Over the past few weeks, we have all experienced one of the most extraordinary situations of our lives, the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
With the onset of this illness and the resulting state-mandated shut down of non-essential businesses, we have been faced with a very different reality. The resulting distancing requirements and mandate to not gather in groups has also had profound effects.
Over the next few weeks or months, we will see a lightening of mandates and the allowance of certain previously shuttered businesses and entities to reopen.
At the same time, many are currently receiving their stimulus money as promised from the federal government–$1200; what to do?
Some will need this money to pay bills and stay afloat personally, and for those I say by all means take care of yourself and your family’s needs first. But for those of us with essential businesses and jobs who were blessed with the ability to continue to stay open and provide for our families, this stimulus money is in addition to our normal income.
I am asking you to consider how you spend that money to maximize the help toward those businesses and organizations that were the most damaged by these closures. Restaurants, bars, hair salons, gift shops, movie theaters, clothing stores and churches are just a few examples of places needing this help.
Big box stores and online giants did not close and actually had record sales during this time. The small businesses that sacrificed–in many cases–their sole income to protect us against the spread of the virus were the true heroes in this crisis and are now in most need of our help.
Our quality of life is what was lost. The essentials are just that–essential. The ability to gather and enjoy life and worship is what was taken.
Some will miss gathering with friends and having a meal. Some will miss seeing friends that they only see on occasion at the local watering hole. Or missing the date with a friend or family at a movie.
Others will miss their time to reflect and worship at their house of faith.
Mind, body and spirit–we must feed all to be balanced and happy. Now is the time to insure these places not only survive, but thrive.
I challenge all who can to join me in selecting those places you most enjoy and miss and make an effort to buy gift certificates, use carry out services when available and donate to the church where you worship.