A guest post by Ellie Ander, Chicago North Shore Moms
(This is an excerpt of the original post published on May 6)
Worrying comes with being a mom. And now with coronavirus, well, it can be tough not to let anxiety consume you, especially after you’ve put on a brave face for your kids all day. It can even feel impossible wrap your head around what to focus that concern on—elderly parents’ health, the economy, kids’ physical and mental health, people in need who may not have access to basic necessities like food or healthcare…But did you know that studies have shown helping others can make us less depressed, less anxious, and even physically healthy (in the form of lower blood pressure and boosted immunity)? Here are some simple ways to help both strangers and loved ones today. Plus, how some of the moms across our network are giving back to their own communities and inspiring us:
1. Start a meal drive for local healthcare professionals:
Give InKind is a national support system dedicated to providing an outlet for to support groups or individuals in need. Check out the public Facebook group, Giveinkind Meals for Chicago Area COVID-19 Healthcare Workers for information on ways to organization group meals for our local hospital workers. The direct link to this is here. You can even start your own page to help other local heros.
A big thank you goes to the local North Shore Facebook admins of the GiveinKind Meals for Chicago Area COVID-19 Healthcare Workers: Rachel Brown, Masha Mac, Yury Persits, and Irena Persky!
2. Start a Food Drive.
Here a few things:
- Visit the Northern Illinois Food Bank for up-to-date information on what you can do to help your local community with the food crisis going on. Many more are struggling now due to mass layoffs and furloughs.
- Start a GoFundMe page to raise funds for your local responders. Check out what this Deerfield resident has done and it’s been a success bringing cheer to so many.
- Start your own food drive through your local Facebook group. Place a box outside your home and call for donations. Then drop off the box(es) at your local food pantry.
- Drop off food at your local food pantry or donate money directly.
- Contact your PTO or PTA about donating the year’s reserves to your local food pantry.
- Safely volunteer at organizations like Roberti Community House here in Waukegan.
3. Support Small Businesses.
Order Takeout from your local restaurants to help keep your local economies going. You can access a list of restaurants who are open during this time by visiting your city’s website. Here are a few to check out: Highland Park, Highwood and Winnetka/Northfield.
4. Show Your Support (albeit at a distance).
A great family activity, or even something you can assign your kids, is a making signs for our essential workers. Purchase a yard sign kit and a bottle of setting spray, paints and/or sharpie markers and have it! You can even make one for your yard to thank the delivery drivers that stop by.
5. Connect to those you may not normally connect with.
Single friends in quarantine, extroverts, elderly…if there is anyone in your life who you think may be frightened or lonely, now is the time to reach out.
For five more tips from Ellie on how to get involved in your community and stay engaged, please visit Chicago North Shore Moms.