These are weird times. Everyday we watch the news and the number of those infected are growing and the calls to social distance are louder. I hate to admit it. It’s been hard to process all of my feelings with the COVID-19, but if anything, I have realized how lucky I am.
Experiencing a global pandemic forces you to take a step back and reflect on life. There are so many things that I am grateful for.
- Someone to social isolate with
- Salary job that allows me to work remotely
- Frontline workers who are sacrificing their health to ensure the health of everyone else
- Grocery stores and staff who have to deal with some crazies
- Delivery services
- A roof over my head
- Books (PS. If you’re looking for a good read, head over to the Things To Read section on my blog)
There’s not much we can control as the virus gets worse, but one thing I can control is supporting those in need as much as I can. I’ve put together a list of ways to support small businesses and those most in need. Check it out below.
Did you know that small businesses make up 98% of all businesses in BC and employ over 1.1 million people? Here are some things I will be doing in the coming weeks:
Ordering takeout through food delivery apps
I highly recommend taking a look at Breaking Bread for more ideas on how you can support local restaurants. A great way to support while staying healthy is to order take out or delivery through the following apps:
- Uber Eats is waiving delivery fees to support local restaurants
- Skip the Dishes
- Some restaurants may not offer food delivery through apps – go old school and pick up the phone to see if they are open and if they are offering take out.
Buying gift cards
You would be surprised by the number of local businesses that sell gift cards. The extra cash flow through a gift card purchase can go a long way.
Shopping online with local retailers
Some of favourites are Book Warehouse/Black Bond Books, K’pure Naturals, and Langley Farm Market. I’m looking to add to this list so please let me know what other local businesses are looking for support. I’ve also been ordering groceries through SPUD and they try to source food from local vendors.
Donating to non-profit organizations supporting those who need it the most
Vancouver is one of the most expensive cities in the world and there are so many that need our help.
- Food Banks: 1 in 5 children, or 172,550 children and youth, are growing up in poverty in BC. Monetary donations go a long way for food banks so they can purchase items that are critically needed. I donated to Richmond Food Bank today, but here are links to the food banks in the Lower Mainland. Remember, anything you give helps and goes a long way.
- Homeless Shelters: There are over 1,200* homeless people in the Downtown Eastside, including 600* unsheltered (*undercount). Many are immune compromised, with chronic disease and disability, and a high percentage are seniors. The vast majority don’t have phones to call 811 for testing or to stay informed about COVID-19. Here are some non-profit organizations supporting the homeless in Vancouver:
- Non-profit Theatre Companies: With social distancing, non-profit theatres have been forced to cancel their upcoming shows which heavily impacts artists, actors, crew, and all theatre staff. Donations are certainly welcome so that these organizations can recover. Take a look at theatres and shows that have been affected here.
Extending a hand to neighbours
COVID-19 Coming Together (Vancouver) is a Facebook group with people who are looking to help others. From toilet paper to grocery runs, it is incredible to see the Lower Mainland come together to support those in need.
Looking for more ideas? Check out Continuing Everyday. A website that is listing initiatives that businesses are doing so everyone can live their everyday life from inside.
Now is the time to stay positive and hopeful. It is not the time to be selfish. Please be kind and do what you can to support others.