Community Care: COVID-19

 
Dear community,
 
Every week since COVID restrictions settled upon us, a group of BWC members has been meeting to figure out how we can best take care of each other, as a community. The first thing we set out to do was survey our community to see what your concerns and needs are. 
 
We’ve had almost 300 conversations, read dozens of survey responses, and spent hours on Zoom to process community needs, discern what our own capacity is and what we, as BWC, are best suited to do. We’ve learned from this experience that connection is what really counts, and occasionally, some help with groceries, too. 
 
Now, we’re ready to present a few offerings to you all that we believe are the best way to be of service to each other and to our values of mutual aid, collective care and resilient innovation. 
 
In solidarity, love, & care,
COVID Community Care Team
P.S. Unlike our usual newsletters, this email is only being sent out to members - that means you! Whoever signed up for membership in the family is the one who received this email. Feel free to forward it along to family members and share these exciting resources.
1. BWC's Collective Care Listserv
 
What is this? This is a listserv where members of our community can request and offer, without charge, physical items, resources, skills, and services, from and to one another. 
 
Mutual aid has been part of the history of our organization, born out of immigrants’ needs to support each other in their new lives in America. Decades of caring and fighting for each other have prepared us well, and the current moment of COVID-19 has inspired us to create this new way of organizing ourselves to help each other out. 
 
How do I join? Click here to join the listserv, then click “apply to membership” and we’ll approve you from there! 
 
How do I use this AMAZING new resource? Visit this page on our website with our guidelines! If you still have questions, you can email moderator@circleboston.org 
2. Community Care Calling & Resource Connecting
Over the past few months, we’ve been...
We are BWC members, calling to check in and see how you’re doing.We’re available to help people find and use resources to get our ever-changing needs met. Whether it’s help with grocery shopping, navigating a website, or finding a therapist, we’re here to connect you to what’s out there. 
 
Of course, we’re also happy to connect you with other members, committees, and events within our beloved BWC community. After surveying the needs of our community, our COVID care response team has come to the consensus that this is the best way to be of service to our community, and we look forward to continuing to care for each other in this way. 
 
If you would like to join us in continuing to reach out to and check in with members, sign up to make some calls by filling out this quick form !
 
Here is a list of resources for mutual aid networks, mental health resources, grocery services and more that our care team has put together. Email maddy@circleboston.org to be connected to a member of our team for help navigating these resources!
 
3. BWC Memorial Guide
 
The Aging in Community group has developed this memorial guide to a secular memorial service as an offering to the larger BWC community (and a nuts and bolts guide to go with it) 
 
Living through a pandemic has thrust the thought of mortality – our own and that of our loved ones – to the very front of our minds. We may already know someone who is sick or has died. And although we know to expect funerals as a part of life, we often feel unprepared.
 
This guide offers a structure and some readings as a place to start. We expect you will modify it as appropriate for your family, and when we update it, we will ask for additional suggestions of poems or songs to include.
 
We hope that this guide will serve as a resource for you at a difficult time.
 
With love,
 
Marsha Lazar
Aging in Community Co-Chair
4. A Bisl: Member to Member Learning Exchange
What is A Bisl ? In Yiddish, it means “a little bit.” For Boston Workers Circle members, it means a chance to learn and share a little bit of your passion or special skill!
 
In this time of isolated virtual reality, we're hearing from members that folks want places to connect. So, in collaboration with the Adult Education Committee, BWC is opening up this virtual member to member learning exchange series, 
 
These member offerings will take place over Zoom, almost every Monday at 8:30pm EDT and Saturday at 2:00pm EDT. The line-up will be regularly updated here (and we have some really exciting ones coming up very soon led by the members pictured below ranging from housing rights to pruning trees to klezmer music) so check back often!
 
Can you teach a skill, lead a discussion, hold a supportive space, share some expertise? Share a little bit of your knowledge, magic, and interests with the community. Click here to lead your own session .
5. Group Community Videos
Are you really appreciating gardening this spring? Passing the time playing with baking recipes? Loving this BWC community cares email?
 
We don't know when we'll be able to get back together in-person for the activities we love doing as a group, but for now, we have the magic of video editing. 
 
All you need is a phone to record a 15 second video clip to make our community feel even more connected and fun this summer.
 
 
We're creating two "group" videos:
  1. Baking Challah
  2. Gardening
 
I'm really excited to see what the final videos will look like! Each shot is already planned out so just sign up to record one part here , and enjoy the final, connected community video after everyone's clips are woven together. There are only 22 slots so sign up quickly to get the shot you want. 
 
Want to chat more about the videos, ask a question about recording a video on your phone, or send in a clip of your own ? Reach out to me, Madeleine, at mjackman@circleboston.org or text/call (949) 395-6702. Looking forward to seeing how you get creative!
Additional BWC News & Updates
 
  • In May, we sent out this solidarity fundraising email. Members reported back on donations they've made. We're SO proud to share that we have already heard back that $19,769.00 has been donated by BWC members to partner organizations doing vital work during this crisis. Have you made a donation to BIJAN, BWC immigrant justice, One Chelsea Fund, Mass Redistribution Fund, and/or 1for3? Please fill out this quick anonymous form so we can get a sense of our powerful collective impact as a Boston Workers Circle community.
 
  • Thank you to all of our committee leaders and members who have been hosting amazing events and meetings virtually during this time. Check our calendar for upcoming events. 
 
 
P.S. June is Membership Month! Join or renew your membership to this caring community today.