The phrase “We can all get through this by working together” is now commonly heard throughout society at large. Your firm is certainly doing everything it can to take care of employees and clients. And you are personally looking after your family and loved ones. The next phase is getting involved to help others. If your firm has always helped in volunteering, this won’t be new to you. But the implementation may be a bit different, given the circumstances.
Most of the steps below can be done from the comfort of your home. Since you likely aren’t commuting to work for now, you likely have several extra hours per week. Consider donating a few of those to help those around you. Further, while most professionals are feeling the financial effects of this crisis, some have been blessed with greater savings/reserves or can somehow continue generating income. Extending yourself to help others at this time will typically come with great intrinsic reward to you personally, as you enjoy being able to help those who are less fortunate.
Specifically, how can the business community participate? What can your firm do to help, especially when perhaps your entire work force is operating out of home offices?
Support your local community
- Offer free services to those in need. This crisis may leave some needing your help and protection, filling the gap while waiting for help. For example:
- Low-income earners who need pro-bono assistance.
- Provide free legal assistance to those who have been the target of racist attacks in the Asian American community.
- Help small businesses stay in business. Even with the federal government providing some relief, many smaller businesses will have trouble staying alive. The local businesses that you normally count on to make your life easier and enjoyable need your support. Examples:
- Support businesses that employ low wage earners – purchase gift cards from them online. Or make a point of shopping from their online store.
- Order take-out from your favorite local restaurants. Help them be there for you when the crisis is over.
- Donate to non-profits. Non-profits are feeling the pressure, as the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic is causing donors to hold back funds. Other non-profits, such as those in the performing arts, must cancel their events out of concern for public safety. Many nonprofits have limited financial reserves to begin with so this crisis is putting them in a difficult spot. If you are in a financial position to do so, do what you can to help them along (side note: The stimulus bill allows taxpayers to claim up to $300 in cash contributions made to a nonprofit charity this year as a deduction from their gross income if they take the standard deduction on their 2020 tax return).
- Donate supplies to your local food bank.
- Provide goods
- Encourage others to join with you. As a leader in your firm and the business community, your voice is powerful. Use it to share information with your colleagues, asking them to jump in and help with you on specific efforts.
Be a part of regional or national efforts
- Support medical efforts. Give blood if you can. Show leadership in complying with CDC guidelines.
- Every little bit helps. You may already be supporting organizations that serve internationally. These might be involved directly in COVID-19 relief efforts, especially vulnerable populations most affected by the virus’ spread and related financial impact, so now may be a great time to send extra funds.
Personally help those around you
- Get to know your neighbors. Are there elderly citizens and shut-ins? Arrange for meals to be delivered. Are some working long hours as part of law enforcement, fire departments or health care? Perhaps run an errand, pick up food or feed and walk their dogs. A friendly and helping hand goes a long way to ease their burdens.
- Reach out to old acquaintances and distant relatives. Do they need to self-isolate because of illness, age or medical conditions? Call, email, text or FaceTime. Your friendliness, and knowing that someone cares, can make a big difference in their lives.
Questions? We are here to support you and keep your firm running. Feel free to contact The Specialists in Law Firm Marketing to help your firm.