For many, it’s hard to feel thankful right now. What’s usually a time to see distant friends and family looks quite different this year. What’s more, beyond the cancellation of traditional holiday celebrations, many of us are suffering immensely as a result of the pandemic. Whether it’s job loss, social isolation, or the loss of a loved one due to COVID-19, the mood in neighborhoods across the HOA space likely feels bleak.
One of the best ways to heal pain is to help others, and giving back is a holiday tradition that doesn’t have to be cancelled in 2020. HOA boards can take on leadership in their communities to provide solace to those less fortunate. Here are four ideas we have that your community can do to give back this holiday season:
1. Organize a drive
With lockdown comes an opportunity to declutter the house, and as they say, “one man’s trash may become another man’s treasure.” Shoes, clothing, toys, and food are easily accessible items that can be collected for donation by board members. We suggest researching your local food pantries and shelters for donation needs, or consider a national organization such as the American Red Cross.
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2. Run errands for the elderly
Senior citizens are far more at risk to suffer devastating conditions from COVID-19, so anything that we can do to help our elderly neighbors stay safe is a plus. Organize a group of people within your community to offer services such as grocery runs or holiday shopping trips. This type of community involvement directly impacts neighbors in need while establishing positive rapport.
3. Help the hungry
Food pantries across the country are going bare as lines continue to to swell as a result of the pandemic. The nonprofit organization Feeding America is estimating that the number of people who are food insecure could rise to over 50 million – including 17 million children – by the end of the year. Through simple communications in your online portal, HOA board members could easily fund organizations that are working tirelessly to fight hunger across the United States and globally.
4. Create small group volunteer hubs
With masks on hand and six feet apart, a small group of neighbors could participate in volunteer opportunities within your community. From serving at a food bank or helping at a thrift store for the homeless, many charitable organizations have clear protocols in place to keep volunteers safe while supporting those in need. There are also many local organizations who have online volunteer needs, such as virtual tutoring or support group mentorship. Volunteer Hub is an online source you can use to find local opportunities near you.
While things definitely look different this year, one thing is the same. As leaders, HOA boards can do a lot to drive comradery and community.
Are you interested in more tips on leading through COVID within your association? Click here to learn about impactful things you can do to support residents while they’re stuck at home, and check out other articles in our resource center featuring COVID-19 tips.