In times like these, it’s easy to feel discouraged. Beyond illnesses, job loss, isolation and cancelled events loom in the air. And yet there is always hope.
Fred Rogers' advice to "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping,” is a great reminder to seek out things that bring us hope. At ACTIVE, we not only want to look for the helpers, but be the helpers and we encourage you to do the same.
Essential workers ranging from mail carriers to sanitation workers, paramedics to grocers and so many more continue to rise to the occasion to be helpers. However, one could argue the brightest light is the nursing community. Nurses everywhere continue to risk their health to care for the sick. Their heroic day to day work allows us to look toward better days of reopening and getting back to doing what we love. While our efforts will never match that of emergency workers, we can all do our best to be ‘helpers’ in our community.
Being a helper during COVID-19 begins by simply surveying your resources and determining what items, skills or time you have that can be leveraged to help others. A few of our customers have done this well. Check out these ideas below. They may just inspire you!
Offer Discounts to Essential Workers
There’s no debate here, essential employees are working harder than anyone during this time. A simple way for your organization to show their gratitude is to offer discounts to essential workers. YMCA Seattle did just that by offering free childcare to essential workers during COVID-19. Check out their full story here. Beyond childcare, you can offer discounts on virtual camps or programming or for upcoming events when social distancing guidelines are removed.
The needs of a community are diverse. From Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to food and clothing, there are endless varieties of supplies you can donate to help meet these needs. When Eugene Marathon made the difficult decision to cancel their marathon, they surveyed their supplies and realized they had a stock PPE that could be donated to the local hospital. ACTIVE Network donated compression socks, usually used for marathon runners, to Parkland Hospital nurses to help them stay healthy while working long shifts. Check out the photos below.
Offer Virtual Programming & Partner with Local Sponsors
Virtual programming may seem like an odd addition to this list but serving your community by keeping them active is important. Hosting virtual events benefits both the mental and physical health of attendees, improving the overall health of your community. When you host virtual events, you can partner with local businesses for giveaways, event swag or any other needs. iTRI365 recently hosted a virtual race with the goal of promoting health and wellness. They also partnered with local sponsors to offer unique race swag.
Meredith Bryans, general manager of iTRI365 said “We knew that we wanted to encourage physical activity in our community while at the same time help put dollars back into local businesses.”
We hope that you take some time this week, during all the business of readjusting plans, to consider what ways your organization can be helpers in your community. From socks to free childcare, there is a way for everyone to help.