- Shop locally: Call local businesses and restaurants to ask whether they’re open and how you can (safely) support them. Order delivery, merchandise or a gift card online for future use.
- Give blood: Blood drives across the country have been cancelled, and the American Red Cross is reporting a severe shortage of blood. Contact your local Red Cross and find a location to donate.
- Support the people who serve you: Go ahead and send an online payment to your hairdresser, babysitter, dance teacher or anyone who regularly serves you or might suddenly be out of work..
- Tithe your essential supplies: If you were fortunate enough to buy extra toilet paper, wipes, disinfectant and other essentials, consider donating 10 percent or more to neighbors in need or local shelters.
- Shop for a senior: Offer to help shop for food and pick up medications for seniors and others at-risk. Consider forming a group to help.
- Use the Nextdoor app: Sign into the Nextdoor app to see if you have any neighbors who’ve posted requests for assistance. Neighbors across the country are using Nextdoor to connect and provide help.
- Support your local food bank: With schools closed, many children go hungry without their normal school breakfasts or lunches. Contact your food bank or other hunger assistance program to see how you can help.
- Support your local homeless shelter: The homeless are especially vulnerable with no place to quarantine and no way to practice good hygiene. Contact shelters or homeless ministries to donate money or drop off supplies.
- Call someone on a regular basis: Being in isolation is especially hard for those who live alone and might feel cut off. Even a 15-minute FaceTime call can help a neighbor feel connected and loved.
- Tend to a teen: If you’re a grandparent, try FaceTiming your grandchildren, or if you’re a parent, sit down with your teens at home to help them cope with coronavirus-related anxiety.
- Send a pizza: Teachers, first-responders, even busy parents who are trying to work and homeschool their kids, could really use a simple gesture like a hot pizza delivery to brighten their day.
- Help your church prepare: Already, there’s a growing number of online resources to help churches prayerfully prepare for the COVID-19 crisis. Visit www.coronavirusandthechurch.comand share it with your pastor.
- Praise and worship:Put on a porch concert or sing a familiar song from your window as people in Italy are doing right now.
- Keep your small group going, virtually: Use Google Hangouts or Zoom to keep meeting with your small group on a regular basis. Now is the time to stay in touch and pray with the ones you do life with, more than ever.
- Write a letter: Grab some stationery and write letters to neighbors, loved ones, senior homes, hospitals and police officers. A note of encouragement can go a long way to ease loneliness and worry.
- Don’t complain: Refrain from complaining about the things we have to give up in this season while people in the world suffer. This is our moment to be the voice of faith, hope and love – especially on social media.
- Speak faith: In the face of panic, Christians have the unique opportunity to speak peace. Email a verse or call a neighbor to ask if you can pray for them. God’s Word will not return void.
- Enjoy your home and stay there as much as possible: Christians have a moral responsibility to protect those around us and in this case, that means staying home as much as we can so we don’t put others at risk.
- Pray: Pray alone, with your family and in online corporate group prayers. Pray especially for janitors, doctors, nurses, chaplains, first responders, drivers, laborers, mom, and teachers.
Loving your neighbor was ever easier, or more needed.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice
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