As one of our clients vividly said recently, “Economic destruction is raining down as a result of the battle against the Coronavirus.”
The employees of the Lowe Group too are feeling the impact of the pandemic directly every day. We are grateful to have been able to smoothly transition to our home offices and continue to serve our clients in this new Safe at Home environment. But we recognize our privileged situation to be employed while so many others have lost jobs or work on the frontlines in healthcare or grocery stores.
The Lowe Group recently donated to Pathfinders, a homeless shelter for youth. We also supported the United Performing Arts Fund in their effort to support Milwaukee-area arts groups who have been crippled by the pandemic. In addition to continuing to patronize local businesses and tipping generously, following are a few small ways each of us are supporting our community and those around us.
The Kruschke Bishop family’s biggest contribution is through the work of my wife, Sara, a social worker at one of the major hospitals in the Milwaukee area. On the home front, toddler Lydia has brought cheer to neighbors as she smiles and waves from the backpack carrier strapped to my back. We’ve joined many neighbors in posting “theme of the day” items in the front windows…that started up right away when schools closed, to give children a fun focus on their neighborhood walks.
Ben Bishop, Greendale, WI
My partner and I have committed to buy groceries from a market in a low-income neighborhood near us that we miss being able to visit in person. A personal favorite has also been ordering from a local cheese shop (you can take me out of Wisconsin but you can’t take Wisconsin out of me!). I’ve enjoyed supporting artists by buying pieces online to someday grace our home or gift to friends. I’m also trying to support friends in their local community efforts. For example, I bought a painting from a friend who is supporting local businesses in Brooklyn and pledged a portion of my stimulus check to another friend who is working in San Antonio to support undocumented community members who won’t receive federal aid. Finally, I sent money to the refugee community I used to volunteer with in Vienna.
Katie Hinkfuss, Querétaro, Mexico
When the lockdown began, our family put the holiday lights back up in our front yard to try and bring some cheer to the street and remind neighbors that, while we aren’t seeing each other as much these days, we’re not alone. We have also have made sure to continue paying loyal helpers who are unable to come into our house and work–their gratitude has been overwhelming.
Greg Joslyn, Shorewood, WI
Our family began a weekly ritual of delivering flowers to health care workers in our community. We also set up a recurring donation to the Hunger Task Force knowing that regular and consistent financial support right now is crucial. I’ve also tried to help several small businesses in my community apply for and obtain PPP loans.
Jody Lowe, Wauwatosa, WI
My family owns a small brewery. Unfortunately, we’re not a distillery, so we haven’t been able to help make hand sanitizer, but we realized we were in a position to help out in a small way—by helping to tackle the yeast shortage! So many people in lockdown are learning to bake bread to pass the time, and supermarkets are running out of yeast. In response, we are using our brewing equipment to grow yeast to give away to our community.
Isabel Post, Pittsfield, MA
Our family has made hundreds of masks for a local program that sends them to medical facilities in Wisconsin. Because many healthcare workers reuse their professional-grade masks due to PPE shortages, these masks are meant to be an added layer of protection that can help their N95 and surgical masks last longer. In addition, due to the added risk of in-person voting during this time, many Wisconsin citizens voted in the recent state primary through absentee ballots, so I volunteered to count ballots on election day.
Elizabeth Terry, Wauwatosa, WI
We all wish we could do more, but as Jane Goodall said, “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”