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Ambassadors Share Ways to Offer Community Support

We reached out to our ambassador network to share the ways that they are making an impact in the community in response to the COVID-19 crisis, take a look at all of the responses we received below:

Lauren Bealore  – Although historically pandemics are not new to this country, they are new to many generations currently facing the recent pandemic around COVID-19. Due to its unfamiliar nature to many people across the country, specifically the state of Michigan, it is hard to imagine this new normal of virtual communities. As someone who works in politics and policy, I see things from a slightly different perspective. I see this pandemic as an opportunity to expand on our innovation around communication and support as human beings. Read Lauren’s full blog post here on how to support the community while practicing self care in these times. 

Chris Copacia – Chris here! Tour Guide and Tour Coordinator for the non-profit Detroit Experience Factory. If you subscribe to the DXF newsletter, you may have already seen the following list of ways to impact and support Detroiters and organizations in the community, but for those that didn’t, connecting you to Detroit’s people, places and projects is an essential aspect of our nonprofit’s mission. We’re glad to contribute to Let’s Detroit’s initiative with the following list of COVID-19 resources.

Lauren Jacks – If you’re in a position to still have work, you are incredibly fortunate at this time. With that being said, remind your business partners, vendors, and work friends you’re thinking of them during this tough time and send them a gift from a local small business. Whether it be a gift card for lunch at an independent restaurant, a coffee mug from somewhere like Dessert Oasis, or flowers from a small local florist, this is a great way to support the small businesses impacted most and also maintain professional relationships.

Ascha Jones – The Metro Detroit COVID-19 Support Facebook group is a good place for people to get help if needed, like how to apply for unemployment if they are furloughed, or ways to access the grants that are available to small businesses. I’ve also seen ways to shop local to support small businesses, local bookstores like Pages Bookshop are still shipping books out to folks for around the same price as Amazon.

Sarah Craft – Through my work, the Venture For America community is doing a weekly “cash mob” to support some of our favorite local businesses. We’re picking businesses we love throughout the month of April and contributing how we can: buying gift cards, swag, ordering out, etc. Inspired by, by the way! Personally, I’m donating to local efforts in my community, like the Southwest Detroit Mutual Aid Fund, and I joined my neighborhood’s Time Bank so I’m doing grocery store runs and small errands for my neighbors who have a harder time getting out of the house.

Shawness Woods-Zende – There is more than one way to make an impact. I think people can make an impact individually and collectively. One way I am making an impact individually is by making masks for friends and families that are part of the essential workforce. In my neighborhood, people have offered to do shopping or errands for the elderly or shut-in. That is a collective impact. We have also been sharing resources. I wish I saw more use of a no-contact bartering system as well.

Rita Aceves – I think the most important support right now is to donate to food banks for folks who have lost their jobs. Check in on neighbors to make sure they are fine. Do grocery shopping for elderly family members and leave on porch.  I saw a post from someone that said they had their elderly neighbor put up a piece of green paper to show that she was fine. Yellow said that she needed supplies. Red said there was an emergency. I thought that was a good idea. Running from store to store trying to find supplies is exhausting and potentially dangerous for people in high risk groups right now.

Jennifer Wright – Making masks. I know a lot of my co-workers are literally creating their own with their own materials (i.e. sewing kits, clothing materials, etc.) and donating them to hospitals—or keeping them for personal use.  I know Flint is taking monetary donations for water bottles since they don’t have volunteers anymore (I donated here) and Forgotten Harvest for monetary donations.

Jocelyn Szymanski – Community members and organizations are encouraged to start Virtual Food Drives rather than physical food drives to adhere to social distancing recommendations. These drives are an easy way to help ensure Gleaners can purchase and deliver their most needed items. During my time at home, I have noticed many things online are becoming more open and available free of charge, including free museum tours.


Ashley Williams – The best way to make an impact, I believe, is to stay at home as much as possible and to take part in sharing helpful information to support organizations and businesses. I also think getting take-out when you can/feel comfortable could greatly help businesses. Furthermore, I think this is a time for all of us to really look within to re-evaluate who we are, who we are becoming, and what we are contributing to our world. I have connected with many friends as well as those within the community and there is a lot of deep reflection going on and a lot of inner changes being made. I think this is a critical time for us to boldly move forward in improving our world as we continue to collectively find ways to push past fear in overcoming this situation and helping one another

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