We’re on the last few days of the Blogging from A-Z Challenge! Every day throughout April (except Sundays) I’ll be posting a range of ideas and tips for keeping your family entertained at home. It will include arts and crafts, games, learning ideas and imaginative activities for all ages. I thought it would be particularly useful while we’re all self-isolating or socially distancing, though it can be used for any time of year.
Letter “X” is for Xenodochy, which means the act of extending kindness or hospitality towards strangers (from “xeno”-foreign and “dochy”-kindness.)
Now more than ever, it’s important to look out for the vulnerable members of our community and offer our support to those who need it most. Below are some ideas for ways in which we can help others during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please note that most of these initiatives are based in the UK, but there should be equivalent organisations in most areas.
- If your neighbours are elderly or self-isolating due to illness, you could drop a note through their door offering to collect their shopping or medication for them if you have transport and are able. Or perhaps you could put together a small care package. Remember to leave it on their doorstep and stay at a safe distance.
- Join your local COVID-19 assistance and support group on Facebook, WhatsApp or NextDoor and offer to help people when you can. If your community doesn’t have a group yet, consider starting one.
- Consider making a donation to charity if you can afford to do so. There are so many worthy causes, including Captain Tom’s Walk for the NHS, The Big Night In (Children in Need & Comic Relief), NSPCC (supporting vulnerable children) or Refuge (helping victims of domestic violence).
- Many animal sanctuaries and wildlife parks are struggling without income from the public right now. Follow your local favourites on social media and see if you can help by donating food, money or supplies.
- If you have a sewing machine and spare material, you could make scrubs or kit bags for your local hospital. Hayley Rolf shows how to make an NHS bag from a pillowcase.
- Support local businesses by ordering items from their online shops or over the telephone if possible rather than going straight to the big companies.
- If you have a 3D printer, you could produce face shields for the NHS using this template and instructions.
- Adopt a grandparent! You can sign up to befriend a care home resident virtually or via post to provide them with some company and entertainment. You can apply at CHD Living, Agincare or BrunelCare.
- Registration for NHS Volunteer Responders is currently closed (as of 27th April) as they received an incredible 750,000 applications! But please keep checking in case they need more volunteers in the future.
- If you have a special talent or hobby, consider holding a free online tutorial to teach people a new skill.
- Check-in on friends or neighbours to make sure they are doing ok, especially those that live alone, suffer from mental health conditions or are caring for young children. This lockdown is hard for everyone, but letting someone know you’re there if you need them can be a great help.
Do you have any other ideas of ways we can show kindness during the COVID-19 pandemic? Have you ever received an act of kindness from a stranger?