Generosity in a Time of Social Distancing

Kid shares encouragement

Closing the Distance: Gratitude, Joy, and Generosity during COVID-19

Generosity in a Time of Social Distancing

Part Two in Series

In Part One, Abundance Canada client Patty Ollie’s story of how keeping a gratitude journal inspired hope in times of adversity.

Across the country, churches have stopped meeting, school has been cancelled, and non-essential businesses have implemented modified operating conditions or closed completely. Although everyone wants to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Canadians are unaccustomed to being confined to our homes (many of which have become simultaneous offices, playgrounds, classrooms, and nurseries).

Fear and loneliness can spiral in these dark and unprecedented times but reaching out with generosity ushers in the light we so desperately need.

Reaching Out

Canadians from one side of the country to the other are finding creative ways to generously share their time, money, and talents while adhering to the rules of social distancing. Neighbours are contacting neighbours, especially those who might have difficulty getting groceries or medical supplies and arranging to drop off meals and other essentials. Sidewalk chalk artists of all ages are writing encouraging messages on driveways, sidewalks, and pathways to help those walking by feel connected and encouraged. Others are making online donations to the local charities that have been deeply affected by the crisis.

If you’re not sure where or how to start giving back, the things you are thankful for can be a fantastic inspiration for how and where you can start giving in your community.

The Gratitude Connection

If you’re not sure where or how to start giving back, the things you are thankful for (and maybe wrote down in your gratitude journal) can be a fantastic inspiration for how and where you can start giving in your community. For example, are you:

  • Grateful for a safe home to stay in? Donate to your local homeless shelter or investigate opportunities to volunteer.
  • Grateful for family and friends? Many seniors’ residences are locked down but are continuing their volunteer programs remotely. Volunteers can offer companionship to seniors through zoom, skype, and other online chat tools or over the phone. You could also donate to community charities which may need extra support right now.
  • Grateful for your kids’ teachers? While schools are shut, volunteer as an online tutor through your local library, community centre, or other online program. Donate unopened school supplies to charities that collect them throughout the year.

Every time you reach out with compassion to share what you have, you are modelling generosity for others around you and helping to create a more generous community.

In Part Three, my colleague, Brad Friesen, will explain how Abundance Canada makes donating to charity easy and convenient – even when self-isolating.

Contributed by Barbara Chambers
Director of Communications

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