Times of stress can lead to one of two things: growing together or growing apart. As our community encounters the uncertainty and stress of the current situation we are facing, my desire is to see this as an opportunity to support one another and build an even stronger network for each other to lean on, both now, and in the future. Here are some of the ways we can continue to grow together and encourage one another in this season:
- Shop local. This is always a good idea, but especially right now, as small businesses are feeling the effects of COVID-19 most keenly. What a fun excuse to pick up a latte from Eli’s, Leaves ‘n’ Beans, Breaking Grounds, Zion, or Four30! I also know many people are still supporting restaurants in the area – I, myself, have picked up Kemp 208 several times for dinner, as well as Monicals, Perdue’s in Tremont, Chick-fil-A, and Great Harvest Bread Co. for some examples. These are some small gestures that remind our local businesses how much we love them – not to mention just being able to enjoy delicious food and drink to brighten our days. It’s a win-win.
- Send some flowers. Flowers are such a great way to brighten someone’s day! Although we often reserve beautiful bouquets for special occasions and times of grieving, consider sending some “just because” flowers to a friend who would appreciate them. With people currently spending much more time at home than usual, this is an excellent way to gift someone a physical reminder that they are loved. AND you are also supporting Floral Designs, Johnson’s, and all the other floral shops in the area.
- Reach out to your neighbors. One of the most meaningful ways to build a strong community is simply to reach out to your neighbors. If you have a neighbor who is elderly, give them a call to check in on them and see if there is anything you can do for them. If your neighbor has young kids at home, consider dropping off some new coloring books at their doorstep for them to enjoy! These simple gestures go a long way in creating a network of support and encouragement that will far outlast the present circumstance. I have had many phone calls and talks with my clients, friends, family, and local business owners who just need a listening ear. You might not feel like you are doing much, but trust me, you are doing what’s most important.
- Personally deliver some baked goods. Sweets have way of turning any moment into a celebration! Make a morning scone run to Four30 and pick up a few extra to distribute around your neighborhood. This is a creative way to show others that you care, without requiring physical contact. It’s actually been my favorite way to show I care, since this quarantine, and I love seeing the faces of my clients and others that I love light up. Not only does it brighten their day, but it brightens mine that I am able to do it. You can also shop at So Chic Boutique, Louisa Jane, or any other local business and drop off a gift bag of goodies instead.
- Tip well. As we resort to staying inside our homes as much as possible, the delivery services of many restaurants and stores have come in handy more than ever. As delivery drivers and services are overwhelmed by the volume of orders, tipping generously is a way for us to show our appreciation for their work and invest in the future of our community. I often feel like this is one way we can show we care that is vastly overlooked – but it is super important.
Remember that nothing lasts forever! Although sometimes it is challenging to see past our current circumstances, let’s remember that this is only a season. I have been inspired to look for the unique blessings and opportunities in this time, and I hope you are as well. I pray we come out of this a stronger community. I would love to hear your ideas of supporting the community in this time, as well!