Leaders and readers,
I hope this edition of the Impact Weekly finds you, your teams and your loved ones in good health, and that you’re finding moments of joy of peace throughout this sometimes taxing period of social distancing.
I want to take this opportunity to be radically honest about something I’d taken for granted. Before this crisis began, if you’d asked me to name three service or purpose-driven career paths that are essential to the health of our communities, I probably wouldn’t have mentioned the people who work at our grocery stores. Now, I can’t imagine making a list that doesn’t include them at the very top — and I bet I’m not alone in that.
Like doctors and nurses, grocery store workers are at the frontlines of this crisis. But unlike doctors and nurses, these essential workers are far less likely than most to be able to afford health care, child care, rent on a one bedroom apartment in the state in which they live — the list goes on.
I’m grateful to these people; and if you’ve been to your grocery store to pick up food for your family, I’m sure you are, too. But gratitude can and should be more than just a thank you. To that end, I’d like to mine the compassion and good thinking of my readership to find ways that we can show up for them the way they’ve shown up for us.
If you have any ideas, please reach out. I’ll be spotlighting them on NationSwell and in this letter.
One Harvard Medical Expert’s Idea to Fight This Crisis
Dr. Raj Panjabi, CEO of Last Mile Health & Associate Physician at Harvard Medical School, has a proposal for how we can fight the health and economic impact of the pandemic: Take U.S. workers who’ve lost their jobs amid this crisis and hire and train them to be Covid-19 community health workers, empowered to do everything from delivering elderly people food and medicine to organizing transportation to testing centers for people who might be sick. How do we pay for their training and their wages, you ask? Through the public-private sector collaboration of federal stimulus dollars and philanthropic efforts. Read Dr. Panjabi’s full proposal here.
#WeavingCommunity Matters — Now, More Than Ever
It’s on all of us to practice social distancing amid this crisis. But social distancing is lonely, and loneliness is America’s most under-discussed health crisis. That’s where our partners at Weave: The Social Fabric Project come in. Rising to this moment, they’ve created a digital toolkit that empowers you to connect and converse with, and care for, people who might be struggling right now.
Learn more about Weave’s Coronavirus response here, and see more about how we’ve worked with Weave and the Aspen Institute here.
Three From the Council
I wanted to use this space to express gratitude to the social impact leaders in our Council by amplifying their efforts to respond to this crisis. Here are just three examples, and ways you can get involved.
- In one week, Eric Leslie and Union Capital Boston have ordered the direct delivery of Visa cards for 374 families in Boston in need, totaling $56,100. Contribute to the fund here.
- With offices closed, many companies are entering the brave, new world the completely digital workplace. Council member Rachel Renock created a great, great guide with insights on how Wethos built their fully-remote team, and how they keep it running smoothly each week across 17 different cities.
- Simone Marean and Girls Leadership have created a guided meditation for you. You are 30 seconds away from feeling calmer and ready to embrace what this week might bring your way. GL’s Certified Yoga Instructor & Meditation Practitioner, Sybil Henry, has created a meditation to help you and your people start your day off right. Check it out on Youtube here.
One more quick thing! Like so many of you, I’ve been practicing the CDC’s guidance on hand-washing: do it many times a day, use lots of soap and scrub 20 seconds minimum. It’s helping keep all of us healthy, but it’s also leaving our hands dry and raw — mine included! And that’s why dermatologists have an additional reminder for us during this crisis on how to properly care for your freshly and frequently scrubbed hand: Always pat your hands dry after you wash to minimize dryness, and if that still doesn’t help, it’s time for a hand cream or a moisturizer. It isn’t just cosmetic — it could keep a bacterial infection away.