#ChiDoesGood: Connecting the Unconnected
Every Thursday we’ve been highlighting ways you can help show that #ChiDoesGood. Last week we made friendship bracelets for future friends, and we’ve also made masks to help the workers on the front lines, and shared warmth and messages with lonely people in nursing facilities. This week, we are also celebrating Passover, a holiday that often will bring families and loved ones together. This year, however, we shelter in place and distance ourselves socially for the betterment of society. Being homebound is not easy for everyone, but many of us are lucky to be home with our family. The people who miss out right now are the extended family members who usually get some in person family time over the holiday. But just because we are not allowed to gather, doesn’t mean we can’t engage and be with one another.
This week, we want to give you a number of different ways you can still connect and be with your grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, family friends, loved ones, and anyone else who may be feeling a bit down and alone right now. Our ideas go a little beyond a phone call or a virtual get-together like Zoom, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, etc. And if you take a half hour or so every day and use one of these ideas, you are not just performing a mitzvah, you are helping show the world that Chi Does Good!
Write a Letter
Some call it old school and some call it a dying art, but letter writing is an essential skill of camp and one we can use more practice with throughout the year. So, pick up a piece of paper and write a letter to someone who could use it. Do you have a good joke to tell them? Maybe you can give a play by play for a day in your family’s quarantine? Something fun and silly along with some heartfelt sentiment is sure to warm someone’s heart. Plus, it’s great practice for addressing an envelope, which you’re sure to need at camp.
Make a Meal TOGETHER
Just because you aren’t in the same place, doesn’t mean you can’t cook a meal or bake together. Maybe your relative has a special recipe they make for Passover that you love. Maybe they’ll share it. Setup a virtual get together and make something together. Remember to go over the recipe in advance so you can have all the ingredients on hand.
Setup a Game Night
Just because you aren’t in the same place, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun together. And what is more fun than a game night? There are many different apps and technologies out there that can work for a virtual game night. Check out some that we love: JackBox.TV, Air Console, and Trickster Cards are all ones we have enjoyed with our family and friends and have heard great things about.
Send a Care Package
Every camper knows how awesome it is to get a care package at camp. Now it’s time to reverse the roles. Campers can take time to put together a thoughtful care package for their grandparents, cousins, etc. and give the special feeling to them. The best part- there aren’t any rules or limitations on these, like the ones we have in place at camp.
Go on a Walk Together
The weather tells us that spring is finally here, and while we are sheltering in place, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the warmer temperatures and sunnier days. We just have to do it responsibly and maintain distance from others. That doesn’t mean you can’t FaceTime a loved one and go on a walk, while they do the same. Who will find a prettier flower on the walk? Who will see more dogs? Make it an “I Spy” walk and see what things you are both seeing and what is unique to each location.
Eat a Meal Together
Eating by yourself can be lonely and get very old very fast. So why not reach out to your loved ones who are alone and setup a time to eat together. You can theme the joined meal (breakfast for dinner, taco Tuesday, etc.) or you can prepare separate meals and just enjoy eating with one another and spending the time to catch up. You can go above and beyond by inviting a large group and making it a big get together, virtually of course.
Make Something and Mail It
Let’s face it, technology is more challenging for some, and may not work for all. That doesn’t mean we can’t connect with those people that may not be so comfortable with the new virtual world. While not a face-to-face connection, in addition to writing a letter (highlighted above), you can make a craft project or some artwork to send to your loved ones who you can’t be with right now. Last week, we learned about friendship bracelets– maybe make and mail one to your isolated family members. We know that physical contact is important, and while you can’t hug them in person, we do love this mail a hug project that is easy and meaningful.
And so much more!
There are countless ways you can stay connected with your loved ones who you can’t be with right now. Maybe you can have a virtual tea party, a family talent show, or you can look through old photo albums together. The important part is not what you end up doing, it’s that you are doing something to help your loved ones who may be more isolated and lonely feel love and warmth. You are not only doing a mitzvah, and you are not just showing that Chi Does Good. You are demonstrating the Camp Chi values of kavod (respect), chesed (kindness) and kehillah (community)and demonstrating that you care and that we are good, even when times are challenging.