Here are several simple ways to love your neighbor in light of COVID-19:
- Shop local: 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 canceled, 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 that serve you: Go ahead and send an online payment to your hairdresser, babysitter, dance teacher, or anyone who regularly serves you and is suddenly out of work now. A little Venmo, PayPal, or Apple Pay donation goes a long way.
- Tithe your essential supplies: If you were fortunate enough to buy extra toilet paper, wipes, disinfectants, and other essentials consider donating 10 percent or more to needy neighbors, or local shelters.
- Shop for a senior: Offer to help shop for food, pick up medications for seniors and others at risk, or form a group to help.
- Check on your single neighbors daily. Have them put up a sign in their window facing your home or the street (construction paper works) that is colored Green, meaning they are okay Yellow suggesting that they need something, and RED for urgent help needed to call 911.
- Use the Next-door app: Sign in to 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 and 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 your shelter or homeless ministry 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 Face Timing your grandchildren, or if you’re a parent, sit down with your teens at home to help them cope with coronavirus-related anxiety. Use this helpful piece for tips.
- Send a pizza: Teachers, first-responders, and 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. Check out how one newsroom reacted to the kind gesture.
- Help your church prepare: Already, there’s a growing number of online resources to help churches prayerfully prepare for the COVID-19 crisis. Visit coronavirusandthechurch.com and 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. Here’s an elderly woman in quarantine enjoying music performed by her young neighbors.
- Keep your small group going, virtually: Use Google Hangouts or Zoom to keep meeting with your small group on a regular basis. Now, more than ever this is the time to stay in touch and pray with the ones you do life with.
- Write a letter: Grab some stationary, and write letters to neighbors, loved ones, senior homes, hospitals, and police officers. A note of encouragement can 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 are able, so we don’t put others at risk.
- Last, but most important! PRAY! Pray alone, with your family, and in online corporate group prayers. Our corporate prayer times are held each Sunday morning at 5 pm and Thursday evening at 7 pm.
Pray especially for the President, the CDC, senators, governors, those in charge of towns, counties, and states, janitors, doctors, nurses, chaplains, first responders, drivers, laborers, moms, sanitation workers, restaurant employees, teachers, and all those that have lost their jobs, and those that are continuing to put themselves in harm’s way for the sake of others.
Through this when we stand united we will grow stronger in Christ