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I don’t know about you, but when something bad happens, I want to help. I think we are all in it together and we need to do what we can to encourage others during times of crisis.
One thing that helps me get through scary times is to reach out to other people and help in any way I can. I might make a meal for someone who’s working on a flooded house or had surgery. I might send diapers to a single mom who’s struggling. There are so many ways we can help.
Ways to build community
When a community is facing uncertainty, that’s the time to band together and meet each other’s needs. In our present situation, I have seen many people struggling with social distancing. It doesn’t bother me at all but many people aren’t used to staying home and cabin fever has them in a bind.
So what can we do to make staying home more fun for kids and families? What about sharing ideas of things to do at home that are just as fun as going out and doing things? Sharing easy dinner ideas for this relentless amount of cooking at home we’re all doing. Maybe even just put positive messages on facebook about how we are going to get through this.
It’s hard to remember that this will end and we’ll figure it out. The not knowing can to so overwhelming. So just hearing someone else say, we’re in this together and we’ll get through it means a lot.
Share scriptures or uplifting memes. We are a social media driven society and we can do a lot of good with that connection. Especially now when it’s one of our only ones. There is the tendency to be negative about the government or about the doom and gloom of it all, but if you find something positive, share the heck out of that and try to lighten the feed and bring hope to others.
I know all of the fear-mongering is exhausting for me. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I have been going through my feed and snoozing all the people who never have anything good to say about anything for the next 30 days. It’s helped my mental health a lot.
Creative ways to encourage others
Look around at what other people are doing to make the best out of our situation and come up with some creative solutions of your own. I have seen a ton of people putting rainbows, the sign of hope, in their windows. I’m going to do it today. Then other people can drive around and look for them for something to do to encourage them and entertain their kids. I love those kinds of ideas.
Another thing I’ve seen is an animal scavenger hunt. People place stuffed animals somewhere in their windows or yard and families can drive around and document what all they’ve seen. What a fun idea. In my neighborhood, we are doing a bear hunt. So I have teddy bears in all my windows. We drove around a couple nights ago and found animals on people’s mail boxes, in their gardens, and in their windows and it was fun for us too.
Build others up
What are some other ways we can help others during crisis? People are making meals and taking them to truckers at truck stops and manufacturing plants. I love that idea but since I have a home daycare, I’m staying away from everyone.
I cannot risk exposure when I’m making decisions for 7 other families besides mine. So no church, no store, no contact for me for right now. It’s the right thing to do for me.
But what can we do that doesn’t require risk of exposure? One of my daycare parents has an upholstery company and they are shut down right now, but they are using their space, divided by 8 feet between volunteers, working with their sewing equipment to sew masks to cover the masks first responders wear and extend the life since there is a shortage.
They have machines, thread, fabric, and skills and they are using it for good. If you know how to sew and have some cotton fabric, you can do it too. Find out if there’s a need in your area and get to it.
Another idea is to post on facebook allowing friends to share what they are in need of but can’t get. Others can see the need and post if they have extra. People can drop supplies off on porches and help people that way.
I wanted to come up with some solutions for busting boredom in my community, so I went through my art supplies and made up packets of miscellaneous art materials. I put a little table up outside and offered one per family for some creativity ideas.
Some had feathers, some pom poms, some beads, whatever I thought someone could use to create a masterpiece. People came and picked them up. I advertised on facebook on my page and my neighborhood watch.
I asked people to send me pictures of what they created and they came up with some really cool ideas.
The next week I did sidewalk chalk. I packed a few pieces of chalk in a baggie and set them on the table with a sign. I also asked the neighborhood to decorate everything. It was really fun to drive around and see the creations. Such a fun way to build community. Other people came and got them too from other neighborhoods.
What do you have around that you could share in this time? I’m going to do another weekend with playdough packs and one with bubble wands. I can’t think of anything else I have a lot of. But having a home daycare, I do have those things. If you are a daycare provider and you feel overwhelmed right now, check out this advice from an expert for times of crisis. I hope it helps.
I’ve also seen a ton of people in the neighborhood who are cleaning out their garages because they have time off right now. They are setting groups of toys on the curb and posting in the neighborhood watch group so other kids can come get them and have something new to do. Such a great idea and great way to build community.
Think about a way you can encourage someone without being with them. If you think creatively, you’ll come up with something you can do that no one else would be able to. Or do one of these things above. Many of them are free and easy, but they mean a lot to other people. This isn’t going to last forever. We will get through it. It’s hard, but we are resilient too.