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This edition is sponsored by Oak City CRE.
A note from the editor:

Daily life looks different for all of us right now. At minimum, everyone is experiencing a time of heightened stress and greater isolation from community.

I founded Raleigh Convergence to help people connect and take action, and I'm applying that same philosophy to newsletters during this time.

Local news organizations like the News & Observer and WRAL are great resources for up-to-the-minute coverage + more in-depth looks at the local impacts.

But if you're feeling overwhelmed or helpless, or just want an easy way to keep up and do something to help, Raleigh Convergence will offer something a little different:

How to help our neighbors: Also shared below in this email, I'm regularly updating a resource with actionable community needs. [bookmark + share]

Please continue to connect me with other needs you're hearing about.

What you need to know today: You can check in at this link for what's happening specifically in Wake County, such as closings, cases and current guidance from local and state health officials.

This regularly updated post will have the basics on the situation in Wake County from official sources and links to others' reporting. This is meant to keep you up to date without overwhelming. [bookmark]

Conversations + ways to connect: I want to hear how you're dealing, what ways you've found to safely keep in touch with other Raleighites, how you're entertaining your kids out of school.

Tell me what info you're looking for, too. And would you be game for a few virtual "happy hours"? Reply and tell me.

Free advertising for local businesses in March: Small businesses are taking a hit with their income.

If your local business has made precautionary adjustments (whether that's special to-go meals or a sale in your online store), I'll waive sponsorship fees for you in the month of March. First come, first serve, and email me for the details.

I founded Raleigh Convergence with the idea that when community comes together, we're better for it.

Ideas? Needs? Share them with me. Let's work together to get through this. 

Sarah Day

Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen, editor & publisher

Message from Oak City CRE:

For the month of March, Oaks & Spokes and Oak City CRE are teaming up to offer a custom “Greenways are the Best Ways” t-shirt featuring a map of the Raleigh Greenway system. 

51% of all proceeds go directly to Oaks & Spokes. T-shirts are screen printed by hand in Raleigh on Bella+Canvas Tri-Blend unisex shirts. 

Prices start at $26 including free shipping. Shirts are available in four colors: Charcoal Black, Grass Green, Gray, and Navy. Buy your shirt today>>

Buy now

Ways to help with food insecurity, local business + volunteer-run organizations 

COVID-19’s impact in Wake County is bigger than a public health concern.  For vulnerable populations including those experiencing food insecurity, local businesses and people who work in the service industry or the arts, social distancing has an unintended but unfortunate effect.

But there are ways you can safely help, which will be updated here

Send additional needs to to be added to this list.

Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina

The top need for the food bank as they respond to COVID-19 concerns is funds. 

The food bank works with partner agencies to address food insecurity needs for kids who will be out of school, seniors who are considered more at risk and people who have lost income. 

After funds, the next most needed items are dry goods and shelf-stable items [find a list here]

Donate here or consider holding a virtual food drive.

United Way of the Greater Triangle’s Rapid Response Fund

“United Way of the Greater Triangle’s Rapid Response Fund is now accepting donations to support Wake, Durham, Orange, and Johnston County residents needing access to critical resources including food, hygiene, childcare, and housing assistance during times of area-wide crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The United Way will work with area nonprofits in providing these resources. [donate]

C Artist Relief Fund

Arts organizations ArtspacePineConeUnited Arts Council, and VAE Raleigh are joining forces to help artists affected by loss of income.

“This fund has been created to support creative individuals who have been financially impacted by gig cancellations due to the outbreak of COVID-19. 100% of donated funds will go directly to artists and arts presenters in North Carolina. 

Musicians, visual artists, actors, DJ’s, dancers, teaching artists, filmmakers, comedians, and other creative individuals and arts presenters are experiencing widespread cancellations due to this global pandemic.

Many North Carolina artists rely on markets, performances, classes, and exhibitions in order to pay the bills directly aligned with their costs of living.” [Donate here]

Local restaurants and food & beverage service workers

For small businesses, local restaurants and people employed in food and beverage industries, social distancing means a loss of income.

Get it to go, but tip: Many restaurants are setting up online ordering or call-ahead options for your to-go orders, but tip like you’re eating in — or more! 

Restaurants are offering creatively packaged family-size meals and many have curbside pickup, even as more dining rooms are choosing to close.

Some are also offering delivery or bonus gift cards with takeout, like Koan in Cary (with a $10 gift certificate for a future dining in experience for $50+ on to-go orders!).

Purchase a gift card for a later date or purchase a gift card online!

At MOFU Shoppe, for example, gift cards purchased on their website will be put in a pool to pay for sick time off and otherwise help their staff. 

Make annual purchases earlier: As the Downtown Raleigh Alliance recommended, “if you typically order wholesale products with local retailers later in the year, place your orders now.”

Buying and supporting local is more important than ever.

Volunteer as you can, consider remote opportunities

From Activate Good: “Volunteer support for Triangle area causes is dropping rapidly in response to the community’s concerns over the spread of Coronavirus. ...

Our community’s most vulnerable populations will be greatly impacted by this dramatic decrease in support. In response, Activate Good is highlighting many of the ways you can help the community remotely from your home or workspace."

Other needs:
From A Place At The Table:

Interfaith Food Shuttle: Needs volunteers and donations to help for food with families.

St. John’s Day Shelter: Needs disinfecting supplies (any) ASAP.

Oak City Outreach Center: Needs disinfecting wipes, spray and bleach.

NC State Feed the Pack: Needs food pantry supplies such as cereal, hygiene products, diced tomatoes, condiments and spices, snacks, canned foods.”

Families2gether: Need supplies included canned meats, rice, pasta sauce, instant mashed potatoes, pancake mix, syrup, canned fruits, cleaning supplies, wipes, female hygienic products, mac and cheese, bread and pop-tarts. Email to help."

Reply to this email if you know of other urgent community needs or ways needs are being addressed.
New to Raleigh, Cary, Knightdale or Southeast Raleigh? Sign up for our local guides. [sign up]

What's closed and what's not? 

Restaurants and bars are not being closed by North Carolina, as some states have, but many have opted to close dining rooms in the past few days.

  • Ashley Christensen announced she will close Fox Liquor Bar, Death & Taxes and Poole’s Diner, while Poole’side Pies, Chuck’s and Beasley’s Chicken & Honey will take to-go orders.
  • Hibernian Hospitality announced it will only offer take out for Raleigh Beer Garden, Hibernian Pub (Downtown & North), The Station and curbside pickup for vendors in Morgan Street Food Hall. 
  • More local places are also delivering on Ubereats, Postmates and other delivery services, so consider making a local choice.
Parks and public spaces:
  • Wake County Libraries are closed and suspended their online reservation systems. E-book reservations are still available.
  • Wake County park facilities are closed but park grounds are still open.
  • Raleigh Parks programming is largely closed, but some facilities, parks and greenways are open. 
  • Town of Cary park facilities are closed but park grounds are open.
[stay updated]
Thanks for reading this edition of the Raleigh Convergence!


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