Biddeford has always been known as a can-do community, and we are being called upon now to show great care for one another. The coronavirus is affecting all of our lives, creating new challenges daily. Let’s stay in contact (virtually) and find ways to support each other in this stressful time. Physical distancing, following CDC guidelines, is an act of generosity we can do for our community’s most vulnerable populations and healthcare workers now.

If you want to help, or are seeking help, below are a few links for your consideration. Write back if you have suggestions for other info that can be included in the HOB newsletter!

Seeds of Hope Volunteer Support
If you and your household are well and not in a high-risk group, email Shirley at Seeds of Hope at [email protected] if you are able to volunteer during morning hours, packing to-go lunches for people in need.

Childcare Support for Healthcare Workers
MaineHealth is taking actions to care for their communities and protect their health care workers. They are developing a directory of individuals (high school, college, low-risk population) who may be willing and able to provide in-home supervision for children of health care workers who must continue to work during this challenging time. If that’s you, email the MaineHealth coordinator at [email protected]

Need Support/Give Support?
A group of experienced organizers have put together a website called Mainers Together for people who need help or can volunteer. They have already mobilized a Biddeford/Saco chapter. Go to https://mainerstogether.com/ if you need or can give support.

Self-Care: Thoughts from the CDC:

• Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.
• Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
• Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
• Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
• Read hopeful articles like this one about Seattle, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/coronavirus-sparks-an-epidemic-of-people-helping-people-in-seattle/, where the coronavirus has sparked a groundswell of people helping each other.

Restaurants, Retail, Service Businesses & More
While Restaurant Week has been postponed, we want to share a list of businesses that are currently offering take-out and curbside service, as gathered by the Chamber at https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Restaurant-Update—Local-Take-Out-and-Delivery-Options.html?soid=1109032175955&aid=t0mPNuUC28I. That page will update as more info comes in.

For customers:
If you are able, please consider going online to purchase gift cards or other items from local businesses, for when “social distancing” restrictions end. Check out local fitness businesses like Forever Fit, Metta, and Samudra to see their online class offerings.

For businesses:
Please complete this survey, at https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/5050a894b0e74aa0bccbcdc84296eb1a, for the City of Biddeford’s Planning & Development Office; they want to keep up to date with the impact of the coronavirus, in order to be able to best respond. They have also posted information at https://www.biddefordmaine.org/2247/Economic-Development on the city website about SBA loans and more.

HOB will host another Zoom call for business owners, property owners, and non-profit managers Friday, March 20, at 10:30  Go to https://zoom.us/j/668715402 to access the meeting. (Download the free Zoom app to participate), or use your phone to dial in: (646) 558-8656.