In a matter of weeks, the world flipped upside down and daily life changed for meeting planners. With hotels closed, events postponed and financial strains increasing anxiety levels, a little bit of time from list-making pros can go a long way toward helping a community cope.
Small Businesses Need Big Efforts
Buying gift cards and shopping local are the two most common ways to help keep a small business intact. Recently, many have taken to calling restaurants for take-out orders rather than using delivery apps such as UberEats or DoorDash that take a percentage of the bill. Diners are also participating in ‘National Takeout Days’ across the country to encourage others to help restaurants struggling to survive. Planners can synch up orders for neighbors who might not be able to leave the house.
Online Fundraising Tools
Those who are financially strained have relied heavily on websites such as GoFundMe or Crowdfunder to help with bills and other necessities. Meeting professionals can share needs from families and small businesses with their extensive networks. Who better to connect those with needs and those who can help?
With a shortage of masks and a dire need for protection, crafty meeting profs with some down time can help make masks for health workers from the comfort of their home. If you have the necessary supplies and time, mask-making is a vital way to help those on the front lines tending to the sick. Designer Christian Siriano employed his design team and is helping in New York State. No matter where you are, if you are sewing-savvy and have the resources, you can do the same. Some hospitals have even made mask-making kits available for pick up.
Blood donations are needed now more than ever since many blood drives have been canceled. Those who have underlying health conditions and rely on blood transfusions are urging people to help. The American Red Cross has kept many blood donation centers open as essential services and set up new ones in hospitals around the country. They have assured donators that protocols have been installed and enhanced disinfecting procedures are in place. Donors sit six feet apart while waiting to ensure social distancing.
Being forced in isolation leaves many feeling lonely. Consider adopting or fostering a pet during this time. Numerous adoption centers are encouraging people to bring some love into their homes and free up vital space in shelters. During these stressful times, find your quarantine companion and look to your local shelter!
Donations are helping people, companies and organizations stay afloat. Consider donating to causes that help others and non-profit organizations seeking to make a difference.
- Guardian Angels, a non-profit organization that has been helping people worldwide since 1979, is feeding the homeless on NYC subways amid COVID-19.
- With schools down for children who rely on school meals, Feed the Children is looking for cash donations or items. If you want to donate food or hygiene items, call 1-800-627-4556.
- Whatever you can spare will go a long way. Remember each state has their own resources as well, so a simple google search followed by your state will provide you with direct resources to help your local community.
There’s nothing like helping out those living beside you to instill a sense of community. Neighbors have been posting more frequently on Nextdoor, a hyperlocal social platform. It has become an easy way to offer your organizational, logistics or other services in your community.
People have also taken to Instagram Live to share tips or simply answer emails to help people navigate through these turbulent times. It’s comforting to know that your skill may be just what someone in your community needs.