GUEST

Essay: Embracing ‘Plan B’

Amy Bullard

I think everyone can attest to feeling upside down and out of sorts somewhat this year. SOAR, a community health grant, is concerned with the physical, mental, economic and social health of area residents. As wonderful as the holidays are, for some they can be a more difficult time — and during a pandemic it’s all about the “Plan B.” 

Though “Plan B” events and activities adhere to current safety protocols, they can still be fun. For example, the Savannah Chamber of Commerce and SOAR joined together to safely bring a little holiday cheer to the children of the community. This year, masked Santa and Mrs. Claus stood on the sidewalk while cars drove up to them and children received a small gift. The look of joy on the children’s faces and the wonderful feedback received made it all worthwhile. We all need reminding to “look on the bright side,” especially now.

Last month, SOAR collaborated with high school students who belong to the Clyde-Savannah Wellness Group to create and place inspirational quotes on 23 different business windows throughout Clyde and Savannah. The uplifting quotes said things like “You are enough,” “Mindset is everything,” “Be the person you want to meet,” “Make yourself a priority” and “It’s a good day to have a good day,” and they became part of the holiday (safe, no contact) passport community activity. People went from business to business searching for and matching the quote to the correct location. This fun activity was threefold: it motivated folks to be physically active, encouraged people as they read each quote and it introduced them to businesses within their community, businesses they may not have known about and could then support.

We often wonder about the people who aren’t on social media, email or who aren’t able to leave their home. How are they staying encouraged and socially connected? How about a phone call or “snail mailing” a card? These traditional methods of communication may be the only way to stay in contact with some members of our community. Do you remember the old phone tree? Each person would make one phone call — just one call — and very quickly a list of people would be reached with a check-in or with news of a community opportunity. If you would like to be included on such a list, please reach out to SOAR at the number below.

Today, more than ever, is a time to be creative and look for the “Plan B” opportunities to continue doing what we can for ourselves as well as for our neighbor. Even though the SOAR office is not yet open to the public, we are still here to assist you with your healthy community ideas. We wish you a safe, happy and creative holiday.

SOAR (Strengthening Our Area Residents,) a neighborhood health status improvement initiative, is funded by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation and administered by CCE Wayne. In the Savannah-Galen community, SOAR collaborates with residents, organizations, businesses, institutions and municipalities to make a healthier place to live, work and play.

To learn more about SOAR, please contact us at 315-573-0903, jp2538@cornell.edu or ab2832@cornell.edu. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, @SOARClydeSavannahGalen. Our office is located at 66 Glasgow St., Clyde. We look forward to hearing from you!

Amy Bullard serves as SOAR outreach coordinator.

Stock photo.