How You Can Help in Unprecedented Times

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We are living in unprecedented times. We haven’t navigated anything quite like this in decades.

In any crisis, even if you aren’t feeling the pain as much as others, a feeling of helplessness can take over. We don’t know how long our lives will be topsy-turvy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but we do know we must carry on the best we can.

Many are out of work because of restaurant, bar and public facility closings put in place to flatten the spread of the coronavirus. Older residents are struggling to find basic-needs items due to panic-hoarding of products such as medicines and toilet paper. Those who remain at work have found themselves without day care options.

It’s important to have a plan of action to get you through each day, week or month moving forward until this crisis is resolved. Here are a few tips to try that will help you feel as though you are doing something.

  • If you are blessed enough during this time that you aren’t financially affected, buy gift cards from local restaurants, gyms, salons and other small businesses. Even if you save them until the holidays, your purchases now will help small businesses retain some income.
  • If you know of someone who must stay on the job, leaving their children at home, offer to provide day care if you can.
  • If you know someone who will be unpaid in the short term, make them a gift basket with essentials from laundry detergent and other household supplies to gas cards or food and gift cards.
  • Make meals for those who have lost income due to closings. Soups and casseroles that they can freeze will be appreciated more than you know.
  • Give blood. The American Red Cross has reported a severe shortage of blood due to blood drive cancellations. Make an appointment at org.
  • Offer to grocery shop for elderly neighbors and family. You can create a plan to leave groceries on their front porch.

  • Donate to local food banks. Area food banks have been ramping up programs to help feed children in need who are currently out of school. Those initiatives severely limited their supplies. Donate nonperishable goods like peanut butter, canned foods, shampoos, soaps and more.
  • Talk to your family and make a plan for how you are going to get through this, whether it takes days, weeks or months. Having a course of action will make you (and them) feel in control, lessening the stress and anxiety for all.
  • Most importantly, be kind. We’re all new to this. We’re all overwhelmed, having grace during these times will be one of the greatest things you can do for others.

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Embodying the best elements of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and Greater Lansing Business Monthly, 517 Magazine is your guide to living and working in Lansing.

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