Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on NextDoor.com. They have graciously given us permission to share it with our readers.
Connecting with your neighbors is important in good times and essential in times of need. As the situation with the coronavirus evolves, we continue to be inspired by how neighbors are coming together to offer support, lean on others when they need help, and stay connected with their local communities.
Here are 7 simple ways that neighbors are turning to Nextdoor and offering help to ensure everyone has a neighborhood they can rely on during this uncertain time.
1. Volunteer to help neighbors in need.
Daily activities may be risky for more vulnerable neighbors. That’s why we have introduced the Help Map – an interactive map of your neighborhood where you can mark yourself as someone who can pitch in for neighbors who need it. Whether you are able to drop off groceries for those that are homebound or hop on the phone to check in on elderly and at risk neighbors, add yourself to the map sharing how you can support others. Neighbors in need of assistance can then message you through the Help Map.
2. Create or join a group to stay connected.
During periods of social distancing, it can be easy to feel isolated and alone. By joining or creating a Nextdoor Group, you can easily stay connected with your neighbors, communicate about topics you care about and organize ways to help each other. You can create a Group just for your neighborhood, your nearby neighborhoods, or a city-wide Group so that neighbors have a wider area to call on for support. Try organizing a group for parents to stay connected during school closures, or around hobbies to keep entertained.
3. Support local businesses.
We know that local businesses are the cornerstone of thriving neighborhoods. But as we do our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus, local businesses are closing their doors and struggling to stay afloat. It is more important than ever to show your love for local and continue to support businesses during these challenging times. Consider buying gift certificates to enjoy later, ordering food for takeout or no-contact delivery, placing online orders through the store’s website, and tipping workers more than usual. If you own a local business, see our business blog for more Coronavirus Preparedness Tips for Local Businesses.
4. Share extra resources.
As more people stay at home, some stores are still going through basic supplies. If you have extra paper products, hand sanitizer, or other necessities, share the bounty with your neighbors! Just be sure that you follow social distancing guidelines while dropping off any deliveries.
5. Give to local organizations.
Community organizations and nonprofits need your help to continue serving people in need. Donations are down at food banks across the country just as workers have lost their cash flow and millions of children who rely on school meals have lost access to a daily meal. Additionally, there is currently a critical need for blood donations as blood drives continue to be canceled. Encourage your neighbors to give back, either monetarily or with physical donations, so local organizations can continue to serve your community.
6. Donate your talents and time.
Many families are struggling to keep up with their daily routines with school closures and work-from-home orders. If you are healthy and able, consider offering to help out with child care for parents that are unable to stay home from work, or offer to walk a neighbor’s dog if they are homebound. Students may also benefit from a virtual tutoring session if you specialize in a particular subject area.
7. Share a random act of kindness.
At times like this, we could all use a bit of neighborly kindness to lift our spirits. Nextdoor members have kept their neighbors smiling with simple gestures like posting a heart in their window sill, buying a meal for a stranger, and even sharing pictures of their adorable pets. When 6-year-old Miles from Mogadore, OH had to cancel his mad scientist themed birthday party, his parents posted on Nextdoor to see if any neighbors would be willing to drive by and honk their horn to wish Miles a happy birthday while keeping a healthy social distance. To their surprise, more than 40 neighbors stopped by to drop off balloons, candy, decorations, and presents resulting in a parade that Miles claimed was “way better than a birthday party!” Miles’s mom shares that her family felt so loved and grateful to be surrounded by wonderful neighbors, and hopes that one day they can pay it forward to another family.
-The NwP Team