This is the time of year we all take a moment to think about what we have to be thankful for in our lives. Certainly, this year has brought into focus our gratefulness and made it more than just an exercise. We have all of course suffered — limiting our personal interactions with friends and family, having kids home from school, being sick, and losing loved ones.
The list is long. However, while many of us are inconvenienced, others are being harshly hit by the economic impact of the pandemic. We are in a “K” shaped recovery, in which people who own stocks or property are seeing their fortunes increase. For instance, those of us in the lending and real estate industries are having banner years (our team thanks you for that, Alexandria!). Some people are experiencing no financial stress as a result of the pandemic and are, in fact, saving money. For example, many people are not traveling, going out as much, or buying “dress up” clothing. Others, of course, are in the downward leg of the K shaped recovery and their situation will only worsen during this holiday season. Those in the hospitality, travel, and service sectors will continue to do poorly. COVID restrictions will once again tighten, hurting those in small businesses.
During this pandemic, people who never thought they might need help will be in bad shape. So how can you help? Instead of reaching out to Amazon for your purchases, make a commitment to buy from your locally-owned businesses. Commit to ordering take-out at least once a week and buy gift cards for restaurants for friends and family, as we will all want to eat out in late 2021 when the vaccines are in full effect. Clean out your closets and take clothing to the dry cleaners to support their business.
Then there are the organizations in Alexandria that take care of so many who are struggling in ways not everyone can appreciate. Some of my favorite groups that do incredible work in our city include Alive, The Fund for Alexandria’s Child, The Campagna Center, Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, SCAN of Northern Virginia, St. Coletta of Greater Washington, Together We Bake, and Friends of Guest House. I would encourage you to find a way to help these organizations as they help others in our communities. For more info on these organizations and how to donate, head to our blog at https://bit.ly/goodhartgivingtuesday.
I hope that now, more than ever, if you are one of those folks who are in the upward leg of the “K” shaped recovery, you can help prevent others from hitting the bottom of the downward leg.