By nature, humans are creatures of habit; we enjoy the familiar, the comforts of home, and the predictable. Because of this pull to the conventional, it’s easy for us to fall into habits, particularly when the mundane is as unavoidable as it is now. The problem with this new normal lies in the type of habits we’re forming – we’ve been inspired by the stories we hear of people who make generosity a habit, and we wanted to share a few with you, along with some ideas for how you too can contribute to this culture of hope in your own way.
- Nearly 5,000 small Canadian businesses have offered to retool their factory floors to provide critical personal protective equipment for medical workers amid looming supply shortages.
- Charitable organizations have adapted their missions to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The HIP (Honouring Indigenous Peoples) Charitable Organization is prioritizing the production of vital medical equipment needed, as well as supporting food banks in Indigenous communities across Canada. You can donate to HIP here: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/HIP/campaign/hip-covid-19-fund/
- Canadian jewelry brand Birks has teamed up with Toronto-Based fashion designer Izzy Camilleri to supply eco-friendly, washable masks to Canadian hospitals through a one-for-one program for all masks sold.
- Reformation is pivoting to make non-medical grade masks, which are available to purchase and donate to a medical professional in need.
- Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have created a Quarantine Wine, with 100% of the profits being distributed amongst charities personally vetted by the couple, which focus on COVID-19 related relief missions.
- Andrea Pien, a 33-year-old high school counsellor took to social media to offer $20 to any neighbour, friend, or colleague who was struggling to afford food or other necessities. So far she’s given away over $400 and plans to give more. “Part of being a good ally is supporting my neighbours who maybe don’t have the same privilege I do,” Pien stated.
- Nordstrom is utilizing its team of seamstresses to make nearly 1 million masks, benefitting Providence Health Services.
- In rural towns in Canada and the United States, residents are turning their Christmas lights on to brighten the neighbourhood children’s evenings.
- Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner donated 100 meals to East LA Doctor’s Hospital, supporting the nurses and doctors on the frontlines with a simple act of kindness.
- The Canadian luxury outerwear brand Sentaler announced that they will be donating to the COVID-19 Research Response Fund at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto in support of the development of better diagnostic testing and treatments for coronavirus.
- ‘Thank You’ hour. At 7 pm Torontonians have taken to their balconies, windows, and porches to clap, cheer, and show appreciation for healthcare, frontline, and essential workers.
- Pretty Little Thing – Umar Kamani, the company’s CEO, is donating his March salary to charities and small businesses struggling to stay afloat.
- Oprah Winfrey has donated $10 million dollars to relief charities across the United States, an amazing $1 million of that going to support those facing food insecurity.
For all of these stories of giving and light, there is always another side. When shopping at the grocery store do you feel the weight of the crowd’s tension? Do you notice the people shooting each other glares to get down the frozen food aisle? There’s an overwhelming sense of fear which occupies our public spaces right now – and while this fear is founded in a very real pandemic, it also encourages a habit of hostility which translates through our body language and behaviour.
‘Making a difference’ in the context of the world right now can be as simple as a smile to your neighbour when you see them across the street. Try making it a priority to treat the people you see throughout the day with compassion – make kindness a habit in your life. We may not be able to eradicate this sense of fear, but we can give people our patience, our generosity, and our humanity – we’re all neighbours in some regard.
If you’re able, consider donating to a charity that offers relief in this time of need. If you’re unable to donate, we encourage you to join your neighbours by going out on your balcony at 7 pm and showing your support to the frontline workers, who risk their health every day to keep us safe.
A simple act of kindness can go a long way in making someone feel less alone. Donate non-perishables to the food bank; call your vulnerable or elderly friends and family to check in; thank the cashier at the grocery store for showing up and doing the vital work that keeps us all fed and secure. These are the ways you can spread light, love, and compassion, and they are endless.
If you have more ideas for ways to give back, or you have an inspiring story you’d like to share, send us a message and we’ll add them to our Instagram story. @kclifestyling