2020 COVID, Climate, Civic Crises: What can I do to help?

Taking action can be as simple as knocking on your neighbor’s door with a mask on your face and a mask in your extended hand.

2020 has changed us.  

For most of us, global crises, controversies and conflicts of past years were “out there” somewhere. 2020, though, has dropped COVID, climate, and civic crises on each of our own front doorsteps, in our very own backyards. 2020 keeps jolting us to Take Action Now. 

But what action can we (you and I, individually) take? What can we do in our own neighborhoods to really make a difference? Especially when, for most of us, the safest place to be is behind our own closed front door? 

It starts with being able to open our front doors to connect with our neighbors. To dialogue and join forces with our neighbors to create more equitable communities, to hold one another accountable, to navigate conflict for a better tomorrow.

For one Nashville non-profit, Neighbor 2 Neighbor, it’s simple: Put on a mask, open your front door, knock on your neighbor’s door and offer them a mask. 

Neighbor 2 Neighbor helps neighbors take action together, and that goal hasn’t stopped because of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Neighbor 2 Neighbor responded to the pandemic with a new project called “Keeping My Neighbors Safe” to communicate one message:  “Wearing a face mask is about keeping our neighbors safe.”   

That’s why they teamed with Nashville-based, woman-owned startup business Unity PPE to design and produce face masks emblazoned with the words “Keeping My Neighbors Safe.” Thanks to a grant from the Middle Tennessee Donors Forum, Neighbor 2 Neighbor was able to distribute over 400 face masks to 20 neighborhood organizations and to other neighborhood and community leaders across the Nashville metropolitan area. 

“When I wear my mask in public, I’m constantly stopped by people asking about my mask. It’s a great way to encourage everyone to wear a mask,” says Hwesi Zanu, an active member of Eastwood Neighbors of East Nashville.  When Zanu heard about the “Keeping My Neighbors Safe” project, she immediately got her organization involved.  “Neighbor 2 Neighbor is an excellent source of information, resources and activities to help our members learn and grow and become better neighbors and leaders.” 

Ross Holmes, a member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and a leader in the East Thompson Community in South Nashville is another example of someone taking hyper-local action.  “Thanks to Neighbor 2 Neighbor, said Ross, “East Thompson Community was able to pass out masks to our neighbors.”

Another neighborhood leader, Joyce Page, of the Castlegate Community Watch in the Antioch area, immediately reached out to request masks for her senior neighbors most at risk. “I was thrilled to be able to help keep my senior neighbors safe,” says Page.

“The kids in the neighborhood also love the masks,” says Vicki Taylor, a resident of North Nashville and an active member of the Trinity Hills Neighborhood Association. She, too, was concerned about her neighbors most at-risk for the virus and distributed her masks right away. 

Taking action can be as simple as knocking on your neighbor’s door with a mask on your face and a mask in your extended hand. 

Get your mask on, get your mask in hand, and Take Action Now. 

About Unity PPE

Unity PPE is more than a PPE company.  Our commitment goes beyond masks to the people those masks protect:  the stranger you walk past on your way to work, the server at your favorite cafe, the cashier at your corner grocery. Unity PPE exists to put the “personal” back in “Personal Protective Equipment.”  Born in the 2020 pandemic, Unity is committed to a safer, service-centered world. Our products and services help people protect themselves and their communities.

Service – We take actions that help our community connect safely.

Accountability – We follow through with quality, on-time, on-budget products and services.

Family – We’re in this together, so we prioritize products and services that support safe connectedness.

Education – We promote education around safe unity in community, which we believe is vital for a better tomorrow.

Join us! Because a community needs UNITY! Reach us at info@unityppe.com.

About Neighbor 2 Neighbor

Since 1997, Neighbor 2 Neighbor has been equipping residents and neighborhood organizations across the Nashville metropolitan area to successfully organize around a range of issues such as crime and public safety, housing and transportation, neighborhood preservation and revitalization, gentrification and displacement, green spaces and places to play, diversity and inclusion, and tornado and flood recovery. Quite simply, we help neighbors succeed!

Neighbor 2 Neighbor hopes to continue their “Keeping My Neighbors Safe” project and is seeking additional funds to provide even more masks and other materials that encourage safe and neighborly behaviors.  Their efforts to keep residents safe and healthy, informed, and in good spirits during the COVID pandemic have included two virtual Neighborhood Leadership Forums on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on local neighborhoods, a six-part Leading in Crisis video series, many neighborhood and community meetings, and a fun, uplifting concert, Neighbors United in Love and Hope, experienced by over 4,000 people. Learn more at http://n2n.solutions

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