What can we do?
The COVID-19 pandemic is currently ravaging communities across the world. More than ever, we are truly all in this together. At the moment in Arizona, our local communities have generally not been as impacted by as high of case numbers as other areas. However, social isolation and shelter-in-place are taking a heavy toll on the mental, emotional, and economic health of our families and the community at large. So how can we be the Church to our neighbors, family, friends, and community -- both locally and around the world -- while staying and keeping others safe?
We have come up with a list of ideas as to how you can help support others while maintaining compliance with the shelter-in-place ordinance.
If you are someone that needs help, please do not hesitate to reach out to us, and we will try to get you connected with the best community resources available.
1. support small and local businesses
Here in Suprise, we are home to a lot of fun small, or local, businesses! As you look for ways to stay entertained and pour into businesses that will be especially hurt by these economic changes, consider switching up your takeout or delivery purchases once in a while and giving your financial support to a small business. Of course, we want people to be wise, especially as many of us have been impacted financially ourselves, but if you are in the position to bless others--give it a shot!
Some of our favorite small businesses in the Surprise area:
Rio Mirage Café
Little Sicily Pizza
Another great idea to support local and small business is to buy a gift card or online gift certificate, you might not feel comfortable using it now, but it'll be something to look forward to using once we are again able!
2. Write an encouraging letter or send snail mail
Writing a letter is a great way to stay connected with others and let them know that you are thinking about them! We think there is so much beauty in sending a letter along with some of your favorite things. Include some pictures, flowers from your garden, or a sample of a tea you’ve been loving lately. The options are endless!
3. give blood
The national blood supply has been especially impacted by COVID-19. If you are able, and at a lower risk of serious infection, consider being a hero to someone else who needs it! Blood donation is considered an essential activity, but please use your discretion in determining if it is safe for you and your family. Find a blood drive or donation clinic near you here:
4. give to Oasis
The local church is also hard hit by these times. Prayerfully consider continuing your financial contributions to Oasis as you are able. We will also be looking for ways to bless our community through the funds we receive and continue to be the Church to our neighbors. You can give online here:
5. Order takeout
Thankfully, many restaurants are still open for takeout during this time! It's an amazing opportunity to continue to stimulate the economy and, hopefully, allow people to keep their jobs. Check out some of your favorite restaurants and see if they are offering takeout or delivery. An added bonus is that many places are offering free delivery too! Here are some smartphone apps you can download to check delivery and take out availability near you as well:
6. skill trade
Reach out to other talented friends and neighbors! Maybe you are an expert seamstress and can sew masks for your friend, who's a great cook, in exchange for a delicious homecooked meal or a homemade loaf of bread! Or maybe you are an artist that can create custom coloring sheets for your friend, with energized little kiddos, in exchange for a batch of chocolate chip cookies! There are so many possibilities to think of and many resourceful ways to spread love.
7. call a friend
A short (or long!) call could make all the difference to someone who is struggling to find hope during the shelter-in-place ordinance. Check on your friends and family and see how you may be able to support them and their mental and emotional health during this period of isolation.
8. drop off a meal or groceries
Consider if you are in a position to bless others by dropping off a meal or basic grocery necessities at their doorstep. Keep in mind those who may have lost jobs, those for which it may not be safe to make a grocery run, or those who feel especially anxious at the thought of having to leave their home.
9. check-in on someone considered high-risk
It is an anxious time for everyone, but especially those who are considered to be in a high-risk, or particularly vulnerable, population. Reach out and see how you can be a friend to those who may be struggling with the increased fear which comes with this position.
10. Make a craft
This is a fun way to maybe keep eager kiddos entertained! You may even consider dropping these crafts off to some essential workers to bless their day and thank them for the work they are doing to keep our communities safe and/or running!
11. share resources
As you are able, consider sharing resources. This may look like many things! A cup of sugar, a pound of flour, a meal, a loaf of bread, a good recipe! Or it may even look like simply sharing tips on where people might be able to find the things they are in need of (like toilet paper!). Another option is connecting people with resources that are offered by their community for those experiencing financial distress.
Here are some Suprise-specific resources:
12. lead by example
As the Church, it's important that we show others how much we care for the lives and safety of the people around us--even when that means sacrifice. An extremely practical way to love your neighbor is to lead by example. Stay home and maintain a healthy routine and other practices within isolation. Post positive things on social media, and follow truthful, and reliable, sources. We are committed to leading by example and we hope you will be too. Follow our Facebook page for examples of this!
This one may seem so obvious but is so important! People need the hope of Christ now more than ever and there are so many things we have to pray for--both in the form of requests but also in gratitude! Practice gratitude in your prayer life while praying for your family, friends, neighbors, people who have been affected by COVID-19, people in high-risk populations, essential workers, and ALL leaders who are in charge of making huge decisions in this stress-filled time.
14. make it fun!
There are so many great ways to stay connected and have fun in this time--it just takes a little creativity! Have a virtual game night, start a virtual book club, draw a chalk obstacle course on the sidewalk for a little extra pizzazz for passersby, find board games or other games you can play online with friends, have a Netflix watch party and turn it into a movie night, challenge your friends to a dance-off, make dinner and record it so that you can pretend you have your own cooking show, pretend you're a news anchor and share some good news (or just watch actor John Krasinski do it on his Youtube series), follow a painting or craft tutorial with your family, have a competitive Wii or Switch tournament and come up with a prize for the winner. Continue finding reasons to celebrate and enjoy the life we live; they are present!
Some points adapted from City Collective Church, Canada