We’ve all seen the famous quote from Mr. Rogers about looking for the helpers when scary things happen in the world.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/therandomactsofkindnessfoundation/photos/a.423886290772/10155395819290773/?type=3&theater
Source: Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

We’ve seen some pretty scary times in the last few weeks. In such a short period of time, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have been facing serious illness and tens of thousands have died. The stock market has reacted significantly. We probably all know someone who has lost their job or has had hours cut. We have had to adjust our lifestyles and our daily routines are completely off-balance. While so many of us have not felt a true loss from this time, the uncertainty and upheaval is still disturbing and frightening.

Finding Helpers

Source: Facebook

In the midst of all of this, I’ve seen a lot of positive activity online. Neighbors are offering to pick up extra groceries for the home bound before they head to the store. People are setting up little free libraries and food donation tables for those in need. Local non-profits are hosting drive-thru food pantries for families who are out of work and for kids who are no longer receiving school lunches.

I’ve seen reports that multiple businesses have donated their unused masks, gloves, and other PPE to hospitals. I’ve seen individuals and local artisan businesses take up sewing homemade masks to help medical professionals. There have been employers who have committed to continue paying their employees even if it means taking a personal cut in their own income. There are many, many helpers right now.

Let’s not stop there…

Let’s not stop with admiring these people. Let’s not just “like” and share a story on social media. Let’s BE THE HELPERS. If you see an effort that you identify with, then do what you can to help. If you have some extra food in your pantry, find someone who doesn’t and share. Donate to a local food bank. If you have some savings in your bank account and you still have a job that pays your bills, donate some money to organizations who are feeding and housing those who do not have money or a job right now.

We can also do our part to help our neighbors who haven’t had to shut down yet but are facing lower income streams with all of this. If you can afford to do so – order pickup or take-out from your favorite restaurants. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that and prefer to only eat your own food cooked at home, you can usually go online or call to order a gift card to redeem when you are comfortable getting out.

Another good thing to do is to shop online through small businesses. Make a list of the gifts you are planning to buy throughout the year and go on a search to buy early. So many small businesses are feeling the strain right now and any boost to their cash flow could really be a blessing for them. Order those Christmas presents early and start a stash. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, any day that you would normally buy a gift. Or if you have the extra income, why not order a gift for someone now and send a little care package for your loved ones while you are away from each other?

No money required

For those on a tighter budget, there are still many ways to brighten the lives of those around us in dark times. I love the idea that I’ve seen online where people are placing teddy bears or cheerful signs in their windows for families to find while they are out for walks or bike rides.

Another similar idea is drawing or writing an uplifting message in sidewalk chalk on your driveway. You can send a card or an email to people you aren’t able to visit in person. Call or text someone who lives alone and let them know that you are thinking about them. We all have something to offer and we all know people who can use some help, whether it is financial, practical, or encouragement.

Let’s be the helpers.