When Coronavirus really started to get bad in the United States, mid-March or so and after, I joined everyone else in holing up at home and keeping an eye on the latest. I had a strange reaction to what I call the “quarantine times” we were in, and are still in to some extent. I got busy. I spent as much of my time doing things as my body would allow. House projects. Cabin projects. Personal projects. Work projects. You name it. If there was something to be done, it was on my list and I was working towards crossing it off.
At one point, all I wanted to work on was cards and care packages. I spent two to three weeks planning and gathering (because it was a slow process with limited to no access to stores). The time I spent preparing, delivering, and sending out these items was the most optimistic I was during “quarantine time.” I look back on that period fondly. It seems like it was years ago at this point. My goals were to help people feel less isolated and make them smile. Fill their cup and mine at the same time. Because boy did we need some cup filling.
Connect with Cards
The first round of items I sent out were cards with a quick note and a cloth mask or two. These went to family and friends we hadn’t had contact with in a while, or were more isolated, like grandparents. It may not seem like much, but we received genuine expressions of thanks from everyone we reached out to. It meant a lot to them that someone was thinking about them.
With COVID-19 still being a very real threat across the nation, there is still time to reach out with cards. I’m a huge card person anyway, but now is an especially good time to let people know that they matter to you.
Get Creative with Care Packages
I’ve never really prepared or sent a care package before and now it’s all I want to do for others! We chose to do care packages for our friends who have children. The goal was to provide one to two things that the kids could do to give their parents a little bit of a break after non-stop togetherness. And of course, include some items for the parents to enjoy as well.
I started by decorating the inside flaps of each box with a sunny message:
I used yellow tissue paper to wrap all of the gifts so when they opened the box they couldn’t help but smile! Here are some examples of what I included for the kids:
We were able to deliver some and needed to mail some. Again, this was a very well received gesture. It was so fun to get photos of the kids working on the activities! I will now forever be looking for an excuse to send a care package out because it just feels so good to do. It takes the card a step further, allowing you to help take care of others in a bigger way.
Lastly, I wanted to do something special for our nieces and nephews. It was definitely really tough not seeing them. Again, I wanted to do something that helped keep them busy. In came the idea for a scavenger hunt!
Here is what I did for each family:
For the “treasures,” finding items that would give the kids something to do was what I was aiming for. Here are a few items I included:
We ended up setting the scavenger hunts up in secret and our brother/sister initiated it with the kids. So Joel and I had a lot of fun hiding things in their yards, taping up the instructions, and getting out of there quick! It was a bit of an adrenaline rush. Don’t laugh – not much had been or is going on – so we take excitement where we can get it!
The kids loved it, and again, it was super fun to hear about what they were doing and/or receive pictures of them happy.
I hope that during this time you have found ways to connect with others while physically staying apart for their safety and yours. It is definitely a challenging time – a challenging year – but I think it has shown all of us how important the relationships we have are (or are not) and reminded us to nurture them in any way we are able in order to stay connected.