If you find yourself healthy during this unprecedented time and want to help others in your community cope with and overcome the difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, our team at Breezy Hill thanks you for your initiative.
As the pandemic is so widespread, finding the right place to send your support can feel overwhelming. Our advice is to start small. This guide is primarily focused on helping out in Vermont and, more specifically, within Chittenden County.
Supporting Your Neighbors
There are many individuals in our community who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, including the elderly population and anyone with sensitive or compromised immune systems. This has rendered them unable to leave their homes to complete essential errands such as getting groceries or picking up their mail.
If you’re looking to help out those who are quarantined in their homes for health reasons, go ahead and reach out to someone you know who may be in a similar situation. Grandparents, elderly neighbors, or those recovering from an illness may be in need of help. If you do not know anyone in this situation and would like to be connected with someone who is, check out services like Front Porch Forum or other similar community resources.
Supporting Local Restaurants
If you’re concerned about your favorite local restaurants during this time, there are ways you can help them stay in business. Although many non-essential businesses are shut down until at least mid-May, your favorite restaurant may still be offering curbside pickup.
If you’re craving a thin-crust pizza from Folino's or a classic Kountry Kart Deli Shiner, both restaurants are offering options for curbside pickup or delivery. Check out if your favorite local food joints are open by visiting their websites, giving them a call, or looking through directories of restaurants that are open in your local area.
Check out this directory to view local Chittenden County restaurants that are remaining open and offer takeout and delivery options.
Keep in mind that ordering and picking up food should be done safely and responsibly while following social distancing recommendations. If you have any concerns about the safety of ordering food or are especially susceptible to the COVID-19 virus, it is best that you try to remain in your home until the social distancing protocols expire.
Supporting Local Businesses
Chittenden County and its towns offer a seemingly endless supply of local businesses, boutiques, and shops. While many businesses that were deemed non-essential have closed their doors, some are remaining open and willing to help you with your purchases.
Many local shops have shifted their norms and are updating the way sales are made. Dear Lucy, a popular boutique shoe store on Church Street, recently updated their website to include online ordering and are now shipping out products that customers can purchase online—a feature they did not offer just a few short months ago. We applaud them for updating so swiftly in order to accommodate those who wish to support local businesses during this time.
If you are in a position where you can support local businesses, reach out to your favorite shops to see how they are updating their operations to remain open during these times and consider purchasing a few items to help them stay afloat until they can reopen their doors.
Acknowledge the Heroes
There are many individuals who are sacrificing their safety to keep others fed, healthy, and happy during the pandemic. Be sure to give extra thanks to grocery store employees, nurses, doctors, garbage collectors, postal carriers, those who work on public infrastructure, those who keep essential public transportation running, and more—the list goes on.
Whether you choose to Venmo your friend who is a nurse a few dollars to pick up a coffee on their way to work, donate extra hand sanitizer to hospitals, sew masks for healthcare workers or donate unused ski goggles to doctors and nurses like Vermont’s own Burton Snowboards is doing, no act of support is too small. Remember to treat essential workers with respect and offer any kind of support you can at this time, because although they are all helping us, they need help too.
Stop the Spread of COVID-19
The most important thing you can do to help during the COVID-19 pandemic is to stop the virus from spreading by staying at home. Governor Phil Scott’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” order urges citizens to remain at home until at least the middle of May and to practice social distancing and isolation whenever possible.
While many are unhappy with the orders to stay home and away from others, it is the easiest thing we can do to help stop the spread of the virus. If you are able to remain at home, continue working, and stay healthy and safe, it is truly a privilege.
There is no shortage of ways you can help during this time. For more information on what you can do, visit the dedicated website of your local municipality and check out the resources available. The City of Burlington’s website offers a Resource Center for those in need of assistance or who are looking to help.
We may be apart, but we are never alone. Chittenden County and the towns within its borders are home to a strong and vibrant Vermont community, and we know we can get through this together.