Foster Fridays: Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor During COVID-19
Yes, we have faith. Yes, we choose love over fear. AND we also do our part in faith. Be a good citizen. Be a good neighbor - especially to and for the elderly and those who are vulnerable. Those with underlying health conditions. Those who experience hunger and fragility in ways that some of us only read about. Be generous. Be gracious. Be light and salt during this chaotic times. May the Church shine. In other words, please wash hands, but don't forget to wash feet.
Any time government and private systems are strained, the most vulnerable are almost always the most impacted. COVID-19’s mortality rates for children are low, but its net impact upon orphaned children, foster youth and other highly-vulnerable populations is likely to be high.
This post is not specifically foster care related. But during this time of the U.S. COVID-19 outbreak, I am trying to figure out what loving my neighbor means right now. How do I be the hands/feet of Christ when being in community is dangerous?
I have been heavily inspired by the above quotations. I was also brain-storming with a friend today over the phone, and here are a couple of practical things I feel led towards during this time. Besides the obvious of washing hands, staying home as much as possible, etc.
Protecting your social worker / the many people they come in contact with.
It is social worker appreciation month, and many social workers are still expected to do in-home visits. Let your agency’s office know if you’re uncomfortable with this. In many agencies, this may be enough to allow the workers to postpone visits. Visits are important! Don’t take advantage of this, but let your voice be heard.
If you need groceries, and there’s a pick-up option available, USE IT.
Some states that are in total lock-down are still required to keep grocery stores open. I get this. Some people can’t afford to stock up. Sometimes you run out before you thought you would. We have to eat. But you know there will be people headed to any store that’s open just because they’re bored. I’ve actually never used a pick-up option or app before, but this is safer for the people who work at the grocery store (who maybe can’t afford to stay home/quit/ loose benefits.) So this may be the most considerate way to get food at this time.
Consider ways to help the elderly and vulnerable
If you’re healthy, reach out to someone who might need extra help. Can you use an app to put together a grocery cart/ then pick up for a neighbor who doesn’t know how? Can you walk them through how to stream a church service online?
Check in on people
I was speaking to someone who lives alone, who was very afraid of her city going into full quarantine. Personally, I’m a homebody and an introvert, but being alone is torture to some people. If you know someone who lives alone, give them a call.
Check on volunteer-based organizations that can’t stop helping people
Places like shelters for those experiencing homelessness still need to operate. Get in contact with them and see if there’s something they need that you could have shipped to their location. Pray for their volunteers and guests who are probably experiencing anxiety at this time.
Is there something else you can think of to show love at this time? Please, share it on our FB page!