Across the country, school has been closed, most churches have stopped meeting, non-esential businesses have closed, and many essential businesses, like Chiropractic Family Wellness Center in Scarborough, Maine, have limited their hours. Although everyone wants to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, most of us are not used to sheltering in our homes (many of which have now become offices, playgrounds, classrooms, and daycare centers). This can lead to a lot of stress.

For some people, they are utterly alone in their homes. Fear and loneliness can spiral in these difficult times, but reaching out with generosity brings in the light we all need.

Reaching Out 

Americans from one side of the country to the other are finding creative ways to generously share their time, money, and talents while following social distancing guidelines. Neighbors are contacting neighbors, especially those who might have a hard time getting groceries and medical supplies and arranging to drop off meals and other essentials to people in need. Sidewalk chalk artists and children are writing encouraging messages on driveways and sidewalks to help those walking by feel cheered. Others are making online donations to local charities that have been profoundly affected by the crisis.

Connecting through Gratitude

If you’re not sure where or how to start giving back, the things you are thankful for (and maybe have been writing down in your gratitude journal) can be perfect inspiration for how and where you can start giving back to help your community:

  • Are you grateful for a safe home to shelter in? Donate to your local homeless shelter or look into opportunities to volunteer.
  • Are you grateful for family and friends? Many seniors’ residences are locked down but are continuing their volunteer programs remotely. Volunteers can offer companionship to seniors through Zoom, Facetime, Skype, and other online chat tools or over the phone. You could also donate to community charities that may need extra support right now.
  • Are you grateful for an abundance of nutritious food to eat? Consider volunteering at a local food bank, or donating money or food to one–many of them have seen a drop in donations and a rise in demand and are struggling to meet the need.
  • Are you grateful for your kids’ teachers? While schools are shut, volunteer as an online tutor through your local library, community center, or other online program. Donate unopened school supplies to charities that collect them throughout the year.

Every time you reach out with compassion to share what you have, you are demonstrating generous behavior for others around you (teachable moment, parents!) and helping to create a more generous community. This will fill your heart with a sense of abundance and joy—which we all need right now.

How are you being abundant during this time? Please share below!