By: Michael Morehead, Editor-In-Chief
Posted: April 26, 2020 | 08:40AM EST
Whether it's reprieve for families in self-isolation, support for those on the frontlines of healthcare and essential businesses, or keeping at-risk populations safe, now is the time to come together - while staying apart - to support one another. Here are four simple ways that communities can take care of each other - all from their phones, computers or other devices. 1. Gaming and virtual hangouts: Board games, video games and puzzles are a great way to bring friends and family together - even with hundreds of miles in between. Set up a virtual game night with a friend or send your online buddy a few extra digital gaming rewards for your favorite game together. And, with families now on extended spring breaks, it's the perfect time to surprise kids with an egift card to add funds to their favorite online games. 2. Grocery delivery good will: With so many facing uncertainty with their job in this challenging time, lack of time to shop or concerns about being inside of grocery stores, consider finding a way to bring the groceries to them. Gifting grocery delivery to your friends and family allows them to purchase what they need while staying out of harm's way. Sending a grocery gift card or digital gift card to the people in your life gives them the freedom to shop when they can - even when stores are closed. If you're going grocery shopping for a friend in need, or want to help a time-strapped healthcare worker, consider including a special gift card that you can find at check-out or the retailer's Gift Card Mall so that they have some additional resources to pick up essentials, or treat themselves to keep their spirits up. 3. Supporting restaurants and supporting others: As your favorite local restaurants shift to take-out, curbside and delivery-only models, there's an opportunity to not only support restaurants, but also to provide support for those in need. When placing an order for yourself, think about others in your life that could use a meal or gift card for takeout and perhaps send one or two to a friend on the hospital frontlines, first responders or someone you know in an essential retail role who could use a ready-to-eat meal after a long shift. 4. Streaming togetherness: Keeping your distance doesn't need to mean you miss out on watch parties. We all have a favorite show or movie recommendation, so send the gift of a digital movie download or surprise friends and family with the gift of a subscription to your favorite streaming service. Then, plan a night with friends and family to watch your favorite show, and gather around the computer for a virtual watch party. Don't forget the popcorn! Online resources including retailer websites are convenient, easy ways to find e-gifting options that can reach your friends and family quickly. Many retailers and restaurants are seeing the benefits of gift options during this time.