During COVID-19, how can brands become upstanding members of their communities?

I live in an amazing town. It’s the one I grew up in, a modern-day Mayberry in the top of Bergen County. Our Mayor knows most of us by name and his wife taught many of us in grade school. His grandsons were in the Cub Scout den my husband and I led. Many of us have gone from scouts to scout leaders, and little league players to little league coaches in our time here. So, it comes as no surprise to me that we are finding ways to help and bring light to each other as we face this pandemic together.

My neighbors are shopping for those who need it. They are supporting local business owners by promoting their new take out and delivery services. In a Facebook post I loved seeing today, someone suggested a local no-contact project for all the small children at home: placing rainbows in windows or doorways for families to hunt for together on their walks around town. These small gestures are representing the best in us, focusing on help to others rather than how to help ourselves.

This notion is what I find myself drawn to in businesses as well right now. Help without ulterior motives, offering whatever we uniquely can. Some supermarkets in NJ are offering to open up in the first hour just for senior citizens – our most vulnerable – when it’s freshly cleaned and restocked, so they can safely shop and get a shot at getting needed supplies without getting run over by younger, less susceptible shoppers. Walgreens offering free delivery to patients and the ability to connect with their pharmacists by phone and online. These are truly examples of business acting as citizens, doing what they do in a way that supports the people of their community.

Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.

So I challenge us all to think of JFK’s famous words “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” How can your business uniquely solve the safety, physical and emotional comfort or informational needs of your community? This includes everyone. Employees, suppliers, customers – even their customers and families. Even if it’s not your line of business, do you have technology or affiliations that can be leveraged to aid others? Even if it’s not generating profit, can you provide unique insights?

I will long remember and cherish the simple efforts I see being made by the people and businesses around me, I am guessing we all will.

Stacy Vaughn
Stacy Vaughn
US Head of Health, Hall & Partners Health

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