With the coronavirus pandemic and Wisconsin's stay-at-home order, it's difficult to go out and explore things happening in our community. But there are still ways to engage with local organizations, businesses, and people while sticking to social distancing guidelines.
Adam Carr is the deputy editor for community engagement at the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service (MNNS), and he's highlighting some of the events and activities happening in Milwaukee in May.
"The theme here is get out and go and do — even if that is going to pick-up food to put in your mouth," says Carr.
1. Jump for Joy
As the pandemic drags on, people have tried different ways to boost morale. The Jump for Joy Facebook group is among the more unique efforts. Created by a group of women from Milwaukee, the group is inviting people to post pre-recorded videos of themselves jump roping or hula hooping. The idea is that participants will increase their endurance as the safer-at-home order continues.
2. #MaskUpMKE challenge
#MaskUpMKE is a project that invites people to create homemade masks for local health care and essential service providers. The goal is to create 3.5 million masks by distributing mask-making kits to people in the community.
To participate, volunteers can schedule a time to pick up the kit from FiservForum, take it home, and return the assembled masks to the Forum. United Way partnered with a variety of organizations for this project, including the Milwaukee Bucks, Fiserv Forum, Zilber Family Foundation, Medical College of Wisconsin, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Ignite Change, Rebel Converting, and Habitat for Humanity.
3. Social Distancing Block Bingo
Wisconsin's safer-at-home order doesn't require that people stay inside. In fact, public health officials say that going outside and exercising is great, as long as you maintain social distancing. To get people off the couch and into the fresh air, MNNS created a Social Distancing Block Bingo Card. Each square of the card represents a different activity that can be done while social distancing, like finding a house with a circle window or picking your favorite tree on the block.
4. Farm, garden, and support local farmers
People interested in fresh produce have lots of choices in Milwaukee, so this category has three options, depending on skill level and interest.
First, people can purchase a county-owned plot to grow fresh produce through the Milwaukee Extension Garden Rental Program.
Second, there's the Great Milwaukee Victory Garden BLITZ, a local effort to build gardens at homes throughout Milwaukee. Victory Garden says it's the largest garden-building event in the country and has installed more than 4,500 gardens during the history of the event.
People interested in fresh produce but uninterested in gardening may find the third option appealing: Drive Thru At the Farm. The Farm Collective is selling produce boxes to local residents. Boxes must be preordered and then picked up at the Farm Collective.
5. Dine local
For people who don't want to cook, there are still many restaurants providing takeout service and curbside pickup in the Milwaukee area. Since some favorite haunts may be closed, this is a great opportunity to try new places and a wide array of cuisines. MNNS has compiled a list of 20 local restaurants where you can order food, including Anmol, Thai Barbq, Tres Hermanos, and Daddy's Soul Food.