From the Great Depression to 9/11, Americans have united to overcome the nation’s challenges. Ours is a country of generosity, creativity, and innovation, and it is often in stressful times that these traits epitomize our best version of America.
It seems every age must confront its calamity. How people respond from each generation is noteworthy, and shared examples give us great hope and faith in the goodness of citizens, public servants, and business owners. These stories from across the country, about people filling the needs of their communities while working to stay safe, should uplift and inspire us during this unprecedented time.
Using social media to connect with the needs of your community
This generation’s national disaster is COVID-19. And in response, Gen Y and Z are fearlessly leading the way using technology to enact acts of kindness in cities across America. With colleges closed and many laid off, some like Alycia Kamil, 19, are using Google technology and social media to pair up low-income, unemployed people with those who can supply their needs. In just two days, she and her aid group raised over $7,000 from the community to provide food to dozens of families.
Similar mutual aid groups, all volunteer-run, are offering services ranging from supplies for the elderly, transportation, and even childcare for critical workers. Check the Database of Localized Resources During Corona Outbreak to find mutual aid groups in your city.
All hands can be helping hands
A reinvigorated pastime, sewing, has mature tailors revving up their skills to fill the critical needs of hospital and postal workers without personal safety masks. Nurse Jessica Nandino’s pattern for an A.B. mask, while certainly not N95 standard, is a stop-gap for hospital workers without protective face gear. New sewing groups are springing up around the country like Crafters Against Covid-19.
Neighbors are mowing the lawns of shut-in senior citizens, offering to shop, disinfect, and deliver groceries for the house-bound, and Humane Societies across the country are organizing pet fostering for the sick.
Rather than hoard, one poster from a local neighbor-helping-neighbors forum volunteered to share her stock of art and craft supplies by putting kits together for neighbors with kids. She donned gloves and a mask while assembling and offered to deliver the kits for free.
In Vermont, HANDS is delivering sanitized food and supplies to seniors and working to reduce the isolation they feel by staying in touch by phone. With every individual effort, even our most vulnerable citizens can make it through uncertain times.
Businesses and institutions paying it forward
Now is the time for companies with corporate social responsibility policies to ensure this means more than a marketing cliché. Their actions can make the difference between despair for workers’ families and hope that they can make it through this crisis. While many small enterprises are just struggling to stay afloat, many large corporations are doing what they can through pay policies or ensuring critical product deliveries.
Amazon is filling the employment gap with over 100,000 job openings across the U.S. and in fulfillment centers. Hirees will be paid $2 more per hour through April with two weeks paid sick leave if needed. Walmart, Starbucks, Postmates, and Uber are among many companies offering expanded PTO for workers.
An Alphabet company, Verily, has launched a test site, Project Baseline, for Covid-19 screening in California with plans to roll out nationwide if successful. People can also access the CDC symptom checker here.
While jobs are critical, so is keeping up morale. House-bound kids and their parents were thrilled when Disney released Frozen 2 and Pixar’s Onward early on Disney Plus. And because resorts had to close, both locations donated their pantries to a local food bank.
People stuck at home are spending more time online. In response, some video game companies are streaming games free of charge. Gym and exercise companies are focusing on fitness by supplying free, short-term streaming access to popular exercise programs people can do at home. Educational supplier Scholastic, meanwhile, is helping parents with lessons and books.
D.C. area celebrity chef and non-profiteer, José Andrés, turned some of his restaurants into community kitchens. While the limited menu options are not free, those who cannot pay don’t, and the public is encouraged to purchase meals for others. Andrés feels that small, dedicated, and controlled kitchens, like World Central Kitchen, which is feeding people in Arkansas and New York, could be the way to go if the pandemic gets worse.
We are not isolated; we are working together
All around the world, we are seeing examples of resiliency and strength in the human spirit. By the shouts and applause for public workers in Spain, to images of Italians singing and dancing on their balconies, we are reminded to focus on the positive. Let us continue to be inspired by the selflessness of hospital and emergency services workers. Say “thank you” to those front-line essential services employees who go to work each day.
Acknowledge and “like” leaders on social media who are doing the right thing for their people. “Like” those companies who continue to pay their workers despite closing their doors, or those who have extended paid sick leave to assist desperate families, as well as local, state, and federal government leaders who are fighting to end this pandemic.
Americans will overcome this pandemic, start over, generate new businesses, and keep going. We, too, can be a ‘Greatest Generation.’
Our primary goal is to ensure the health and safety of our staff, clients and candidates, while continuing to meet your needs. Though we may be working remotely, we are here to help! We can provide remote workers and are able to onboard electronically. For essential businesses still working onsite—give us a call! If you are a displaced worker, contact us for job opportunities, resume tips, advice on job searching and more.
Together, we will get through this!