Neighbors helping Neighbors is how we will get through this. There are resources to available from your state, county and federal governments, but when we are all at home, knowing others are suffering, so many of us want to do more. This started as a top 10 list, but it's grown so here are the top 10+ ways to support your community.
1. Sew masks or donate 1/4" or smaller elastic! Can you sew? We've got a group of volunteers sewing masks for healthcare organizations, food service employees and other front line workers. If you want to make masks, Alicia Rule is connecting people and you can sign up for that here. Or, if you have 1/4" elastic and want to donate it, reply to this email.
2. Drive and deliver food! Miracle Food Network works with groups like Sustainable Connections to deliver food to those who need it. This is food that would otherwise be wasted. They need drivers! Volunteer by texting Valorie (don't call, she is overwhelmed) at 206-913-9027. If you can't drive, consider donating to support logistics and transportation Or, if you are tech savvy, consider offering to help them manage their donor database, update their website, etc.
3. Donate to Riveters Collective's fundraiser to buy a meal for our healthcare workers. We've paired with local business Good to Go Meat Pies to deliver chilled, individually wrapped meat pies that can be microwaved for a safe, delicious, locally-made meal during a shift. We were originally hoping to raise $600 to buy lunch for the ER and ICU. But then you kept on donating! We added floors on the hospital, Shuksan Healthcare Center and are looking at connecting with people outside of healthcare like WTA employees who are still at risk.
4. Boost Morale for frontline workers. Know any "Covid-19 Heroes"? Not just healthcare workers, but grocery clerks, childcare employees, bus drivers, firefighters and more are all risking their health to keep our essential needs met. Many are stressed out, exhausted and have no idea how much we appreciate them. We created a card that we're sending to let them know how much we appreciate them. Nominate someone or email us back to write cards!
5. Check in on your neighbors. Ferndale, Blaine Area, Lynden/Nooksack/Sumas, and Bellingham all have active Facebook groups connecting neighbors. Not everyone uses social media, so you might also want to call or email neighbors you know.
6. Give Blood! There is a critical shortage of blood donations in Western Washington. NW Bloodworks is requiring donors to schedule their appointment ahead of time to meet social distancing recommendations and ensure the best and safest experience possible, they are. You can schedule an appointment here: https://www.bloodworksnw.org/donate
7. Forward this email. Know someone at home who might want to help? Feel free to share all of these positive actions we can take together.
8. Protect your mental and physical health. You still can go outside if you stay 6 feet away from people. If you want to stay inside, you can visit the Louvre, the Sistine Chapel and the Whatcom Museum all in one day, watch sea otters and other creatures, or even cuddle up with your quarantine buddy and watch the Northern Lights. If you need more help, know that you aren’t alone and NAMI has created a guide to help you find support for yourself or a loved one.
9. STAY HOME if you can! We beat this virus when it stops infecting so many people. If we can slow down the infection rate, we “flatten the curve” which means our healthcare system will be able to handle this threat. The State of Washington is moving as many people as possible out of our hospitals to make room for COVID-19 patients. We are working as hard as we can on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and testing kits.
10. Commit to Re-electing Whatcom Champions (Me!) My finance people made me put this last item on! If you want to make sure creative, caring leaders get re-elected, consider donating to my campaign.