Reaching Out with COVID-19
The first step in the Love Your Neighbour Initiative is making contact with those in your community and exchanging contact info. We've set a challenge of 19 families for each person. Even if you only get 12 families though, that will make a great difference and some will reach out to far more than 19. The challenge though is to do what you can and be a changemaker in your community. Remember, we're not asking you to do all the work - just to initiate with others to make a difference.
Some communities may already be connected online and that is great - you're already a step ahead! Others are less connected and so it would be good to get a start. Perhaps a facebook or whatsapp group is best where people can contribute and connect with one another or maybe an email chain is best. You choose what is best for your community.
While no one really knows how long the coronavirus will affect our lives, we are likely looking at a period measured by months rather than weeks. While some have already started to self-isolate, many in your community may need to be quarantined in the future for a variety of reasons - they themselves may have contracted the coronavirus. Some folks may quarantine because they elderly and particularly vulnerable. Still others may self-isolate because they are immuno compromised. We do well to remember that while people may be fine now, we don't know what their needs might be in the future.
If people are quarantined and need some help, it would be really nice to have contact information for someone that can help. We'll say again, we don't want all of the work of this to fall on the organisers - particularly if they get coronavirus! The goal is to initiate a community feel where people are willing to help one another as needed to pick up groceries, medecines, or other supplies. These deliveries can be left at the door and then the recipient can be sent a quick message to let them know that you left something for them.
The first step in all of this though is to reach out to those in your community. If you don't have an online connection yet, we'd recommend writing a note with your name, address and mobile number and dropping it off in the letterbox of your neighbours. You can write your own note or download and adapt this sample letter. (There's also a pdf version of the letter if that's better for you.)
Once you've made the initial connection, you're ready to move on to the next step of creating community!