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.
6. Donate Money/Raise Money.
There is no shortage of local and national causes and charities that need your help during this time. In your community, consider those who may already be vulnerable (for instance for those in poverty or people who may be at risk for domestic violence). Two local ladies making a difference:
Chicago super star, 7-year-old Haley Orlinsky, daughter of our local children’s book author Lori Orlinksky, is raising money for Children’s Hospital of Chicago! Making loop bracelets, Haley has raised over $11,000! Learn more about Hayley’s bracelets: bit.ly/2LcxklD.
Glencoe mama Sarah Rempel (@crappycoronacrafts Instagram) is raising money for Center for Disaster Philanthropy, COVID 19 relief fund one craft at a time! Starting now through May 31, 2020, when you donate $20 or more, you will receive a custom Crappy Corona Craft-Box! The box will include all materials required and easy-to-follow instructions to do three kid-friendly crafts at home. For more information, please visit her gofundme page and @crappycoronacrafts page for all of the cool crafts!
7. Sew medical masks or donate to those making.
Hospitals around the control are experiencing shortages. If you know how to sew or want to pick up this new skill, there are many tutorials online.
- Learn: Handmade Masks Virtual Workshops from Winnetka-based shop Ciao Bella Sewing.
- Join: Check out the public Facebook group call Sew Masks to fight Corona/Covid-19 (Illinois) and you can get great information here on donating, obtaining and sewing masks.
- View: NBC produced this piece on different ways to make a mask at home.
- Purchase: Handmade masks are being made and sold form local sources all around. Check out Shop Katie May – she is donating masks to essential workers 1:1.
- Organize: Rally around the first responders in your community who are putting their lives at risk to help support your local communities. A group of families from your school, for example, can “go in on” a gift or gesture to a nurse or doctor at your school surrounded by COVID 19.
8. Keep informed but no too much!
The constant deluge of COVID-19 news coming from all outlets is overtaking our lives. And the news is not getting better – yet. Pick one or two sources of news that you trust and check in once and in a while. Try JB Pritzker live press release, 2:30 M-F. You can listen live on tv or on Facebook.
Get more help: JB Pritzker’s “Call4Calm,” anyone can anonymously text the word “talk” or “hablar” (for Spanish services) to 5-5-2-0-2-0.
9. Wash your hands, keep your distance and wear a mask!
“the day we can begin our path back to normal will come sooner because of your actions right now.” – JB Pritzker at his press release on Thursday, April 16, 2020.
Click here to see the CDC’s guide to properly wearing a mask.
10. Connect Your Friends.
By now we’ve all been on a zoom call or two or 100 and it’s now become a verb (zoom • ing) lol. But seriously, get everyone on a zoom call; even the little ones want to see their school pals!