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11 Ways to Connect with Community this Autumn


The unexpected has characterized 2020. Changes due to social distancing have resulted in cancelled events, less in-person time and new ways of living day-to-day life that can leave us all feeling slightly off. Connecting with your community when in-person events are limited is actually more important than ever for your own mental wellness.

Here are 11 ways to be involved in Kern County without leaving home:

Volunteer virtually with a local student:Call your local school district or neighborhood school and ask if they need virtual-based volunteers. Reading with children via Zoom, offering homework help or offering mentorship can be mutually beneficial. Other ways to help could include paying off activity fees or other balances on student accounts. 

Be a pen pal for retirement communities: Consider starting a program or joining one at a local nursing home to pair up with residents for correspondence. Writing letters back and forth can be a nice break from your screen but still provide a sense of connection. 

Make a special delivery:Drop off a care package for nurses, teachers or other community heroes near you. These groups are especially vulnerable to burnout as they provide the services we all depend on as part of our local infrastructure.

Participate with a cause you love:Find out what a cause you care about is doing to bridge the gap with community relations during the pandemic. Whether you participate with a virtual marathon, send in a donation, or follow another charitable method that helps others, supporting a cause can help you know about issues in the community.

Find a civic club with virtual meetings: Some Rotary clubs and other organizations are choosing to meet via teleconferencing. If you’re feeling isolated, find out about the many opportunities they offer.

Host a virtual potluck:Leverage relationships with your friends or neighbors and hold a dish exchange. Share a favorite recipe by leaving it on the doorstep at a designated time, ring the bell and let another family enjoy a new dish. Go home and see what’s on your stoop. If wine is more your style, leave a surprise bottle for a friend who shares the affinity.

Improvise for Halloween:Trick or treating may not happen this year but you could host your own candy scavenger hunt with social distancing in mind. 

Tune in for a virtual concert or worship service: Many universities, theaters, and even churches are offering shared experiences via Zoom. A concert can help you enjoy something new, and church may be even more spiritual and personal from within the privacy of your own space.

Check in on someone who is in quarantine or that you just haven’t seen recently:A quick call, text or email can make all the difference in someone’s day and also add joy to yours.

Plan for the holidays: Look ahead to the holidays by reaching out to community organizations that support those most in need. Donating food for Thanksgiving dinners or toys for children’s stockings can start earlier than usual to meet a need that is anticipated to be greater than usual.

Find what’s good and share it:Add positivity by making an effort to share good news, foster gratitude, and recognize something happy each day. Know of community news we should share? Write to our publisher, LJ Radon at lj@kerncountyfamily.com, for editorial consideration.

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Tags: Featured Story, Food & Home, Party and Entertainment

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