It’s quarantine day 100, or so it feels, and families seem to be gearing up for household hibernation. Toilet paper and canned goods have been purchased, homeschooling blogs visited, and you’ve at least debated starting spring cleaning. Filling days with purpose and routine during this unusual time can be challenging. However, there is a way to add extra moments of meaning to your day, and that is by serving others.
Community service can give you a self-esteem boost, improve friendships, and generate inner peace, according to a Huffington Post article. Social distancing hasn’t stopped the need for assistance around the state. Below are three ways to safely serve. As you try these ideas or serve in other ways, please share with us using #utahgivesback and #togetherutah
1- Intentional Shopping
As online shopping takes over, make your purchases matter. Local businesses are in desperate need of our support to pay their employees and stay open. Buy local or use your money to support brands that donate to a good cause.
- Gift Cards– a great way to plan ahead for holidays and birthdays that supplies businesses with money now.
- Takeout – Utah restaurants are still open and begging for business. Consider getting family takeout and having a picnic in your yard or living room.
- Leave a review- share your favorite products online to encourage others to shop local.
- Buy from brands that give back- many larger brands are donating proceeds to benefit a cause. One example is Cotopaxi, a large Utah company that started a campaign called #OneUtah. All proceeds from #OneUtah t-shirts will be distributed to local partners supporting COVID-19 relief efforts.
*Extra Tip: buy groceries in reusable bags and then donate the bags to your local school district. They need reusable bags to distribute food to children that typically receive free meals. To donate call the Salt Lake Education Foundation, at 801-578-8258 or contact your local school district.
2- Donate and Serve
As fast as COVID-19 is spreading, Utahns are coming up with ways to serve and take care of each other. From state resources to local charities, there are many opportunities to give back through donations of time, resources, or money. Here’s just a few organizations that are tirelessly working to improve our community.
Utah Food Bank volunteers social distancing while packing supplies.
- UServe Utah– State generated website with links to donate money, medical supplies, and outsource volunteers to local projects throughout the state.
- Salt Lake Valley Covid Mutual Aid– this website is focused on facilitating connections across the Salt Lake valley between individuals in need of support, and those that want to give. Become a runner for someone who isn’t able to leave their house, or volunteer at your local food bank. Safety training is provided prior to all service activities.
- United Way of Salt Lake City– Donations are being taken to help support families by paying rent, child care, and healthcare. Volunteers are being outsourced to their community partners such as the Road Home, Utah Community Action, Red Cross, etc. All these organizations are in desperate need of resources and helping hands.
- Salt Lake City Helpers– connecting with your neighbors to meet each other’s needs. This website has each user fill out a google form about what they need/can provide, and matches you with someone in your community. Tasks include walking dogs, resume writing assistance, or just making a new friend over the phone.
- Send Letters- many assisted living centers have closed their doors to all visitors, including family, to keep residents safe. Brighten someone’s day by mailing a homeschool art project to a local assisted living center.
3- Share the Good
Fred Rogers wrote “Look for the helpers, there are always people who are helping.” The CDC crisis response guidelines recommend setting aside time during the day to connect with others to reduce stress. Here are a few social media accounts that focus on bringing people together and sharing positivity.
- Northern Utah Coronavirus Support– Lead by KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic, this page is a community corner to share facts, concerns, advice, frustrations and stories about the Coronavirus.
- SGN with John Krasinski- Celebrity John Krasinski asks followers about what good news is happening in their area and then compiles it into his own news broadcast.
- Corona Art Collective– created by a University of Utah art student, this account is about sharing creativity and projects people are making at home.
- Tiny Kindness– all about the little kind moments that make your day yet often go unspoken. KSL TV recently did a story on this account, you can find it here.
- Tanks Good News– positivity with a hint of humor. International headlines that will make you smile and feel proud to be a human.
*Extra Tip: consuming these positive posts will improve your mood, but sharing them allows you to help others as well.