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We are operating virtually until further notice: Read the details. Habitat homeowners: Click for support.

10 things to do while social distancing

Kaitlyn Dormer
Posted by Kaitlyn Dormer on 11:30 AM on March 18, 2020

Beyond all else, our highest priority is the health and safety of our entire Twin Cities Habitat community — staff, clients, volunteers, supporters, and all our neighbors across Minnesota. As of Monday, March 30, Twin Cities Habitat will operate virtually until further notice. Our office staff will work remotely to virtually support clients' financial wellness and homebuying journeys, and to engage Habitat’s community of supporters to create, preserve, and promote affordable homeownership in the Twin Cities. You can see the most up-to-date and complete information on Habitat's COVID-19 web page

If you're connected to Habitat, you understand the power of community action. You know how your generosity, kindness, and compassion ripple across neighborhoods and generations.

During this Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, community action looks a little different.

For some of you, it might mean continuing to work to provide critical services to our neighbors. Thank you for your work and commitment to our community.

For others, including our team at Habitat, caring for our neighbors means slowing our routines, staying home, and distancing ourselves from our friends and families. Thank you for playing your part to slow the spread of this virus. When you stay home, you're directly caring for the most vulnerable people in our community. 

Since many of us suddenly have free time on our (regularly-washed) hands, we compiled a list of ten things you could do while you're home. Leave a comment below with your additions to the list. 

1. Donate to organizations on the front lines

Every organization is feeling the effects of this crisis, but those on the front lines need our financial support right away. Consider a donation to healthcare organizations, senior services, emergency shelters, or food shelves. 

2. Complete the Census online

You likely received your invitation and code through the mail this week. The Census is more than just a form. It's an opportunity for civic engagement and an important tool with significant impacts on our daily lives.

Read our recent blog about how the Census impacts our representation in Congress and the resources we receive for medical assistance, food support, student loans, and road construction.

Then, while you're home, complete your Census form online!

Complete the Census

Someone typing on a laptop, with a blue bar at the bottom that says "United States Census 2020. Connect with us @USCensusBureau."

3. Practice the lost art of rest

Watch a movie or show that's not about global crisis. Read a book for pleasure. Practice mindfulness.

Give your body and mind the opportunity to fully disconnect from the stress of the world around you.

4. Call your family or friends

"Social distancing" is actually a great time to connect with your loved ones. Call or FaceTime your family and friends. Reflect on how you're feeling during this outbreak, and also be sure to leave time to talk about anything other than Coronavirus.

5. Organize your house and garage

Now's a perfect time to sort through or reorganize that messy storage closet, basement, or garage. Check out some helpful resources from our ReStoration Corner below:

As you organize, cross-reference our ReStore Donation Guidelines and keep a stash of items to donate once our stores reopen.

You can find the latest reopening information on Habitat's COVID-19 web page

6. Learn about our community history

At Twin Cities Habitat, we've been learning and writing about the Twin Cities' racial disparities in housing. It's clear those disparities didn't come about by accident. Racist policies created them. 

Take time to read our Race & Housing series and check out the books, videos, and other resources for a deeper dive into this important topic. 

Read Race & Housing series

A map of redlining in Saint Paul.

7. Take a virtual tour of a museum

Get your arts and culture fix while you're on the couch. Check out virtual tours of these 12 museums around the world

8. Do your taxes 

If you're like me, you've been pushing 'do taxes' down your list for the last few weeks. Now is a perfect opportunity to file your taxes online and finally check it off the list. 

9. Create a will online for free

During tax season, we're all taking stock of where we're at financially (and we're already gathering our personal documents), so it can be a great time to think about creating a will. 

Twin Cities Habitat offers FreeWill, a free and secure online tool that walks you through the process of creating a will.

Set the amount or percentage you want to leave for family, friends, and causes important to you. Then simply print and sign with a witness, or finalize with an attorney.

Get Started with FreeWill Now!

10. Get a head start on DIY gifts

Check out our month by month calendar of DIY home decor gifts. You might even have time for the whole year. The list has plenty of projects that use materials you can likely find in your house or garage. Give one a try and let us know how it goes. 

Pink, red, purple, and white flowers in metal planters.

Every day at Habitat we see hope, perseverance, and the power of community. Right now, we need those things more than ever to promote the well-being of our entire community. Please play your part in caring for our neighbors.

Tags: How To, 2020

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