For many people, it’s hard to feel celebratory when you’re shuttered in. The daily news reports are enough to send you social distancing straight into next year — or beyond. You might even be feeling more anxious and stressed as you try to juggle all of the newfound responsibilities that have been placed on your shoulders (homeschooling, anyone?) while still struggling to smile. But there are many places on the planet where neighbors are joining together to put a positive spin on the pandemic, including these 10 towns, cities and
neighborhoods in the U.S. making the most of quarantine.
If you thought that being neighborly would take too much effort, think again. Many of the things that
communities are doing to help each other out don’t take a lot of effort, and you might be able to do them with your child, too. Experiences like these will help teach your child to think about something other than themselves, and hopefully instill a sense of caring for their community that lasts a lifetime.
While there is so much to make you scared during the pandemic, take a cue from these people who are coming together to do some good and focus on hope instead. Maybe your neighborhood can follow in their footsteps.
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People are getting creative to raise spirits in communities like Talethia Edwards’ neighborhood in Tallahassee, Florida, where a Chalk the Walk event left sidewalks covered in
rainbows, butterflies, and inspiring words. “I felt it would be a great idea for our neighborhood to stay connected without staying connected physically,” Edwards, who is president of the Greater Bond Neighborhood Association, told MSN. “We bought chalk and put it out at different corners and let the kids make art, then individual people took photos and posted them.” Just chalk it up to being a good neighbor, we guess.
Having a birthday during the pandemic isn’t exactly ideal. But kids across the country are actually having an awesome day, thanks in large part to
birthday party parades like the one Jill and Daniel Buss of Thousand Oaks, CA, organized for their son Peyton's 8th birthday. As the Los Angeles Times reported, over 25 vehicles joined the “drive-by birthday party," circling the cul de sac in front of the Buss home "several times bestowing Peyton with balloons, gifts, cards and placards." Peyton called it the "best birthday party" he'd ever had.
“People need social interaction,” his mom told the
Times. "This is a new norm so we have to make due.”
Finding a real bear in your neighborhood can be scary, but what about a teddy bear? Inspired by the picture book,
, neighbors like those in Bourbon, Indiana, are placing teddy bears in their windows as a way for kids to go on a We’re Going on a Bear Hunt teddy bear scavenger hunt. "We've been stuck in [the house] for a week and a half now. We heard about the teddy bears being hidden all over the place," Cindy Fuller, who found over a dozen bears with her kids, told WNDU News. So place your Pooh bear in the window and let the neighborhood kids count how many cute and cuddly bears they find. Mike Kemp/In Pictures/Getty Images
Just like the expression goes, after every storm comes a rainbow. Maybe that’s why neighborhoods in Long Island (and all across the country) are making
homemade rainbow decorations and putting them up on walls, windows, and even drawing them on driveways, reported the Long Island Press. The rainbows are meant to inspire hope, and with their colorful designs, they’re pretty, too. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images News/Getty Images
As a way to thank essential workers, many landmarks throughout the U.S. are becoming blue as a part of the
#LightItBlue campaign, reported NBC News. From bridges and Broadway theaters in New York City to LAX Airport in Los Angeles to the SkyView Ferris Wheel in Atlanta, landmark locations are turning their lights blue as a way to thank health care workers and also create a sense of calm for their communities.
We are truly all in this together, and that’s the point of
Signs of Solidarity. As part of this public art project by Atlanta-based organization Living Walls, artists create murals with positive messages to inspire fellow residents of Atlanta — and the world, really.
Sure, having your friends and family swing by to celebrate your birthday is pretty cool — but what about a fleet of fire trucks? That’s right,
many police and fire departments are coming out in full force as a way to celebrate quarantined kids’ birthdays, according to The Daily News, like Michael St. Joseph, an autistic boy in Greenville, Michigan. “We have a great town, a great community,” his mom Cheryl St. Joseph said. “These people are magnificent and we couldn’t ask for better. We’re so grateful and proud that they took time out for my son and other children, it’s fabulous and magnificent. Just to make these kids happy, it’s amazing."
Between the sights and sounds, it’s a pretty impressive way to celebrate a kid’s big day.
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People across the country have had their eyes on the skies lately, and with good reason. The Air Force’s Thunderbirds and the Navy’s Blue Angels
have been doing fly overs all across the country, including Las Vegas, reported KSNV News, as a way to honor first responders, as well as healthcare and essential workers. Airshows have never been more awesome — or more meaningful.
You wouldn’t think that people would actually be pleading for someone to TP their house. But that request was seen on one of
fun signs in Georgetown, Texas, reported CBS, where neighbors are putting up signs that read things like: “This little piggy stayed home” and “Love thy neighbor — six feet away.” You can create a cute sign that says something silly or funny — and give your neighbors a good laugh.
Neighbors in Somerville, Massachusetts, are
making masks for those in need, reported the Somerville Journal's Wicked Local website (to date, the community has made over 1,300). They collected fabrics and then organized a sewing line and delivered the masks to fellow neighbors in a heartwarming display of caring and generosity. If you’d like to do something similar, (but don’t have the best sewing skills), there are plenty of no-sew mask tutorials online, like this one from The Spruce.
Helping to make your neighborhood or town better during the quarantine won't just help those living on your block, but your efforts will actually make you and your family feel a whole lot better, too.