Let’s get personal
A letter from CEO Liz Shabaker on how we can stay connected during this challenging time
You’ve probably heard of The Five Love Languages, a book that outlines the different ways people express love. My personal language is “acts of service,” or the things you do for other people to make their lives better. During this extremely difficult time, our civic stewardship is more important than ever, and even small acts of service add up to enormous positive impacts.
What are some things we can do?
Talk to your neighbors across the driveway or over the fence and ask how they’re doing and how you can assist in a big or small way. Pick up the phone, call someone and check in on them. The phone is important, as you can hear something in a person’s voice that can’t be detected in an email or text.
To help older adults feel involved, purposeful and less lonely during the pandemic, Johns Hopkins Medicine recommends:
- Showing them how to video chat with others using smartphones, laptops or tablets.
- Using apps on these devices to provide captions for adults with hearing challenges.
- Encouraging friends and family outside of your household to telephone, write notes or send cards to lift your loved one’s spirits.
Consider giving homebound older adults a project they can work on. Go through and organize old photos and memorabilia together and enjoy the stories and happy memories they inspire. It can be a good time for an elder to demonstrate cooking a favorite family recipe or share favorite songs or movies with other people in the household, or via FaceTime or Skype.
Though local restaurants are closed for in-restaurant dining, many still offer delivery or curbside pickup. Seamless, Postmates, DoorDash, GrubHub, Uber Eats and Caviar all provide food delivery services from local restaurants directly to your home.
Donate to non-profits that resonate with you.
For example, maybe you love cooking for your grandchildren, but can’t right now for safety reasons. Many children who used to get free school lunches are now facing food insecurity due to closures. No Kid Hungry and Feeding America support efforts that meet these needs. Here’s a list of nationwide non-profit organizations by category.
With informal campaigns popping up everywhere from Facebook and GoFundMe, scams are popping up. The Federal Trade Commission has released a tip sheet on how to avoid scams and ensure that you’re donating to a legitimate non-profit.
If you’re like me, you may be feeling a little isolated. People and businesses from across the country have stepped up to help one another in this extraordinary time by sharing their services at no cost.
Here are some activities that can help you feel connected:
- Verizon and AT&T are offering free Wi-Fi to K-12 and college students who lack access.
- Scholastic launched a Learn at Home website that has free courses updated daily for kids, from preschool through high school.
- The Met is offering free streaming of its “Live in HD” performance series.
- The Seattle Symphony is offering free broadcasts via YouTube and Facebook.
- The online course aggregator Class Central has compiled a list of more than 400 free classes on a wide range of topics.
- Golds Gym is offering free access to its app, Goldsamp until the end of May.
- Core Power Yoga and Down Dog are offering several free online yoga classes.
- The NHL is making all games played this season available to stream on demand.
- The NBA and NFL are providing similar offerings through NBA League Pass and NFL Game Pass.
- PBS announced it making the 1994 Ken Burns documentary Baseball available for free streaming.1
And finally, as we shelter-in-place and engage in social distancing, take time to:
Thank your grocery clerk.
Give a thought for the people out of work.
Be gentle with people.
Allow for both space and interaction.
Remember, this too shall pass.2
At Versant, we’ve just wrapped up our first week of teleworking. I’m proud of how our team helped each other to ensure that our client service remains seamless. This afternoon, we’re having a firm-wide, virtual gathering to catch up with one another; not just about work, but also about life.
I hope that you and your family are doing well and are navigating this time of uncertainty as well as possible. As always, your Versant team is here to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.
Liz Shabaker, CEO
Versant Capital Management
1 USAToday, NPR