For a virus that is very literally keeping us apart, COVID-19 has also done a beautiful, unexpected job of bringing communities together. In our own lives and in the news, we're seeing countless acts of kindness, charity, and togetherness. We're asking ourselves what we can do for others—which feels especially difficult when the most responsible thing to do is to socially distance ourselves—but we came across three templates that offer simple simple ways to give back to your friends, strangers, and neighbors (without having to get physically close):
1. Community Organization
Last week, we began seeing small acts of kindness in our own neighborhoods. Someone left toilet paper outside of their house, with a sign that said, "Take one, if you need it" and templates began popping up with offers to organize group text chains. We typed one up that you can print from the link here!
2. Uplift a Friend or Stranger
Yesterday, Leslie received an email from her friend Minna that contained a simple request: Send an uplifting quote or text to a stranger. To get a chain started in your own community, copy and paste the text below into the body of an email, swapping out the all-capital letters to the relevant text. You can pick any friend for #1, then BCC 20 other close friends. Add yourself as the contact information in the body of the text to make sure everyone receives a kind note in return.
We've started an email collective for an uplifting exchange. It's a one-time thing and we hope you will participate. We have included those we think would be willing to participate and make it meaningful!
Please send a poem/quote/thought to the person whose name is in position 1 below (even if you don't know them/her/him). It should be a favorite text/verse/meditation that has affected you. Don't agonize over it.
#1 NAME ONE [EMAIL ADDRESS]
#2 YOUR NAME [EMAIL ADDRESS]
After you’ve sent the short poem/verse/quote/etc to the person in position #1, and only that person, copy this letter into a new email. In the text, move my name to position #1, and put your name in position #2. Only my name and your name should show in the copy of the new email. Then send the email to yourself and BCC 20 women you admire (blind copy). If you cannot do this in five days, let YOUR NAME (EMAIL ADDRESS) know so it will be fair to those participating.
It's fun to see where they come from and what they say. Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need encouragement! The turnaround is fast, as there are only two names on the list, and you only have to do it once.
Hope you enjoy and are inspired!
3. Inspire Your Community
We've all been leaning on our group texts for show, book, and movie recs, but why not widen our net? If you're socially distancing yourself at home—or even still going to work, but finding yourself with more downtime after work—use this template to share (and hopefully then receive!) some media and wind-down recommendations with friends. It's like a little care package in a tiny Story! Either save the image above, or save it via the link here to your phone. Leslie filled one out below, and we'll be sharing some other isolation recs on @shopcupcakesandcashmere today.
Of course this is far from a complete list of things you can do. Call people you think may be feeling lonely, particularly high-risk people who may not feel safe leaving their homes, follow these tips, donate to Feeding America, CDC Foundation, the Gates Foundation, and/or the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, if you have the means to, and consider volunteering your time online to Crisis Text Line. Stay healthy and safe! x