While our world is suffering right now, it also is seeing incredible acts of kindness! People helping neighbors, communities and their families; all to try and get us all through this devastating viral outbreak. We have heard from many families that they want to help too, but don't quite know how. We have put together a list of ways you can help show kindness during this time; some that require donations/funding, while others are FREE!
Share with us how YOU are showing kindness in our comments~
#1 Simply Say Thank You
When you go out for essential items, be sure to THANK those working at the grocery stores, the gas station, the pharmacy, etc. These folks are not able to stay home with their families, and they are exposing themselves to all the germs that people bring with them. They are working tirelessly to keep their business going to support US. Thank Them!
#2 Find families or neighbors that are in need
Look around the NICU and see if there are families that may be in need of something. Do they need groceries? Offer to grab them things when you venture out, so you can share the amount of exposure you yourself are getting. Are families expressing anxiousness and fear? Share with them resources you have found that have been helpful. (*Share with them our previous blog posts!) Maybe while you are home you notice a neighbor that needs help with simple tasks, like taking their trash can out. Just take time to look around you and see where there is need, and step in! It's amazing how much your emotional tank can fill up, simply by helping others.
#3 Write Letters & Cards
Do you remember the last time you received a random note from a friend or relative? Or the last time someone surprised you with a Thank You card sharing their appreciation for what you do? We rarely take the time to send these any more, but they can mean the WORLD to the recipient. Take time to sit and write letters to friends and family you haven't seen in a while. Or send a note of encouragement during this stressful time. Let family and friends know you are thinking of them.... it will completely brighten their day!
Sending thank you cards to those you appreciate right now also can be very powerful. Here at Patient+Family Care, we are trying to send a new Thank You card each day to someone (or some place) we want to thank. For example, the stores we have had to visit, the pharmacy that filled our family's medications, the pediatrician office, the hospital staff, the hospital administration, the mailman, the fire station, the police station, the City Utility Department, the school district....... and so on. When you sit and really think about the tremendous community efforts that are taking place, we want to help show our appreciation by a simple act of kindness.
#4 Shop On-Line
You don't necessarily need to leave your house to shop for others, which is PERFECT for the orders of us to stay home. Amazon is overwhelmed right now with the number of deliveries, but if the purchase takes a few extra days to get to the recipient.... that's okay! Or better yet, shop Local and find stores that are now delivering their services or goods, and keep business going in your own community.
What to send??? Send basic necessities someone needs. Send a sentimental little gift just to cheer them up. Surprise young kids with activity books or games so they have new things at home to keep them busy. There are endless possibilities!
#5 Support Local Non-Profits
Check out the local non-profits in your community and find a list of their needs. So many local charities are in existence to help families and those in need, and they are now the ones needing our support in order to maintain their services to clients.
Ronald McDonald House Charities: They provide a home away from home for families who have a child in need of medical treatment away from home. See if you can take in a meal, bring in groceries, bring in new toys, bring toiletry items, new stuffed animals.... they usually have a donation wish list and it would be so helpful to help fill their needs requests. Families of medically fragile children need to be extra cautious and should stay at the house or hospital and not go out. Are you a NICU Family staying home or at a house? Let family and friends know what needs you have, or the house has, and let them shower you with kindness!
Elderly Support Services (Adult Protective Services): There are amazing organizations that provide support and resources for our elderly. Reach out to them to see if there is something you can do to help them in this difficult time.
Meals on Wheels: There are so many individuals that rely on Meals on Wheels for nutritious and complete meals to live. Can you help prepare meals? Can you help deliver? Reach out to see if they have any needs and do any little part you can to help keep their services going.
Veteran Organizations: Sadly, there are so many veterans who need our help! Thankfully many communities have local veteran organizations that likely could use donations or support from their community right now, in order to keep caring for our Veterans. Find out what is available near you and find out if they have any needs.
School Districts' Nutritional Services: Many children rely on school meals as their primary source of nutrition. With schools closed, hundreds of people are doing what they can to still provide meals for kids who need them. Maybe you could spare one or two afternoons to help prepare meals, or help deliver them.
Local Health Care offices and Hospitals: We are hearing every day in the news how low supplies are of personal protective equipment (PPE) for our front line health care workers. Many hospitals and doctors offices are asking for volunteers to help MAKE masks and gowns. There are certain requirements for these, so reach out to those organizations and ask if they need help. You can then get the specifications directly from them. Don't know how to sew? NO PROLEM! You can help by purchasing supplies, or helping with deliveries.
Keep Following for more tips on how to survive this COVID-19 outbreak!