Here are ways you can improve the lives of people around you while times are difficult
Finding a way to be of public service to the community can be a daunting task these days. But that just means we might have to be a little more creative. That’s why we’ve created a list of things you can do to make the world a little better place without violating the continuing need for physical distancing.
- Write a letter, make a picture or send a musical performance digitally to a senior living facility. Clark-Lindsey Village, The Windsor of Savoy and Champaign-Urbana Nursing & Rehab are among the places that would love to hear from you. You can find the details in our article here.
- Picking up trash. In the spirit of the annual Boneyard Creek Community Day, in which volunteers make that area sparkle, how about making a trek to a local park to seek out wayward trash? Or pick out an open space that typically finds itself attraction wind-blown trash during the windiest time of the year — perhaps an easement, church yard, park or walking path. Of course, you’ll want to wear the proper gloves for adequate protection.
- Sew a mask for area hospitals or essential workers. Hospice Hearts is among the groups sewing masks to help area healthcare workers. (Though cloth masks aren’t applicable for workers dealing with coronavirus, they can be used by other public-facing workers in healthcare facilities, in essential places of employment, or in any public situation where 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained.) All the details for donating masks to Carle are available here. More info about cloth masks is here.
- Some people in our community don’t have the “luxury” of staying home all the time. They must work because their profession is deemed essential, like postal workers. So, to help them cope with the hazards of contracting the virus, put a few Clorox wipes in a baggie and leave them in your mailbox. Your carrier just might appreciate the help.
- Along those lines, chances are the UPS, FedEx, Amazon and other delivery services are showing up at your door these days. Consider putting a basket of pre-packaged goodies — say, small packs of cookies or pretzels — on your porch with a sign encouraging them to help themselves.
- If you have extra pictures, artwork or crafts, send them to the youth and staff at Cunningham Children’s Home. It’s a great way to let someone know you are thinking of them. Send to 1301 N. Cunningham Ave., Urbana, 61802.
- Order takeout food from a locally owned restaurant. We realize that your budget might be especially tight right now. But if you’re able, local restaurants sure could use your help right now. And please, leave a tip for your server or delivery driver. Champaign County Rallies on Facebook has ideas and suggestions.
- Donate blood. Community Blood Services of Illinois (1408 W. University Ave., Urbana) has an urgent need for donations. It doesn’t take long, and you’ll be providing a critical resource for area hospitals. (Read a first-person account here.) One important note: Because of COVID-19 precautions, you must schedule an appointment right now to donate. Go here to schedule.
- Contribute to a foodbank. This is another area that is crucial for the public’s health and well-being. Many people rely on contributions from the foodbank. Eastern Illinois Foodbank in Urbana is among the eight foodbanks in Illinois that are benefitting from the Feeding Illinois project. Go here to learn how to donate.
- Smile. Offer a compliment. Tell someone you’re thinking of them. Call your parents. Call a friend you haven’t spoken with in years. Perform a random act of kindness — it goes a long way anytime, but especially now.