With cases either increasing or decreasing in different states across the country, things remain very uncertain. Whether it’s cleaning up parks and forest reserves, planting trees, creating community gardens and fridges, or combating mental health issues that have come to the forefront because of COVID-19, our starters have been stepping up and adapting to make sure they can keep doing the work they set out to do.
Thirty people, six families, ten volunteers
The members of Community Fridge Halifax have been working nonstop to ensure people who need it have access to food. Juanita, the team’s champion, consistently updated her team on what was going on as COVID restrictions closed down some communities. The group had gotten masks, gloves, and other essentials items to make food delivery safer, and in little to no time, they were able to start distributing food to families.
After a month had passed, they had a weekly routine to deliver to seniors who didn’t drive. They’re a team of “ten volunteers, with eight members that meet almost weekly to deliver food baskets to approximately 30 persons with a rotation of 6 families per week,” says Juanita. They’ve experienced some challenges during the pandemic, like being creative when it comes to delivering food while maintaining personal protective equipment (PPE), which can be difficult.
Juanita said that “the group members ended up purchasing white tees with a ChangeX logo to help families identify volunteers when making deliveries.” They also used an “advanced phone call” to alert people when they were near the homes to drop off the food, and to maintain social distance, the basket placed at the door, and the group never enters the house. By setting up this system, the Community Fridge Halifax group has continued to provide for people in need, while taking a different approach to community fridges that we’ve helped fund in the past.
A smaller group, a bigger impact
Men’s Shed is a welcome place for men to get together, support one another, and share skills and knowledge. One of the Men’s Sheds in San Antonio, TX, has met safely to discuss health, spirituality, wealth, and professional growth as a small group. They’ve been reading and reviewing books, discussing investment strategies, and accompanying one another to doctor’s visits when allowed. They’ll soon meet up and walk on a nature trail, which is fantastic.
Growing together in food empathy
Gardens of the East are a part of the Grow It Yourself movement on ChangeX. Grow It Yourself teaches people how to grow their food and develop a deeper understanding of where food comes from, and they call this “food empathy.” In the last few months, Gardens of the East has developed new ways of educating people on food growing, hosting online workshops that have engaged hundreds of people in San Antonio.
Their biggest cleanup yet!
Friends of the Chicago River are determined to get rid of the pollution floating into the river and raise awareness of how the natural habitat and resource needs to be protected. Recently, the Chippewa River Cleanup group was able to collect garbage from the area and host their “biggest cleanup yet.” The group had broken up into smaller groups to tackle more ground and to maintain social distancing. They used the funds provided by ChangeX to get vests and other sanitary supplies and will continue to do smaller cleanup projects around the surrounding areas.
Fifteen trees planted
Rooted in Cheyenne’s goal is to provide low-cost trees to Cheyenne residents. In June, the group planted fifteen trees with community members in neighborhoods cultivating a greener, healthier, and more liveable Cheyenne community. They usually engaged with community members in large-scale tree planting events but had to adapt due to COVID, and completed the planting in a much smaller group. They take care of the tree for about a year after planting to ensure the tree’s longevity. Read more about the tree planting program in The Cheyenne Post.
It’s been so great to hear and see pictures of the progress that these groups have made during a very challenging time. Look at how creative they’ve gotten! We’re inspired that these groups were able to adapt in very uncertain circumstances. We believe that when the world has a little more empathy, we can genuinely help and understand each other. In the end, we want every community in the world to thrive together and it’s more important now than ever.
Would you like to start a project in your community to help people? Please join us at changex.org to see all of the fantastic community groups making a difference.