COVID-19 Updates

This page will be used to post emails from the President related to COVID-19


How Can We Help? Message from the President – March 26, 2020

“In this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” -Mother Teresa

Right now, it might feel like the situation we find ourselves in is preventing us from doing big things to help others. We might be tempted to think that COVID-19 is preventing us from building better communities.

But that’s not true.

There’s so much we can do to help our community right now – from our homes – even in our sweatpants. Here are 9 things you can do to help:

  1. Stay Home. One of the best ways we can help our community is by practicing good social distancing measures to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our medical and essential personnel, and the vulnerable in our community. The medical field, essential personnel, and our community leaders are practically begging us to do our part to flatten the curve. Let’s be good citizens and listen to them.
  2. Donate Blood. An exception to #1 is leaving your home to donate blood. The Red Cross is reporting a nationwide shortage of blood due to fewer donors and canceled blood drives. The Red Cross has enacted enhanced protocols to provide even more protection for donors, volunteers and employees, so giving blood is a very safe process. If you are able to give, please schedule a donation at a local blood drive. The JLHR also plans to hold our blood drive on April 18, 2020, but please do not wait to give.
  3. Continue to engage in your community – from home.Last night, the Active and New Members participated in our first ever virtual General Membership Meeting! We had almost 60 members in the meeting, which constitutes about 80% of our Active and New Membership! This alone is proof that we can continue to do the work our community needs from us. We are working to re-think and re-strategize everything we do to create solutions to these new and unexpected challenges. The JLHR is unstoppable! Expect to hear more about how you can join in the work and collaboration among our members.
  4. Help the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank:One of our community partners is the Foodbank, and they need our help! The Foodbank is partnering with local governments, schools, partner agencies and organizations to distribute food and meet the needs of our community. Here are a few ways you can help:
  • Online Food Drive: We have created an online food drive through a website called “You Give Goods.” Through our campaign page, you can purchase food/goods and make monetary donations to purchase goods. You Give Goods will deliver the purchased items directly to the Foodbank. Please give, if you are able, to our campaign and share the information to others who want to help in our community.
  • Donate funds: You can also make a direct financial donation to support the Foodbank’s response to the crisis here.
  • Volunteer: If you are interested and able to volunteer, check out their website about their increased safety protocols and to contact their Volunteer Coordinator.
  1. Donate to local nonprofits, if you have the financial resources: Many charities are working hard to meet the ever-growing needs in the community. If you have the resources to contribute to organizations, here’s a list of just a few local organizations that could use your help:
  1. Support Local Businesses:Whenever possible, do what you can support local businesses: online shopping from local shops, ordering take-out from local restaurants, purchasing gift cards from salons, shops, and restaurants.
  2. Tele-Volunteer:Follow our social media pages on Facebookand Instagram (@jlhamptonroads) to see information about volunteering from your home. We will be sharing ideas over the next several weeks.
  3. Send love to others:Call and send cards and letters your family, friends and others who may be lonely during this time of isolation. Help your kids create artwork and cards to send to local senior care centers and nursing homes. Write letters and send cards to family and friends. Leave chalk messages on friends’ and neighbors’ sidewalks and driveways. Hang decorations and encouraging messages in your windows for neighbors to read on their walks. Get creative and make the world a little brighter during this dark time!
  4. Give everyone some grace:Right now, we all need a little grace. Assume everyone is doing the best they can and be kind.

Finally, if you need any help during this crisis, please contact me. There are many in our community facing food insecurity, loneliness, and needs for basic items in ways they have never experienced before. If you are unable to shop for groceries and other basic needs, you are not alone in this. We are here to help and will do our best to help and/or connect you to resources.

Please stay safe and continue to do small things with great love.

Marie Mendelsohn
Junior League of Hampton Roads, Inc.

Message to Sustainers – March 15, 2020

Good afternoon!

Like most of you, the JLHR has been closely monitoring the quickly evolving COVID-19/coronavirus situation affecting the world and causing a lot of concern in our community. On Thursday, our Board of Directors held an emergency meeting to identify problems and develop initial plans to address the effect the COVID-19/coronavirus outbreak is having on our League. The Board has also been in close communication in the past three days, and I wanted to send you an update about the policies and decisions we have made.

Touch A Truck: For obvious reasons, TAT has been one of our main priorities while considering the impact of the viral outbreak. TAT is our largest fundraiser, and the committee has done an excellent job of securing sponsorships and selling tickets. Obviously, we are VERY invested in making TAT happen and making sure it is successful.

  • Postponed: At this time, Touch A Truck, originally scheduled for Saturday, April 4,2020, is being postponed. An official announcement will be made as soon as we finish coordinating and collaborating on official messaging.
  • Rescheduling considerations: The committee and leadership are identifying potential dates for rescheduling and will be working with Peninsula Town Center to secure a new date. We may need to wait an extended amount of time before the reschedule date is finalized, in order to ensure social distancing recommendations have been lifted in advance of the event. Tickets previously sold will be honored at the rescheduled event.
  • Spreading the word: We are working on consistent messaging that will be on the website, all social media, in emails to sponsors and ticket purchasers, etc.

Social Distancing: We, as the JLHR, will be participating in social distancing recommendations and doing our part to flatten the curve. To this end, large social gatherings, training sessions, or meetings will not be held in person. From this point until March 31, 2020:

  • Any JLHR in-person meetings or events must be limited to no more than 10 attendees, and everyone should remain a safe distance (3 -6 feet) from one another. Better yet, use technology available to have online meetings or arrange conference calls whenever possible. (Note: we may prohibit in-person meetings of any size, if we feel it is necessary, in the coming days.)
  • All Active and New Member leaders will arrange call-in or other technological options to committee members in order to allow for smaller in-person group sizes and accommodate members who are self-isolating or social distancing.
  • Do not meet with other members if you feel sick, have a fever, or have been exposed to someone who is sick, or if you have been or may have been exposed to the COVID-19/coronavirus.
  • If you use HQ, please disinfect surfaces, doorknobs, etc. before leaving. Please also disinfect anything you touch/use in the office.
  • In the next two weeks, we will be evaluating these policies for April 1 and beyond.

Community Needs: If you become aware of specific needs in the community that the JLHR can address, please let me know. In the coming days, we plan to help spread the word of local resources, especially related to those facing food insecurity.

Stay in touch: I will continue to keep you all informed. To ensure that we get information to use as quickly as possible, please ensure your contact information is up-to-date in Digital Cheetah. If you use social media, I will post updates in the JLHR Sustainers Facebook group.

Stay informed: We encourage everyone to monitor updates from our local, state, and federal governments to get the best information about recommendations to protect ourselves, our families, and our community. Below are a few links to resources that may be helpful:

Stay healthy: To lower the risk spread of respiratory germs, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages the following effective behaviors:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.

As always, our members and our community are our highest priority. I am keeping all of you in my thoughts. Stay safe and healthy! Please feel free to reach out to me with any concerns or questions you may have.

Marie Mendelsohn
Junior League of Hampton Roads