While our usual Good Bitches Baking activities have been put on hold for now, there are still plenty of ways that we can use our time to spread kindness and aroha. Here are seven suggestions to get you started…
1. Donate money
At times like this, organisations doing the necessary work need our support more than ever. That goes for refuges, food banks, charities and so many others. However much you can spare, giving money can make a huge difference in keeping these vital services going. Many charities are reaching out on social media but Give A Little also has a really helpful page of suggestions for charities that have been directly affected by COVID-19.
2. Volunteer online
While the volunteering that usually takes us out into our communities have become necessarily limited, the options to get involved are still there. Volunteer Centre Network Aotearoa has a full directory of local centres across New Zealand, and many organisations are still looking for help, whether remotely or at their bases. Most of the centres have their own web section for volunteering during COVID-19 and health and safety precautions are front and centre.
3. Get writing
Reach out to those who may be feeling vulnerable at this time by writing letters - not only is it a little bit retro, but it’s a lovely chance to send something meaningful. There are two organisations doing some great work at this time and would benefit from your support - Prisoner Correspondence Network Aotearoa, which connects letter writers with those incarcerated, and Sending Love. Sending Love is currently connecting people with those in rest homes and they’re accepting letters, cards and videos over email so it’s easy to get started.
4. Do some baking with The Cookie Project
Social enterprise The Cookie Project employs Kiwis with disabilities to make awesome cookies, and while their activities are on pause, they’ve come up with a fun idea that we imagine many Good Bitches will enjoy. They’re selling ‘BYO Cookie Starter Kits’, comprising of 6 bags of cookie premix that are super easy to bake. Even better, the profits go towards guaranteed future employment for their bakers and contribute cookies to children with autism. A delicious way to pay it forward!
5. Support local businesses
It’s a bit of a scary time for many local businesses, with many having to adapt the way they operate. If you can, check up on those businesses that you normally rely on and see if there are any ways to support them. One great website to get you started is Delivereat, which is a full directory of independent essential businesses who will deliver to you during the lockdown. Even better, you get to avoid the queues at the supermarket. For cafes, restaurants and bars, there's also SOS Cafe, which allows you to buy vouchers for those independent businesses to redeem later.
6. Donate blood
There’s understandably some caution around blood donation at this time but the New Zealand Blood Service are still looking for those eligible to donate, and have ensured a process that is safe during the lockdown. If you can give blood, it’s an excellent thing to do and much needed at the moment. Find out more and see if you’re eligible on their website.
7. Support your neighbours and loved ones
This won’t be new to our kind Good Bitches but at this time, it’s important to remember who around you might be struggling with the challenges of isolation. Whether it’s getting the shopping safely for a neighbour, helping a relative get set up with calling technology or dropping a message to a friend, this is a really important time to connect and look after each other.
Finally, we’ve been running a #KindnessFromHome campaign on our Facebook page, as well as some fun activities to keep you busy at home. Encourage friends and family to get involved and lets flood social media with kindness.
Keep safe, keep well and look after yourselves!