COVID-19 is here, and whether you’re at risk or not, there are a lot of changes we all have to make for the greater good – like social distancing. Christians are meant to live on mission and to share Jesus with others. And times like these can lead us to believe there’s no way to share Christ. If you are physically able, I’ve found five ways we can fight COVID-19 and share hope :
1. Reach out to your actual neighbors
- Let them know that you’re available to drop off groceries, run errands, watch a kid, mow a lawn or walk a dog.
- If you bought too much of something in the great grocery panic, share it! We all know someone who could use some extra baby wipes.
- Apps like NextDoor, Ring, and Facebook can help you reach out. You could also print out a flyer like THIS with your information and leave it on your neighbors’ doorstep while getting your daily steps in!
- Ask for help if you need it. We’re strongest as Christians when we show our weaknesses. Maybe you’re down to one egg. Put it out there and see who can help you. It’s not all about the giving. We have to learn to receive as well.
2. Serve your church
- Show up to your online service! Online services are new for many churches, and our pastoral staff is working hard to reach us. Our patience and online presence matters. Also – what a great chance to keep some routine!
- Invite a very small group of neighbors or church members (CDC recommends less than 10 people) to your house for the service. Have brunch, sing songs, have your own study, chit chat and enjoy the company!
- Give your tithe. This health crisis is impacting the economy, so if you can give, even if it’s less than before, you should. Church buildings may be closed, but the church as a body is still at work. Pastors, deacons, elders, counselors are all still employed and trying to support members of your congregation who are laid off, low income, experiencing loss, quarantined, and hospitalized. What you give makes a difference.
- Ask your church leaders if you can help! If you don’t know what to do, just ask!
3. Donate to local organizations
- Food pantries and homeless shelters are in need. More people are coming to them, and less people are willing to donate.
- Call or go online to find out what would be most helpful.
- Foster families are still taking in kids during this time. It’s a huge shift to add to your family anytime, but right now finding resources fast will be more difficult. If you know any families, you could drop off food or supplies at their doorstep. If you don’t, you can call your local foster agency and ask what their families are specifically in need of. Some may even assign you family to love on!
- Help schools serve lunches to kids. Find out if your local school district, churches, or other organizations are doing this. You could even make sack lunches yourself and distribute them in your neighborhood!
4. Call your people
- Call your people and check in. Let’s work on the art of conversation instead of scrolling and liking all day. It just means more. (My Nona got 18 long distance phone calls on her 96th birthday and spent 30 minutes with each one. She felt so loved and honestly who wouldn’t?)
5. Support the community
- Local businesses need people to buy gift cards, order online, and share their content. Keep our local economies strong!
- Local hospitals appreciate social distancing. If you are concerned about symptoms, call your local health department before going to a medical facility.
- Support each other through prayer and sharing counseling resources
- When you do shop, take what you need and leave the rest for those who can only shop week by week.
6. Appreciate those working right now
- Write notes of encouragement and mail them off!
- Email the hospital Human Resources team to say thanks to all the staff
- Make a video saying thank you on social media and tag your first responders!
- Leave gifts for those delivering mail and packages.
- Shout out to your office janitor who is sanitizing your building.
- Thank your grocery clerks!
- Tip your delivery drivers and leave great reviews.
7. Surprise & Delight
- Ask a nursing home if you can sing outside of the windows of their residents, take beverages to the family members visiting through the windows, or tape pictures kids drew on the outside.
- Don’t take the refund when an event is cancelled and ask if it can be given to an hourly worker instead.
- Pay for the car behind you in the drive-thru.
- Put your Christmas lights back up or post encouraging signs in the yard for those driving to work
Distancing doesn’t mean you have to feel isolated.
We’ve been given a great opportunity to love our neighbors as ourselves even from home. Pray about how God can use you right now and then take action! Our mission isn’t on pause.