During seasons of harsh weather, flu and illness, natural disasters or other emergencies, it’s important to remember the most vulnerable in our community. It takes a village to ensure we are all taken care of, and it’s our responsibility as good human beings to do our part. It’s also a great opportunity to teach our kids the importance of kindness and helping others. Here are 5 simple ways to help your elderly or immunocompromised family, friends, or neighbors that even your kids can take part in:
A friendly phone call or text
The inability to get out and about can be isolating. Taking five minutes to call or text someone can brighten their day and remind them that they are cared for and appreciated. Let them know you are thinking of them and available if they need a friend to talk to.
Offer to run errands
Chances are you have your own errands to run around town anyway, so why not offer to help your neighbor in the process? Ask if they need any items from the grocery store or offer to pick up their medications from the pharmacy. This simple task for you can relieve a huge headache for them.
Become pen pals
My first grader recently connected with our local nursing home and was given a pen pal. It’s been a great way for her to practice her writing skills while providing friendship and service to her community. Snail mail has become a thing of the past, so it’s exciting for both pen pals to check the mail in anticipation of a handwritten letter!
Offer your services
Maybe your neighbor is unable to do their yard work or make their own meals. Maybe they have family members that help, but they get overwhelmed trying to juggle their own lives and keeping up with their loved one’s needs. Lend a helping hand by offering to mow the grass or pull weeds in the flower bed. Offer to grab their mail and bring it inside. Or next time you are making a big family meal, make some extra and walk it over to them.
Make a care package
My kids love helping me put together care packages for family and friends! Sometimes we include fun things like at-home activities (think puzzles, word search, coloring books) and self-care treats like bath bombs, lotion, or chocolates. But you could also put together a package of things you know your family member needs frequently, such as personal hygiene items or non-perishable food items. My kids always like to include their own artwork, too!
Whatever you decide to do to help your family, friends and neighbors in need, know that you are providing a valuable service to your community. And above all else, have fun with it! Show your kids that helping others brings joy to their lives and others. So, go out and spread that kindness like confetti!