Neighbors helping neighbors: How Austin neighbors stayed connected during the pandemic
Photos and content originally appeared in the OprahMag.com article, “5 Feel-Good Stories of Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Quarantine” published March 15, 2021 and sponsored by H&R Block
Facing an unprecedented pandemic, communities across the country have grappled over the past year with shutdowns: closing schools in favor of virtual learning; the shuttering of community centers and programming; seeing restaurants, coffee shops, and event venues subject to capacity limits and social distancing measures. While it has all been part of an effort to weather the pandemic safely, these measures have also challenged the way neighborhoods build community and people spark and grow connections with each other.
Connections are a critical part of the social fabric of any community. It’s why H&R Block works to build those connections through its community impact platform, Make Every Block Better. When people are well-connected to one another, the block, neighborhood, and community becomes stronger and more resilient.
In the past year, many communities have seen their resiliency tested as in-person social gatherings moved online, limiting interactions with family and friends, and changing the way we celebrate holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. Some got creative in seeking human connection, whether by hosting virtual events or driveway baby showers, or finding other safe outdoor activities that allow for social distancing. Others, including neighbors in Austin, Texas, found themselves turning to their neighbors for support, friendship, entertainment, and much more.
From Rose the “Coach” and Thor, the rocker and handyman, who have a friendship built on helping their neighbors, to Sana and Shannon, two mothers supporting each other through pregnancy, grief and loss during the pandemic; these neighbors in Austin are a reminder to us all of the importance of community and how building connections can improve your well-being.
In this OprahMag.com article for H&R Block, five different sets of neighbors each shared how they learned to lean on each other, found ways to fight social isolation, and the value that came from their new connections. Meet and read their stories of coming together during challenging times and building a new network of support.
While many things have changed in the past year, H&R Block’s network of support remains. You can work with our tax experts through new technology and tools, tap into our expertise from anywhere, and get every credit and deduction you deserve. Find an H&R Block tax pro in your neighborhood.
Rose and Thor’s Story
Nick and Betty’s Story
Shannon and Sana’s Story
Raasin and Reverend Dixon’s Story
Allie and Paul’s Story
Read more about the community centers in Oakland and Philadelphia that have received upgrades via a Make Every Block Better partnership between H&R Block and Nextdoor.
Make Every Block Better kicks off 2021 with a renewed Nextdoor and H&R Block partnership improving communities and supporting local businesses. Learn more.
Through a national partnership with Habitat for Humanity, H&R Block is supporting the need for affordable housing for families.
Read our photo essay on neighbors and volunteers from Topeka, Kan. coming together to make their neighborhood ‘a better place to call home.’