Supporting the Kansas City Community while Social Distancing

It’s everywhere now: social distancing as key to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

It’s a good idea. The fewer people who interact, the harder it is for the coronavirus to spread. Makes sense. Count me in.

But it’s LONELY. We live in a society that benefits from collaborative effort. The effects of staying in our house with our families ripple through small businesses, charities, and can hurt those who depend on interaction for their livelihood.

In times of turmoil and anxiety, my personal default is to reach out and try to help others. Given the current situation, reaching out physically may not be possible, but we’ve compiled a list of how you can help support the Kansas City community from your own home.

Charities

  • The Ronald McDonald House of Kansas City depends on volunteer groups that purchase and cook meals to feed the families of children receiving treatment at Children’s Mercy. Since many of these children are immunocompromised, the House staff has had to make the tough call to end these visitors and are asking for monetary donations to purchase quick heat-and-eat meals and snacks for the families to limit contact with the outside.  You can make a tax-deductible online donation here.
  • HappyBottoms provides diapers to many Kansas City families in need. Due to virus concerns, they have stopped individual donations and volunteer shifts until mid-April. With many families working less due to social distancing, their need is expected to increase. You can still help by donating online here!
  • Harvesters Community Food Network has paused volunteer groups and will likely be seeing greater need with individuals not working. Donate here.
  • Been thinking about adding a furry friend to your family? What better time than now, when you’re home 24/7 anyway and can bond and work on training? KC Pet Project and Wayside Waifs are still open for adoptions!

Small Businesses

  • Don’t want to eat out? Check out Curbside KC for a listing of restaurants offering delivery and curbside pickup to minimize interactions while still keeping your favorite places in business.
  • Purchase a gift card (preferably online, to limit contact!) to give your favorite businesses a short-term cash infusion so they might be able to make payroll or utilities payments when business is down. Consider stocking up on gift cards for upcoming holidays or birthdays, too!
  • If you are financially able, shift the burden of canceled events and services to yourself.  Concert or festival canceled? Instead of requesting a refund, consider it a donation to the band, venue, or organizer that might be out lots of money their family is depending on. Have a cleaning service? Consider paying your cleaning person and telling them to stay home to prevent spreading of germs. Is it uncomfortable and not fun? Yes. Will these financial sacrifices mean the world to small business owners? Yes.

Kids Can Help, Too

  • Many families have elderly relatives locked down in long-term care facilities. Please let them know they are loved by continuing to call, FaceTime, and snail mail pictures and drawings from the kids! Want to spread a little more love? Care Haven Homes in Prairie Village is requesting cards from kids to their residents be sent to 3848 W. 75th Street, Prairie Village, KS 66208.kid writing
  • Consider keeping your kids busy with projects to benefit the community. Fleece braid dog toys can be donated to animal shelters. Kindness rocks can be painted and dropped along walking trails. Older kids can learn to crochet hats for hospital patients. You get the idea!

Be a Good Human

  • Share. Have too much of something someone else might need? Offer it up. Leave it on your porch or driveway for pickup to minimize contact.
  • WASH YOUR HANDS. A lot.
  • Acknowledge that people are feeling a wide range of emotions right now relating to anxiety, cancelled events, uncertain income, and changed plans. Don’t turn this into the hardship games. Be kind.

Anyone have other suggestions? Leave them in the comments!

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Brie is a Kansas City Northland transplant from Chicago. She’s a full-time working mom to two adorable boys, two demanding cats, and the laziest beagle on the planet. She and her husband moved here for a two-year work appointment, which turned into a love affair with Kansas City, a house purchase, and permanent jobs. In her spare time (ha), Brie enjoys recreational bath-taking, volunteering, posting entirely too many pictures of her kids on social media, coloring books, deal hunting, and counting down the days until Christmas

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