written by David Brackett, Linguava President/Founder
Ten million people from the United States have filed for unemployment in the past four weeks. The numbers are expected to reach 47 million shortly. This has led to an estimated 17 million additional people experiencing hunger due to COVID-19.
The other day I was thinking about how challenging these times are and how they have created financial difficulty for so many of us. Right now, millions of people are sheltering in their homes, jobless, waiting on a stimulus that may or may not arrive, and the fridge is looking more and more empty.
The question that I kept asking myself was: What can I do to help? Then I remembered that I had some Costco credit built up for my company, Linguava, and it hit me. What if we offered assistance with groceries to our furloughed employees and current staff?
That next day I went out to Costco, filled my cart to the brim and bought groceries for six families. I sent out an email to everyone about the grocery assistance offer and the response was nothing short of amazing. Some employees gratefully accepted the extra support and even more emailed back saying they wanted to help donate items too.
With so many people donating, we have now opened up grocery assistance to our linguists as well, who are independent contractors. It’s a small thing that can significantly change someone’s health and provide the hope needed to keep moving forward.
Mental health professionals indicate that job loss and social distancing may create a rise in anxiety, which could, in turn, show an increase in coping behaviors for the many people struggling during this time. That, coupled with the fact that adults living in food-insecure households are more likely to experience a wide range of adverse mental health outcomes, compared to those living in food-secure households1 brings to light some of the challenges we are facing together.
The positive side is to see how many of us want to help others and give back. It has been amazing how the people of Oregon have shown up literally in droves to help make masks to donate to the large hospitals and medical facilities. The altruism shown by the people has been truly remarkable. While we may not be able to do much individually, together our potential is limitless. I share my story about groceries to encourage you to think about your employees, coworkers, neighbors, and community right now. One bag of groceries can mean the world to a family and the ripple effect can create real positive change during these times.
You can help Americans in need by donating directly to these organizations:
There are also a large number of smaller businesses that are looking for volunteers here.
To learn more about language services with Linguava you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-265-8515
1 Jessiman-Perreault G, McIntyre L. The household food insecurity gradient and potential reductions in adverse population mental health outcomes in Canadian adults. SSM -Population Health. 2017;3:464-72