Last week I shared with you some of the little (and big) things that people are doing to help people while we all practice social distancing. Readers commented, sent emails, and chatted with me on the phone. So here is a list of what has been shared so far. Maybe these actions will inspire you with an idea of how to use your own talents, but if nothing comes to mind, sit back, let this list bring a smile, and praise God for making us in His image!
- Online local church services. While congregations will be happy to visit with friends in person once again, the novel experience of church streamed into their homes has been surprisingly enjoyable!
- Educational subscription services have offered to help families adapt to e-learning at home–free of charge.
- Businesses have suspended late fees and are accepting partial payments from those who have been laid off during the pandemic. If you are in this predicament and haven’t done so yet, check with the businesses that you deal with.
- Individuals and library staff are reading stories online to benefit young children.
- Hospitals and nursing homes are accepting donations of gloves, N-95 masks, and regular protective masks. Alicia Rollins (email her at: Alicia.firstname.lastname@example.org) in Hannibal, Missouri, is the contact I have who is the volunteer coordinator at Hannibal Regional Healthcare .If you live in that area of the country, contact her. If not, check your local hospital and ask for a person who meets the description of the volunteer coordinator. She also sent me a link about how to make a protective mask.
- In the Indianapolis area, my friend has been sending her masks to St. Vincent’s and local nursing homes.
- One group of church volunteers has created a call list. Each of the thirty-seven members of this newly-formed group checks on a specific list of church members during the week. Then, the list rotates, so the volunteers check on a different list of church members the next week. Every church member is contacted every week, but they get to talk to a different friend during each phone call.
- Some churches down south have connected in person, sort of. The pastor and worship team lead the service outdoors. Church members remain in their cars in the parking lot. It looks like an old-style drive-in theater!
- Some churches are offering “drive-by” Communion. The elements have been packaged individually and with great care to avoid contamination. Members drive by the church, stop to open their window, and receive the package. I assume they drive home and gather the family for a special Eucharist service.
- A friend is part of sing-along group. They tried an online meeting and sang to each other that way. Their temporary new-normal.
- The same friend also recommended a local singer who has put his Sunday and Wednesday concerts online. Click on the link for his most recent. We may not be able to attend a concert, but uplifting live music in our homes could be the next best thing.
- A friend who deals with health issues so must remain socially isolated right now shared his gratitude for the wonderful neighbor who made his favorite soup and homemade bread, and left it on his porch.
- An ICU nurse shared this story: she had finished another twelve-hour shift and was so exhausted she didn’t have the energy to scrape the frost off of her windshield. She sat in the car and was waiting for the defroster to do its job, when a stranger knocked on her window. “My wife’s a nurse,” he said. “I know what you’re going through. I’ll get this windshield cleared, and you can get yourself back home.”
That last one REALLY touched my heart. When we search for ways to help, it’s those smallest of favors that can mean so much!
So I will repeat what I said in my last post. If you know of a kindness done for another, share it with me. I would be happy to keep adding to this list!
God bless you all as we continue to preserve health while helping others.