30 Ways to Live Generously in a Pandemic

The world is struggling to cope with the Coronavirus Pandemic, but the story of struggle is not the only, or I would say the main, narrative. On every corner, in every neighborhood and along every dusty road we are seeing acts of generosity that highlight who we were meant to be. Here are 30 ways you can be generous in these trying times:

  1. Wrap a package of toilet paper in colorful wrapping paper and leave it on someone's door.
  2. Make a commitment to call one person a day and check in with them.
  3. Even as you keep your distance, look into the eyes of the people you walk by and smile.
  4. Do something that is part of your normal routine and thank God for what you are still able to do.
  5. Put teddy bears in your windows and challenge the kids of the neighborhood to go on a teddy bear scavenger hunt. 
  6. Pay a service worker for something you would have had done, even if they can't provide the service yet (think salons, contractors, maintenance workers, etc.)
  7. Look for something encouraging and share it with someone on social media, the phone or in person. 
  8. Find out how you can help someone at a retirement home who is unable to have visitors. 
  9. Gather neighbors on front porches/balconies and sing together.
  10. Take some of the time you have reclaimed from your schedule and write something to share with others. 
  11. Read a story to children via video conference or record it on You Tube for others. 
  12. Take walks outside with appropriate precautions and post pictures of nature for others. 
  13. If you are a person of faith, gather together with your faith community.
  14. Identify people who are being marginalized or abused because of the crisis and show kindness.
  15. Share one reason you aren't panicking today. 
  16. Thank a worker who is providing key services (delivery people, grocery store clerks, police, nurses, etc.)
  17. Sit down as a family and do some of the amazing museum tours that are now free online. 
  18. Instead of making a meal for someone, buy all the prepackaged ingredients for a meal to share.
  19. Play an online game with someone who is unable to leave their home. Give them something to look forward to. 
  20. Give someone permission to cry and encourage them to acknowledge the feelings they have.
  21. Schedule a time every day or week to meet on your front porch/balcony with a neighbor sitting in their front porch/balcony and have a chat. 
  22. Celebrate the lives of those we lose and share stories of their lives and impact so that they are not forgotten. 
  23. Write about what you are learning through this crisis and share it with others. 
  24. Search out all the free online learning options that are being offered and let someone else know about your finds. 
  25. Give an extra gift to a nonprofit you already support.
  26. On your next video call show people what your office looks like by turning your camera around so they can see where you are working. 
  27. Share a moment of panic you felt and how you were able to overcome it with joy. 
  28. Identify someone who is out of work because of the crisis and give them a financial gift. 
  29. Brainstorm with those in your household on how you can have fun in new and creative ways.
  30. Come up with your own ideas for ways to be generous, follow through and then share them.