May 07, 2020

Five Ways to Help Your Community and Build Social Connections Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

This week marks the Canadian Mental Health Association's (CMHA) annual Mental Health Week, from May 4 till May 10, creating awareness and sparking conversation around mental health in Canada.

 

Avenue Living Communities supports the mission of the CMHA in creating awareness as we, just like this great organization, encourage our residents, our teams, our friends, and our families, to connect, to talk about mental health, and to #GetReal, especially during these tough times.

 

Social connection is already an important facet of human life, but now more so than ever, we all need genuine social connection. To be there for each other, to maintain, and to build our social connections. We are stronger when we're in it together.

 

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, how can we build social connection in our communities? We bring you five actionable ways that you can start to make those connections in your buildings, your neighbourhoods, and your communities, all the while helping those who need it most.

 

Virtual Volunteering

 

Much like we have adapted our business processes to provide safe, contact-free digital services like virtual viewings and digital lease agreements, many non-profit organizations have various virtual volunteer opportunities. These virtual alternatives are safe and contact-free for those able to offer their expertise to support a local community organization via remote online work.

Examples of virtual volunteering can include photography, graphic design, translation, editing, writing, mentoring and tutoring. Look for local non-profits in your community that have virtual volunteer opportunities. They won't forget the help that you provided them, especially during a time of crisis.

 

Help a Neighbour

 

As the immunocompromised and the elderly population are encouraged to stay safe in isolation, they may need help with basic needs such as their groceries, walking their dog, or simply just someone to talk to. There are many ways to make social connections with your neighbours, but right now even a small note letting them know you're there if they need any help can go a long way.

 

We have set up our Community Task Force to help individuals with these necessities. If you are a resident who needs assistance, or would like to connect with another resident to offer your help, you can reach our dedicated, friendly Community Task Force team at COVID-19@avenueliving.ca or call 1-855-247-1492.

 

Support Local Organizations and Businesses

 

Due to COVID-19 much of the economy has been impacted. While the Government of Canada has offered financial assistance to individuals and businesses, many local organizations and businesses are fighting to stay open throughout the pandemic.

 

Communities are stronger when we're in it together. That's why we have pledged over $100,000 to support our local community food banks through these trying times. Ensuring they're able to help those who need it most in our communities.

 

Especially today, these local organizations and other independent businesses like local eateries, specialty stores, and artisans may be operating with safe delivery options and curbside pickup.

 

Is there a local business you love? Support from members of the community at this time means a great deal, and when all is said and done, it's the community that kept them in business.

 

Offer Expertise in Community Groups Online

 

Social connections do not have to be face-to-face with the power of the online world. You're only a few clicks away from making strong social connections with others online.

 

Look for local community groups on Reddit or Facebook. There you can share expertise, find other like-minded individuals in your community, offer to support others, and build meaningful social connections, albeit virtually, online.

 

Do you have lots of knowledge to share to the community? Consider creating your own community-focused content in the form of video, podcasts, or a blog. Forge social connections through sharing your content to help others.

 

Use Technology to Connect

 

While many businesses are currently utilizing video conferencing software for virtual meetings, these tools are also useful to feel a little more normalcy by meeting with friends and family.

 

These technologies can keep us connected as we navigate these uncertain times together. You can have fun with it. Host a formal dinner with your family, or use video conferencing with Netflix Party to have a virtual movie night with friends.

 

We encourage you to #GetReal, and socially connect with others through the many ways we can all continue to face our challenges together. And please remember we're here to help.

 

Questions regarding rent and lease agreements – Please contact our Prairie Relief Team at:

Email: prairie-relief@avenueliving.ca

Phone: 1-855-247-1492 ext. 5

 

If you need any assistance with daily needs or want to help others – Please contact our Community Task Force at:

Email: COVID-19@avenueliving.ca

Phone 1-855-247-1492

 

par Avenue Living Communities