Fred Rogers has had quite the comeback in the last couple of years with a documentary about his life, his mission and his critically acclaimed public television show, “Mister Rogers Neighborhood.” Maybe you’ve heard of it. Even the likes of Tom Hanks graced the silver screen once again to portray Fred Rogers last year in the movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” Yes, Mr. Rogers has had quite the comeback, so it was no surprise when this quote started to circle around social media as we began to enter into uncertain times. “When things get scary, look for the helpers.”
Seeing acts of compassion gives us comfort and can stir us to action. Seeing the helpers highlighted on the news or in our internet feeds can cause us to wonder what we can do and how we can help in these times of need.
Here at Micah, we have seen our churches rise to the occasion and adapt quickly to a new normal. Governor Northam’s executive COVID-19 order made us change how we do ministry in an instant. Now, more than ever, we need helpers to bring the Micah neighborhood together in a way that is both refreshing and classic, just like Mister Rogers. While social distancing may be keeping us 6 feet from each other, that does not mean our hearts have to be disconnected in the protocol too.
Here are some creative ways that you can be a good neighbor and help out our Micah friends during this time of COVID-19 and social distancing:
1.     Give Your Time: If you are healthy and able, we encourage volunteers to get connected at our Micah Hospitality Center which is an essential home-base for our neighbors. Here, our guests are able to get their provisions, a shower, clean clothes, and other key resources. Right now, we have also started running food deliveries to our hotel and housed guests. This means we need help organizing and delivering. We also are looking for volunteers to help at the furniture bank with pick-ups, deliveries, and technology management. CoVid-19 has not stopped us from doing everything we can to get our neighbors off the street and into housing.  Hours are flexible and must be able to lift 50 lbs. 
2.     Give Your Talents: Do you have a special skill or gift that you could offer our guests? Perhaps you can help someone navigate their health care, insurance, taxes, or even hire them? We have options to help connect your talents to our guests to help them through this time to navigate bureaucracy and paperwork. This type of neighborhood work could be done remotely as needed via video conferencing or phone calls. 
3.     Give Your Resources: Some are not able to give their time or presence, but can give their resources. Donations towards rapid shelter for our guests into hotels or even resources for food, or transportation would be a blessing in this time as we provide for our most vulnerable brothers and sisters. No amount is too small.
4.     Give your Encouragement: During this time we have restructured our community care model into six different “Micah Neighborhoods”. Our hope is to help volunteers get involved in each neighborhood by assisting with check-ins, errand running, prayer-chains, sending encouraging cards, phone calls, and other connectional opportunities in the future. Training and orientations will be provided.
5.     Give Your Heart: Our neighbors have often been overlooked in planning around the stay-at-home executive order. That is why this work requires all of us to come together to help our most vulnerable neighbors in need. Right now we are in a season when we are being challenged to give deeper, love further, and pray harder than we ever have before. We need your prayers, we need your time, we need your hearts to be in this work so that we can all see how beautiful our neighborhood really is….because of the helpers like you.
      “Won’t you be our neighbor?”

 Chelsea Morse, Community Engagement Navigator. (540) 693-0055, [email protected]