← Articles01 April 2020

Seven ways to be useful when it feels like you can’t do a thing to help

Seven ways to be useful when it feels like you can’t do a thing to help

Feeling useful while New Zealand’s going through the Covid-19 crisis is a challenge when you’re isolated in your own home. Here are some ways to help those who are working hard at the frontline or finding it hard to stay positive.

​1. Put a bear in your window

Take part in the ‘We’re Not Scared New Zealand Bear Hunt’ and bring some joy to children passing by. Simply put a teddy bear or some other soft toy (or anything else you can think of that’s amusing) in a window that can be seen from the street. Then pin your location on the official map. There’s a Facebook page for the hunt too.

2. Read stories to grandkids

Wherever they are in the world, your grandchildren are probably in lockdown with their parents. Download the Zoom app on a laptop or PC so that you can read them stories for half an hour every day. You’ll give exhausted parents a break and stay connected with your grandkids. If you’re short on children’s books, make stories up or retell famous children’s stories from memory.

3. Call someone you know will be lonely

If you know someone who’s likely to be isolating on their own, try to make contact by phone, email or post, and then keep the interactions coming. Connecting with people who are feeling lonely is a really important job; you might be only person who’s reached out to them.

4. Post thank you messages on Facebook

Every hospital, airline or essential service that’s responding to Covid-19 has some kind of Facebook page. You can support their people by posting thank- you messages on each organisation’s page.

5. Thank the checkout operators

Supermarket staff are doing an amazing job of keeping shelves stocked, checking out grocery orders and fulfilling online orders. If a family member or friend is doing your shopping, ask them to thank the checkout operators on your behalf.

6. Write letters of thanks to people at the frontline

If you have postage stamps, you can still post letters during your daily walk in the neighbourhood. Write a letter of appreciation to your local hospital’s ER department, the police, the PM or anyone else you think deserves praise for their efforts during Covid-19.

​7. Feel good about doing the right thing

The government has asked everyone who’s not involved with essential services to stay at home and maintain social distancing. If you’re doing’s what’s required, you’re helping New Zealand to survive a very challenging time. Read more about what you need to do.