Living in the Age COVID-19: 04/23/2020 Reaching Out while Staying Home

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Most everyone seems to be feeling their last nerve getting raw, are afraid, and angry at whoever seems like an easy scapegoat. The vast majority of people, like 70%, want the stay-at-home orders to continue but everyone also wants people to be able to go back to work and support themselves. I can’t comprehend how frustrating it is, what desperation is felt, to be in line for hours for charity – for food for their kids. I can’t imagine the panic people must feel who are doing things to feed people, like making meals in restaurants or helping in food pantries, when they see the huge number of people who are in need of something as basic as food.

There are some things that I know to be true. First, we have to limit contact, to protect ourselves and to protect others from contracting the disease. Second and just as urgently, we have to make sure that people who are suffering the economic, emotional, and physical hardships as a result of the virus are able to get their needs met, if only at the most basic level for now. Third, this is a crisis and we need to respond quickly – but it is also a problem that will be around for a long time so we need to be aware of and respond to the changing needs of people as the virus makes its way across our very large country and then returns again and probably several times more.

This is a really big problem that is beyond the scope of what any individual or local community can solve – we need to make sure government leaders at all levels know what the needs are and what we expect them to do. But I believe it is important for each of us to do something to help, for the good of our communities and also ourselves. We are leaving for our home community tomorrow after spending the winter in a warmer climate and I am eager to get back into helping that community.

I am really excited about getting to my stash of fabric so I can start making masks again. I know that community well from my years of leading a social work program at the local university and I’m eager to do some calling to see who can use masks.

There was a commentary in the local paper this morning that suggests everyone who has an income commit to tithe some % of their income during this pandemic. The author of this article suggests that money be given to local communities, to agencies or groups that are helping people deal with hunger or health issues or their anxieties. I know that I need to help support those who have lost jobs or are working reduced hours at lower wages. Jim and I have been talking about how we are going to disburse the money we are able to give. Some of the money will go to our Florida church who does a lot of mission with farm workers in a nearby community. We will also give to the food bank in our community in Michigan. This excites me. Do you have ideas of organizations that may need financial help? Would you be willing to join in this commitment to help your local community – either through monetary contributions or safe volunteering? It seems to me that by helping others we experience a closer tie to our communities.

I’m really interested in what you are doing to help others as you help yourself get through these trying times.

17 thoughts on “Living in the Age COVID-19: 04/23/2020 Reaching Out while Staying Home

  1. I will be giving to the university that I work at. Two-thirds of our undergraduate students are eligible for need-based financial aid, and over half get Pell grants. The university has set up loans up to $300 for students to deal with emergencies, and the money is being loaned out as quickly as the university can collect donations to the fund.

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    • A wonderful way to help those in your comunity who are living on the edge financially. You help will increase their chances of being able to get a college degree.

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  2. What a great idea to tithe for charity. Food banks are being overwhelmed these days, as food insecurity grows. I like to give there, but there are many other worthy charities. Charity Navigator has a great list.

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  3. I agree with your thoughts, Pat. We need to get businesses open again and people back to work, but in a way that is safe and then keep transitioning as things change. We can’t just go out and do whatever we want but we can’t be forbidden from buying and planting seeds. Extremes either way are hurtful and dangerous.

    What are we doing? We’re still supporting the charities we’ve always supported and of course our church. We moved to be near my parents, so I’m getting groceries for them and helping out at the house, so that they can stay home and be safe and healthy. We’re getting takeout sometimes from local businesses and today I got my first mocha from a nearby coffee shop. πŸ™‚ We’ll see what else we can do through places that will actually help those they claim to serve.

    Stay healthy!

    janet

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    • It sounds like you, like us, have done a lot of thinking and figured out how to help others while keeping yourself safe. I bet your parents are grateful because I am afraid every time I have to be in public places.

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      • They’re used to being independent even at 91 and 90, so at first I had to talk them into staying at home. But they understand the seriousness of getting the virus at their age, so we’re good now. I did have to talk to them about only using a disposable mask once and washing a cloth one immediately, though.

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  4. I love your spirit Pat. We’ve participated in monetary and non- monetary activities. Most recently our Church had a Lenten offering which went to a great cause and we were able to help with that. Enjoy your trip home!

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    • Thanks for responding, Nora. We, too, are using are church to get money to people in our FL community who have been hard hit by restaurants closing. We are home and except for heavy rain for several hours on the road it was uneventful. πŸ™‚

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  5. Our biggest concern here is hunger so our focus is on the food banks. It is so sad to see farmers plowing food due to lack of distribution. Our local organization is also doing paper and cleaning products which we contribute to and applaud.

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    • Thanks, Tina. We couldn’t find milk at the grocery today – and we hear on TV that farmers are pouring raw milk down the drain. I hope they find solutions soon.

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  6. Your post, and the resulting comments, brought tears to my eyes Pat. The words “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” come to mind; the words of Karl Marx being acted out in the US by good, compassionate people. In a land of billionaires, it’s folk like you who make the difference in times of crisis.

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    • Oh thanks, Jane. How kind of you. I was telling a friend, who was chair of the business major at conservative faith based university where I used to work, some of my beliefs and values about economics. His eyes widened and he said that I sounded very Marxist – something like being a devil worshiper. πŸ™‚ And it has become obvious during this pandemic that our core values do impact on policies we support and how we behave on a day-to-day basis. My values support a modified socialism and capitalism – somewhere in the middle.

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    • Doesn’t it feel good, David. Not in a prideful way but instead it gives me a humble kind of glow. We have to give to others in their time of need, and I am learning how to be a gracious receiver of others’ acts of helping.

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