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Idealist in Action | May 8, 2020

Lizzy Cooke profile image

Lizzy Cooke

These neighbors will brighten your day ☀️
Neighbors building stuffed animal zoos, translating health information and more
Hi there!

As I’ve been social distancing and missing my friends and family, I’ve noticed a vibrant community forming right outside my stoop. And it’s not just in New York. Neighbors everywhere have been connecting in wild, creative, and inspirational ways.

Even while wearing masks, we’re getting to know our neighbors through acts of solidarity. We’re providing mutual aid, taping rainbows to our windows, and celebrating our neighbors as teachers, small business owners, essential workers, and parents. 

We hope this edition of Idealists in Action inspires you to put yourself out there and connect! You’ve got a whole community waiting for you 💜

Waving from NYC,


1. This Texas family built a stuffed animal zoo for their neighborhood to visit.

2. This Seattle-based artist translates CDC health information for Amharic-speaking people in his local Ethiopian American community.

3. Kids all over the world are drawing encouraging messages in chalk on the street.

4. This volunteer is collaborating with neighborhood businesses to make and distribute face masks in her community.

5. My neighbor waved me down on my walk, just to point out Venus shining bright in the sky. It looked beautiful.

Trumpet played with love

1. Mail handmade cards to the elderly in your life, or around the country. Since they can’t have visitors, each card means so much more right now. 

2. Start tutoring, virtually! You don’t have to be an expert in math or literature to make a real difference. 

3. Set up a micro-pantry on your block where neighbors can take what they need, and leave what they can. 

4. Check in with someone! This Girl Scout troop leader ran 46 miles to check in with all 52 kids in her troop. (A phone call is perfectly fine too, though!)

Your turn! How have you been connecting with your neighbors? Send me your stories at, or just reply to this email!  

woman delivering food
We Feed the Need employs local, independent restaurants to feed nourishing meals to hospital workers and sick patients (while social distancing, of course!) 
kid smiling

7-year-old Emmanuel keeps up with his homework like a champ! When he’s not in virtual class, he’s probably playing with his three older brothers or cooking with family.

man donating blood
Angel Eduardo has given blood several times throughout this crisis. Blood donations are at an all-time low right now, so it’s more important than ever to donate! Find your local blood donation center to get started.
woman in jester hat

Every day, Renae Bowman and her husband spend an hour reading to their grandkids over FaceTime! It gives the parents a much-needed break and helps the family stay connected. 


The Smithsonian Institution is hiring a Major Gifts and Membership Associate in Washington, DC

The Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) is hiring a Contract Compliance Officer in Portland, OR

The Koreatown Youth & Community Center is hiring a Youth Services Supervisor in Los Angeles, CA

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is hiring a Communications and Marketing Director in San Francisco, CA

The Trevor Project is hiring a Vice President of Digital Crisis Services in New York, NY 

plus a whole lot more! Start your own search at 

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Idealists in Action
Lizzy Cooke profile image

Lizzy Cooke

Lizzy Cooke is the editor of the Idealists in Action newsletter. She also builds the Idealist community through social media and marketing. Outside of work you can find her reading, running, or walking dogs for her local animal shelter in Brooklyn.