I’ll let you know that you can donate to Love Missions by clicking here.
#6: Love can fight human trafficking. Predators do not stop stalking and grooming their victims during a pandemic so we will not stop fighting against them. There are several things you can do to help love win out over this evil atrocity. Swing by Palate Coffee Brewery and/or Palate Bubs & Ice Cream for “a cup or a cone for a cause”. Your purchase at either location directly supports our crusade against human trafficking. You can also fight trafficking by monitoring your children even more closely now that they are home and probably spending more time on the internet. Finally, love can compel you to spend time becoming informed and educated about the signs, methods, and statistics of human trafficking.
See what love can do?
This list is far from complete. We would love to hear what YOU have seen love do during this pandemic. Please join in the conversation on social media!
Heather Tabers, Love Missions Volunteer