How You Can Give Back to Your Community During COVID
By Zilana Lee
Helping others in your community can have the added benefit of increasing your own happiness and reducing your own stress levels. During Covid-19, there are numerous ways to do this and some are outlined below.
The most meaningful and important things you can do is to follow the safety measures required to protect yourself and everyone in the community. Wear a mask when out and about and practice social distancing. The good news is that CT currently has a low, 1% positivity rate (based on the number of tests reported and the number of those that were positive). For this good news story to continue, each person has a role to play so that everyone in the community can benefit.
Other ways you can help:
Supporting local restaurants and businesses:
Many restaurants are offering carry-out and this is a great way of supporting your favorite local eating places as they struggle during this period. In addition, ordering products online from a local business or purchasing gift certificates for those businesses to give to others, is another way to benefit those in your local community.
Helping pets and shelters:
Local animal shelters and rescue groups are reducing services but still need to care for their animals. The United States Humane Society suggests helping by adopting or fostering a pet, which will reduce the strain on shelters.
Greenwich has seen a surge in new home placements for dogs and cats during this Covid-19 period. Adopt-A-Dog shelter, just over the Greenwich border in Armonk NY, has a program which is enjoying great success. They offer a trial period in a “foster-care” arrangement, to make sure the placement is a good fit before the adoption goes through. This seems to work well for both the dogs and those considering adoption.
Pet food banks are also seeking volunteers to help with delivering the food, encouraging donations, and posting resources online.
Jewish Family Services:
JFS is looking for help with their “Supermarketing for Seniors” program during the pandemic to deliver groceries to Greenwich seniors sheltering in place. Volunteers introduce themselves via phone calls on a Thursday, giving the senior a friendly outlet for connection as well as transmitting information as to the delivery time on Friday.
On Fridays, groceries are picked up at a central location for door-to-door delivery. CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, use of masks, and hand sanitizing protocols must be followed. Volunteers must have checkable references, a valid driver’s license and up-to-date insurance on their car.
Neighbor to Neighbor Food Drive:
The Social Justice Committee of the Parish of St. Catherine of Siena and St. Agnes is continuing to help Neighbor to Neighbor by collecting food and other living essentials in a no contact format.
On Tuesdays, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., there is a car or SUV with an open trunk in the parking lot across from St. Catherine’s church where people can drop bagged grocery donations in the trunk, which are then taken to Neighbor to Neighbor for distribution to those in need.
Some of the food items requested are: peanut butter and jelly, oatmeal, canned meats/chili/chicken, Chef Boyardi Ravioli, tuna, canned fruit, black or red kidney beans, cereal, rice, and soup. Non-Food items needed include: toilet paper, toiletries, paper towels, sanitary products, cleaning products etc.
You can give back simply by reaching out to the people you know to find out how they are, ask if there’s anything they need, or just have a friendly chat. You could start with reaching out to those that are more vulnerable such as an elderly neighbor or friend, who may be cut off from social connections. You might consider baking something and leaving it outside their door to maintain social distance.