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  • Writer's pictureVicki Viall

How May I Help You?

With what has been going on in the world, specifically this country, the last two months, I can't help but spend time each day asking myself, "How can I help? Who can I reach out to? Where do I begin?"

Everyone in the country has been affected by the "pandemic." To varying degrees, of course, but affected.

Many of our friends and neighbors will not recover from this and will be shuttering their businesses for good. Others will be able to recover eventually, but at what cost?

Some have been fortunate enough to still be working through this time. But, don't think for a minute that group has had it easy. We are talking long hours, no extra pay to meet expenses for transferring to work from home (i.e., energy costs, internet expenses, etc.), and having to deal with horrible stories and angry, stressed out people while keeping a smile pasted on their faces.

Most states have now opened up to varying degrees. Some of us are still in shelter in place mode. Either way, now is the time to be thinking of the return to normalcy.

It sounds simple enough, but let's face it, life has changed and we need to be prepared to deal with that.

So, how can you and I help? Do we need help ourselves? In what ways can we help?

I have found throughout my time on this planet, that in order to best help myself, I reach out and help others first. Amazing what a difference that can make in one's psyche!

I have spent time pondering how I can best help others. With my background in banking/finance, it would make sense to help with that in some way. For example, while in banking and being told constantly to build relationships with customers, I took that to heart. I didn't realize it at the time that the "bosses" didn't really mean it...

Anyway, I can remember two customers that came to me as a last resort because they were not getting help from other banks/bankers. Both had or wanted to have their own businesses but, credit history and available funds were a major issue.

I told them both up front that I would not guarantee they would get the loans they were seeking but, I would give them 100% plus of my effort and knowledge to help them.

It didn't happen overnight, but, both qualified, got their loans and started or expanded their businesses.

I did the same for a number of individuals as well. If only banks would finally realize that truly building a relationship is not only for the long-term, but, you win a loyal customer who talks to friends, neighbors, family, and so forth and tells them about you!

Any way, that's one of the things I can offer to others - and it's free!

Also, as a writer and photographer, I am always available to help with photos for resumes, help to write or polish resumes, doing portraits (including family, both two and four legged), or in any other avenue that I can.

All through the shelter in place, I was doing as much as I could to support local businesses and restaurants that were open for curbside pickup. I still am, as we have not escaped Phase 1 yet.

Another thing I like to do, especially in drive throughs, is pay it forward to the car(s) behind me. Not only does it protect anonymity, it is so much fun! And, since they have no idea who you are, I always ask the store personnel to just tell them they have been blessed and please pass it on when they are able to.

Another way, perhaps, is if you have neighbors or friends or family who are very short in the $$ department, to tell them you are running to the store, a restaurant, or whatever and ask if they need anything. Politely ignore any comments about not having money or hints at it. Just tell them "we'll talk about it later."

Or, if you have a neighbor who is not as able to get out as you are and they have pets or kids, volunteer to take them for walks.

Same thing with yard maintenance.

Now that the thinking juices are flowing, it seems like the possibilities are endless, right? Maybe you have some suggestions to share. Please do!

Mainly, let's just be aware of those around us at home, at work, or that we hear about from others and do the best we can to jump in and help out!

The best part of all? Not blowing your own horn over doing all of the above. Let's just keep what we do between ourselves and Abba.

So, until next week, let's keep moving forward and keep our eyes (and hearts) on the lookout for ways to help those around us. Deal?

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