With the challenges our community and world have faced the last few weeks, I really appreciate this quote from the late Fred Rogers, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. Helpers give everyone hope’.”
We at the NACC, have heard gut wrenching stories of our businesses struggling to survive during these unprecedented times. However, we also have been inspired by just as many stories of our businesses looking beyond their current pain to help other businesses and organizations and community residents. There are numerous stories, let me tell you a few.
One of our members, Men In Black Pest Control is volunteering to help community residents through prescription pick-ups, grocery runs, and dog walks, fully equipped with their N95 respirators and gloves.
Frank Klimala, Naperville franchise owner of College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving is offering their trucks and drivers to deliver meals or goods to residents or organization in need.
And we are doing our part as well. The NACC and Downtown Naperville Alliance (DNA) organized ‘Naperville Helps!’ The Go Fund Me campaign is devoted to serving frontline public safety responders and healthcare workers meals purchased from local restaurants. Naperville Helps! is helping fund local restaurant/food operator business and support our community members serving us during this trying time.
Major corporations are giving back, as well. Apple, Inc. is reportedly committing over $15 million in worldwide donations to the global COVID-19 response. The donations are to both help treat those who are sick and to help lessen the economic and community impacts of the pandemic. The company also announced that it is matching employee donations two-to-one to support COVID-19 response efforts locally, nationally and internationally.
Many more great examples of other major companies are generously giving back during this crisis from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Elected officials are hard at work creating financial resources, and I have been humbled by the number of these officials who have reached out to NACC wanting to hear specific needs of our Members and how those needs can be addressed in government financial support packages. Please share your needs with us at the Chamber so we can communicate them to our officials at all levels.
Looking for ways to serve? Here are just a few suggestions to support fellow businesses in our community:
- Look at what resources your business has that can be shared with the local community. For example, can you re-purpose your facility/ equipment/ expertise/ workforce to serve our dire community members in need?
- Purchase gift certificates to local retail stores and restaurants for future use to give them revenues now – when they most desperately need it.
- Get quotes for future home/ business repairs/ consulting services (attorneys, financial planners, etc.)
- Use additional discretionary time to invest in e-learning through our local colleges, universities, or the Chamber.
- Consider specialized skills development through an array of coaching businesses in our area.
Remember, helpers give people hope.
Publisher’s Note / The monthly deadline for stories published by contributing columnists is the 20th of the month prior to print publication. This story appears in the April issue of PN, now available at local supermarkets. Columns are published in rotation a few at a time on different days throughout the month. Thanks for reading in print monthly and online daily.