In this crazy time of uncertainty, Stay at Home mandates, and social distancing, it is easy to feel helpless and lonely. Being able to help others, even just a little, gives us a sense of connection and purpose. Below is a list of local actions we can all take to support our community and ourselves.

Donate or volunteer locally
The best way to find out about volunteer opportunities is to sign up online at the United Way Volunteer page. United Way is working closely with Routt County to identify needs and engage volunteers to help. There is an increased need for medically trained volunteers – retired doctors and nurses. Please contact Paula Gregory if you have this training. You can also check out the Routt Responds Facebook page for other opportunities to help locally.

There are several different funds set up to help people during this crisis. The most immediate support can be given to LiftUp but there is also a fund that has been set-up for emergency assistance at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.  

Support Local Business
Additional restrictions on nonessential businesses have been enacted, which means that many businesses are closed. However, there are currently several restaurants that are providing takeout and delivery. The Steamboat Chamber is updating the list regularly. Many gyms and yoga studios are providing online classes. Taking a class not only supports the business but keeps us healthy and feeling connected. A list of classes can be found on Mind Body.

You can also support a local business by buying a gift card. This provides cash to a business even when they aren’t open and allows them to continue paying bills. A full directory of downtown stores can be found at the MainStreet Steamboat website.

Help Health Care Workers and First Responders You Know
This is a very busy and incredibly stressful time for our local healthcare workers and First Responders. Offer to make them a meal, walk their dog or run errands for them. You can also send them thank you cards and words of encouragement. You can post a note online or write a card and mail it to:
Peggy Bowers
UCHealth YVMC
1024 Central Park Drive
Steamboat Springs, CO  80487

Help Older Neighbors and Friends
The same goes for older friends and neighbors. Give them a call to make sure they are OK. Offer to go to the grocery store or run errands for them. Or offer to help them with technology, so they can get on a Zoom call with their grandchildren, order grocery delivery or take an online yoga class. You can also “adopt” a senior at Casey’s Pond and send them letters and cards. If you are interested in volunteering for this, please email steamboatseniors@gmail.com to get connected with a senior.

Take Care of Yourself
This is super important! Take care of yourself first so you can help others. The best advice out there is to stay healthy by eating well, exercising regularly and not drinking in excess. It is also important to stay mentally healthy. Stay in communication with friends and family, take a break from the news and social media, read a new book. If you need additional mental health support, Mind Springs Health is offering outpatient counseling and therapy as well as a 24/7 hotline number at 877-866-8192. Additional mental health services can be found at Northwest Colorado Health