Here’s How to Find Inspiration and Give Back During the Crisis
At this point, you have heard this before, even from our own blog: we are living in uncertain times. This phrase has been used so often recently, it feels frighteningly surreal.
But it is true. Our world is hurting right now, and although this is a scary thought, we don’t know what the world after this crisis looks like.
Whether people are bravely battling this virus on the frontlines or self-isolating to protect the more vulnerable, we are living in a never-ending world of the unknown. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the negativity and the fear of what is going on around us.
But I do believe that our humanity isn’t lost.
In times of crisis, the world finds a way to show the beautiful side of us all. The one that brings out the best in us. The one that takes our differences aside to unite us as one.
Though most of us are isolated, we can still come together and make a difference. We can still lend a helping hand to one another.
Here are some of the stories that are lifting our spirits, plus some actions we can all take to help bring humanity back into our community.
Stories We’re Inspired By
One act of good is enough to start a movement that brings joy to a community when it is needed most.
Shelters Around the Country See a Surge of Support
While we are encouraged to shelter in place, furry friends are rejoicing at the thought of being at home with their favorite people, especially our office dogs. And people are feeling inspired to use this extra time at home to welcome in new family members through adopting and fostering as shelters close down.
My hometown of Buffalo, New York, prides itself on being The City of Good Neighbors, and the city is holding up to that standard right now. The SPCA Serving Erie County, NY shared that one of their locations was completely emptied. When was the last time you saw that happen?
Even right here in Atlanta, shelter puppies from Atlanta Humane got a once-in-a-lifetime tour of the Georgia Aquarium, where they ran, played and made friends with some crazy creatures. Keep an eye out for these cute puppies, who will be available for adoption soon.
Our puppies just had the best. day. ever.— Atlanta Humane (@atlantahumane) March 26, 2020
They got to explore the @GeorgiaAquarium while it is closed to the public. They made all sorts of exciting discoveries and lots of new friends! pic.twitter.com/f0iHXfq3AF
Finding New Ways to Celebrate Big Occasions
People across the country are getting inventive as they come up with new ways to come together, like creating their own parade of cars to celebrate momentous occasions. In just one heartwarming example, this community came together to support Coco, who finished her last round of chemo.
Jerry from Netflix’s “Cheer” Spreads Positivity
If you need a bit of mat talk in your life, Jerry is here to give words of encouragement to all, a resounding message of resilience for athletes who had their seasons cut short or postponed.
Communities Say Thank You to Healthcare Workers
In cities across the globe, people are uniting in spirit to say thank you to medical workers. From Italy to Turkey, New York City and even here in Atlanta, communities are taking time out of their day to step out on their balconies together to cheer, clap and yell their appreciation for everyone risking their lives to care for others in a beautiful display of the human spirit.
Right here in Midtown, residents have been coming together every night at 8 p.m. to give thanks to medical workers during their shift change. A few Nebo folks were able to experience this from their homes, and it was nothing short of magical. See the video captured below and you will be reassured that we truly are all in this together.
How You Can Support Your Community Today
We’ve compiled a list of just some of the ways you can give back during this time in any community, but have provided specific organizations and resources actively working to support the Atlanta community. Check them out below!
Flatten the Curve with Social Media
The social media community is stronger than ever as people share their experiences staying home, quarantining or candidly expressing how they have been affected by COVID-19. As a PR and social media specialist, I understand how it may seem arbitrary to prioritize social media right now.
However, it can be a powerful tool to encourage your social network to stay at home who may not be taking warnings very seriously. Utilize Instagram’s Stay Home sticker to share how you are helping to #FlattenTheCurve and inspire others to do the same.
Donate to a Charity Through Your Purchases
You can donate directly to a charity in need year-round with your purchases, but contributing now could help save a nonprofit organization during this uncertain time. Add a charitable organization of your choosing through Amazon Smile or your Kroger Plus Card. With all of your purchases, proceeds will be donated directly to the cause.
Set HOPE Atlanta (ID #53461) as your charity of choice to fight homelessness and donate to at-risk populations in Atlanta.
Support Local Businesses Through To-Go Orders and Gift Card Purchases
Your favorite restaurants and local businesses are relying on generosity at this time to stay in business. Consider buying gift cards to your favorite spots and dedicating one day a week to order takeout (or drinks to go) from within your local neighborhood and be sure to leave an extra tip for their employees. Here’s an updated list of restaurants open and closed.
To further support service workers who are going without pay or may have been temporarily laid off, the Giving Kitchen is seeking donations to help provide financial assistance.
Set Up an Appointment to Donate Blood
Hospitals are in desperate need of supplies, but urgently also need donors. The American Red Cross is urgently seeking blood and platelet donations. The amount of donors has, unsurprisingly, sharply dropped off as more people comply with social distancing recommendations.
Safely donate blood by setting up an appointment with your local Red Cross location now.
Support Children in Need of Food and School Supplies
As children and teens finish school remotely, those who rely on school resources, like school lunch, are left at risk of not having access to the supplies or nourishment they need while schools are closed.
Atlanta Public Schools is offering Emergency Food Distribution Sites and working with other local organizations to provide school supplies. Click here to learn how to volunteer or donate.
Adopt or Foster from a Local Shelter
Although shelters and rescues are seeing adoption and foster spikes, they are still in desperate need of more help. Currently PAWS and Atlanta Humane are closed, but both organizations are still caring for animals housed at their locations. Lifeline Animal Project and Angels Among Us Rescue are still taking in animals and actively saving animals from euthanasia, and desperately need adopters, fosters and donations for thousands of animals.
There’s never been a better time to make a small donation, apply to be a foster (even if you’ve never done it before) or adopt a new member to your family.
Send a Letter of Encouragement to Those Who Are the Most Vulnerable
Among those most affected are vulnerable populations, such as seniors and sick children, who are unable to see their families due to new visitor policies throughout care centers, leaving residents feeling isolated and alone. Consider taking time to write a note of encouragement (if organizations are accepting outside mail) to share your compassion and support.
A.G. Rhodes is asking for notes, letters and cards of appreciation to its residents to its three locations throughout the metro Atlanta area.
Take a Second to Give Thanks
Like our community members throughout Midtown, we should all take a second to say thank you. To the dedicated employees still working and diligently restocking shelves at grocery stores. To the USPS, FedEx and UPS workers still making daily deliveries. And to the first responders and healthcare workers, from caregivers, nurses and doctors, who are risking their health to provide for others.
The future is uncertain, but we will get through this with humanity at the forefront.