When we feel the most helpless, we actually have the power to do the most good.
As we move into social distancing and self-quarantine, it’s natural to feel isolated. Staying away from other people, though necessary, doesn’t fulfill our human need to take action, to do something in the face of crisis.
Fortunately, with the ability to connect in other ways, even in isolation we can help the most vulnerable among us.
We are never truly alone. We can come together for those that need us.
Here are five things you can do to fight in the face of COVID-19:
1. Donate to the UWNBC’s COVID-19 Fund.
We are reaching out to communities all across Northern BC and are identifying the most urgent of needs. Your gift supports community resources that serve struggling families in Northern BC. Workers are losing wages and tips due to event cancellations and business closures. Kids who rely on free- and reduced-price breakfast and lunch at school risk going hungry. As food pantries and other community resources dwindle and need to close their doors, donations to the UWNBC’s COVID-19 Fund will help ensure these vital relief services are positioned to continue providing supports.
2. Direct people to bc211.ca. bc211 is working on the front lines of the pandemic. Expert 211 specialists provide real-time information on social services and other resources to those in need via online chat. If you know someone who is struggling, or just looking for a source of reliable information, tell them to go to bc211.ca
3. Spare something for the food pantries. As stores run out of bulk food, cleaning supplies, and personal care items, food pantries are struggling to fill their shelves, even as more people are coming in for help. Consider donating what you can spare, especially non-perishable food and toiletry items. Call us at 250-561-1040 to find out what our local food pantries need most and where to drop off donations.
4. Call your friends and family. Loneliness is as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Even during isolation, modern technology allows us to stay connected. Checking in on friends and family is more than a courtesy right now, it’s essential. And don’t forget elderly neighbors or others living alone.
5. Take care of your mental health. If you’re stuck at home, keep busy with hobbies, try out arts and crafts, pick up an old musical instrument, organize family game nights, and step outside for fresh air and exercise. You can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself.
Even in these uncertain times, no one is powerless to make a difference. Small acts, taken together in our community, and across the country, can change the course of the pandemic, bolster those facing economic challenges, and protect the most vulnerable.