Community Leadership in a Time of Fear
LPV’s mission is to identify, develop, and connect diverse leaders to strengthen the Pioneer Valley. From social media to television and news alerts, we are inundated with information. Most recently, there has been frequent updates about COVID-19 and it’s impact. Our primary concern is for the health and wellbeing of our communities, partners, local businesses and nonprofits, our staff and board, and those feeling most vulnerable right now.
You have heard from so many about how to reduce the spread of infections: wash your hands well and often, use hand sanitizer, stay home if you feel unwell, don’t engage in large groups and socially isolate if your health places you at higher risk. What we are not hearing a lot about is how to maintain our community connections during crisis. We need to have opportunities for connections and information exchange so we are better able to assess our needs and make the best decisions we can.
We can wash our hands but without community support, we will still be anxious. It is these social and community connections that will help ground us in what we can do right now, as individuals, as businesses and organizations, and as leaders in our communities.
LPV is committed to providing opportunities for community connection and support. In the next week we will have more information about changes to our workshops and events over the coming months.
Positive leadership can have a profound effect on the way people navigate challenges and change. Everyone can play a part in supporting their communities in times of stress.
Here are some ways you can take action today to be a positive leader in your community:
- Support small businesses in the Pioneer Valley. Buy gift cards and shop local for your home and businesses as much as possible, especially during times of economic uncertainty.
- Donate to a local nonprofit of your choice. Nonprofits rely on these gifts to help them do their work, especially in tough times of uncertainty. As nonprofits look to adapt to support their participants and staff, increase paid sick time or make other changes, your support will help make this possible.
- Check in on your neighbors, friends, and loved ones and keep your lines of communication open, especially with people who need to distance themselves socially.
- Share fact-based information and remember to take a news break when needed. Burn out doesn’t help anyone.
- Laugh out loud.
Share with LPV what you are doing to support community leadership. We want to share and highlight what people are doing to be positive leaders! In times of stress and concern, these stories can be a light for us all.
We live in a digital age of information. It’s important to be informed but not overwhelmed. The goal is to make the best decisions for your current needs, not every need of everyone, everywhere. We need community leadership that is grounded in positive support for one another.
Here are some COVID-19 resources that might be helpful:
- Prevent stigma and reduce harm to minority communities from COVID-19
- For Leaders OnBoard members and other nonprofit and organizations:
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: SBA is providing targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofit organizations impacted by COVID-19.
- Reading and online resources:
Please stay healthy, support others, and don’t hesitate to contact LPV with thoughts on how to foster community building as COVID-19 continues to unfold.
With gratitude for your positive leadership,
Executive Director, Leadership Pioneer Valley