What We Can Do
Modified on: March 26, 2020
Over the last two weeks, our response as a congregation to the pandemic has been remarkable to witness. Our church’s teams have sprung into action, providing pastoral care, meals, financial support, social justice planning, support for community partners, support for friends and colleagues in the medical field, and ways for us to connect with one another for worship, learning, and fellowship.
These first actions have worked well. But there is more we can do. Here are some next steps we can take to help one another during the pandemic. My gratitude to Betty Koester (Congregational Health Ministry Chair), Alice Sutton (Social Justice Council Chair), Joyce Harrison & Mitch Eisner (Pastoral Care Associates Co-Chairs), and Robin Carter, Mel Fritsche, and Anne Garner for developing the action steps that follow. Visit our church’s webpage, www.uucs.org, for updates on ways we can help.
Give blood: Usual blood donations have plummeted, and blood is needed for medical care. Special procedures have been put in place by The Blood Connection to ensure physical distancing and to sanitize the donation space after every donor’s visit:
- When: Tuesday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 1, from 7:00am-10:00am or 2:00pm-7:00pm (please skip lunchtime, when they are especially busy).
- Where: North Grove Medical Center, 270 North Grove Medical Park Drive, Spartanburg, SC 29303 / (864) 641-6013.
- Sign up on-line here: https://donate.thebloodconnection.org/donor/schedules/centers
Advocacy: Hold our leaders accountable to act in the interest of all of us:
- Call SC Governor McMaster [(803) 734-2100] and urge him to issue a shelter in place order for SC. The President continues to imply that all will be fine after 15 days of social distancing has taken place, but this is not being practiced voluntarily by many of our fellow citizens and contradicts what public health leaders insist is needed to slow the spread of the virus.
- Call the White House [(202) 456-1111] or write via its on-line comment form [https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/] – to demand the use of the Defense Production Act for the manufacture of needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for medical workers. Federal coordination to distribute these items is a must. Leaving states to fend for themselves and pay $6.00+ per mask (when the normal cost is $.58) is unconscionable (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-is-the-deal-with-the-defense-production-act/ ; https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-24/for-new-york-58-cent-medical-masks-now-priced-at-7-50-each). Privatized solutions are inadequate for a national emergency. PEOPLE BEFORE PROFITS.
Share your actions: Let us know what you are doing to help—making masks, donating supplies, helping neighbors, supporting organizations. We want to create a list of what our congregants are doing to help, as a way to share ideas with one another, to empower each other to act, and to create a narrative of all the ways we are lending a hand individually and as a congregation. Even the smallest acts can have a large impact. Send notes of your actions to Social Justice Chair Alice Sutton at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will share these on our website to encourage and motivate one another.
DARE: This app, for download on smart phones, has free components to help when we experience anxiety or panic. If news of the pandemic and physical distancing guidance are causing you anxiety, this app has proven very helpful. Check it out, and share it with others: https://dareresponse.com/.
Connect: Check on friends and neighbors, and let us know if you learn of someone in need. We are here for each other. You can reach Scott at email@example.com / 864-590-8260 and the Pastoral Care Team through Co-Chairs Joyce Harrison (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mitch Eisner (email@example.com).
We have done much, and there is much more to do. Thank you for being the people that you are. Let’s do it.
Thank you all, and peace—
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