Supporting our Community During the COVID-19 Crisis
Heavy on the minds of every person around the globe right now is the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. It's hard to escape (quite literally for people who are in shelter-in-place zones where the only escape is through the tv or zoom happy hours). For most people our lives are a little altered and for others the challenge is much greater. Social distancing is a must right now for everyone, but many people still need to go to work and in doing so, risk their health. People still need to earn an income to provide for themselves and their families. We live in the Bay Area, and with unprecedented shelter-in-place restrictions, we are not able to go into our places of work or school. Businesses are shuttered, the streets feel desolate (like a holiday without the celebration) and families are left to attempt home schooling for their children so that they don’t fall behind on their studies. If anything is uncertain, it is the uncertainly of these times.
I worry about my mom (and all elderly) who just moved into a nursing home, where she is isolated with strangers she doesn't know, in a new environment and new city, and with the looming threat of a medical system not prepared to handle the influx of people who will need support. I worry about the single parent families with little support for their kids. I worry about the children who rely on school systems for their meals. I worry about the small business owners and entrepreneurs who are experiencing a significant loss of work with a stack of bills. And I worry for our overworked healthcare workers with diminishing supplies who are sacrificing everything. What will become of our global economy?
Today, I wanted to talk about 2 groups that we can help at the same time and introduce our new relief gift set for medical workers: Support Local SF. Artisan entrepreneurs in our Local Communities and our frontline healthcare workers.
SUPPORT LOCAL SAN FRANCISCO
Artisan Entreprenuers/Small Business Owners
As an owner of a small business myself, I have quickly learned the impact of what this kind of crisis means for artisans and entrepreneurs. Luckily, I have other income, but for many their livelihood depends on their business as their only means of support. Solopreneurs and small companies are those most impacted by the loss of the economy. Small batch artisans are affected more than anyone. They need any amount of support wherever they can get it. I think of my friends who own Mission Cheese in SF (check out our interview with owner, Sarah here), who are now trying to do delivery orders and have had to shutter their doors to drop ins. I think of other artisans who have had to close shop because of orders close to stopping.
The kind of spirit that small-batch artisans have is what inspired me to start Bestowe. Our main goal is to support the artisans and the communities they are a part of: to tell the stories of each artisan and connect each of them with the gift recipient. To create community connection. To spread joy.
The second group of people we can all help out are our overworked and susceptible, healthcare workers who are struggling to help the flooded Emergency Rooms, hospital floors, and outposts across the country. These selfless individuals are working tirelessly and with limited resources. They are working around the clock to give care while their families are at home. They are risking their own health daily.
How Can You Help?
Do you want to help medical workers and our local economy at once? If you are fortunate enough to have enough dried beans and toilet paper you that you panic shopped for and a job that you can still work from home with (or is that just me?) then you might be wondering what you can do. If you are looking for ways to support your community, our small businesses, our medical workers, and our economy, here are a few ways that we've come up with to help everyone.
- Send a meal - with so many food delivery apps like ubereats, grubhub, and doordash, it is easy to safely send a meal to a struggling artist or a tired medical worker. Many coffee shops are also doing deliveries to hospitals while their doors are closed to the public. A thoughtful coffee, meal, or meal kit delivered will indeed be the pick-me-up someone needs. The restaurant industry is also hurting, so this helps support your local community even more. #communityovercorona
- Buy a gift card - purchasing a gift card from a local artisan or small business will help those who provide a good or service that is not in demand right now. It will provide them with income now. It might help them pay a bill. Giving a gift card to a hospital worker or a family in need helps everyone during this trying time. #communityovercorona
- Send a gift - A gift of feel-good goodies goes a long way to say thank you, I appreciate you, or I’m thinking about you. We can send gifts to a family that was laid off, a family with medical issues that is feeling scared, a mom who has had a hard week working from home while schooling her kids, a friend or family member that is just having a hard time with the unknown, and of course, our medical community. #communityovercorona
- Donate - We found this great article from Forbes on how to seek out the right organizations to support during this difficult time.
and last but not least...
Buy Local to Support During Coronavirus
I am so proud to work with small-batch artisans. As I mentioned, it's our mission to support them. And in this time of need, I'd like to also do what I can to support the medical workers too. I am launching a new gift specifically for this: our Support Local SF Gift Set.
The gift set includes a small-batch goodies for wellness and delicious enjoyment from the San Francisco Bay Area. For each box that you buy, we will donate 15% to Direct Relief, an organization whose goal is to deliver the right goods to the right people at the right time throughout all stages of a disaster, providing hope and dignity to those adversely impacted.
Please Tell Us What You Think
Let us know if you are interested in seeing a gift box specifically designed with small-batch artisans for your area or wish to buy one from a different area you love or want to get to know better. Comment in our comment boxes below to let us know! We are thinking of a Los Angeles one and New York one whose proceeds will also go to Direct Relief.
Some of our Artisans
With the purchase of our gifts, you will be directly supporting the many artisans that we work with. Here are a few that are in our new Support Local SF gift box. Read more about the many other artisans we are excited to partner with in all of our gift sets here.
LEAVES AND FLOWERS
Anna and Emily founded Leaves and Flowers in 2014 by utilizing locally grown botanicals to create their infusions, in hopes of offering a botanical experience that honors the beauty and lore of the plants. Inspiration comes from the plants themselves – the mythology of their medicine, their potent leaves, delicate flowers, and the intoxicating aroma and flavor they release when infused. Leaves and Flowers botanical infusions are produced by hand in small batches in their California workshop.
FABLE SOAP CO.
Fable Soap Company is an all-natural, small-batch skincare company with a promise of high quality and ethically sourced ingredients. Made by hand in California, the brand includes a wide range of products suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive.
Owned and run by women, Fable Soap Company understands the importance of building a brand with a purpose. For every retail bar of soap purchased, a bar is donated to a women's shelter across the country. This program strives to provide access to hygienic and safe cleansing to women and children who are fleeing or surviving domestic violence, economic instability, or environmental catastrophe.
Alter Eco co-founders Mathieu Senard and Edouard Rollet were trained in business but remain activists at heart. Before starting Alter Eco in the United States 15 years ago, they experienced first-hand both profit-driven multinationals and on-the-ground NGOs. Seeing the challenges of existing humanitarian aid efforts, they became pioneers in social entrepreneurialism, wielding the business of food to fight for economic and social justice. That’s why every product they make is sourced from farmer-owned coops practicing sustainable agriculture. It's as easy as that!
Urb Apothecary began with a vision for skin care products that reflect the needs and desires to connect with simple chemical-free ingredients. Leyna, the founder, only uses the highest quality organic ingredients in every Urb Apothecary product. Each one reflects her good intentions and a deep-rooted fascination with the healing power of herbs and plants.
Started by Gillian Reynolds, Jamnation, combines old-world French techniques with exquisite California fruits, to create unique flavors. All ingredients are local to the Bay Area and organic fruit with Fairtrade sugar + spices. Their jam is intensely flavorful because they use more fruit and 20-40% less sugar than traditional jam companies without added pectin and has won many awards.
ETTA + BILLIE
After years of pushing paper around in corporate America, feeling deeply unsatisfied and utterly uncreative, Alana of Etta + Billie found her calling after receiving a soapmaking book in her Christmas stocking. Now you can find her whipping up soap and body care goodness using ingredients from her favorite farm to table recipes.
Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford began their love of food and wine with cycling adventures through Italy where long days of cycling would end in leisurely evenings of good wine, food and hospitality. As great lovers of food, wine and adventure, Gary and Kit sought to bring these memorable experiences to their Napa Valley home through opening Clif Family Winery, which expanded to food, a food truck, gifts and an amazing winery that feels just like home.
I know we will all get through this together. I know that we will all be stronger in the end. I pray that you and your families are safe and healthy. Let’s choose to support our #communityovercorona while we practice social distancing. Let’s lift up the medical worker and give them the tools they need to carry on safely.
What else have you done to spread kindness (not germs) in this trying time? What else can we do to support these great men and women?
Please share with your family and friends - let's all pay it forward! Let's see how many medical workers can we get gifts to! And please, comment below to tell us how you are coping with this. Tell us if you are interested in more Support Local gifts from around the country.
Thank you friends!