British American Household Staffing Blog

Resources for Household Staff Returning to Work

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As we continue to ease restrictions and closures, more domestic staff are able to return to work. For their safety and the continued safety of your family, please refer to the following scenarios and resources for best practices. 

 

You have been providing living accommodations for your staff to stay isolated with your family.

We highly encourage families to continue providing accommodations for their staff if they are able. This is an ideal scenario as all parties can remain safe together and your staff will be able to avoid unnecessary risk in travelling from their homes each day. If you choose to provide living accommodations for your staff, whether that is in your home or elsewhere, see our tips to help you and your staff adjust comfortably.

 

Your staff have been isolating at their home and are ready to return to work.

Some of your household staff may have been able to maintain their roles remotely this spring. Personal assistants, house managers, and other managerial workers can easily do most of their work with little direct contact with your family.

Hands on help like housekeepers or nannies must be in your home to perform their jobs. If your staff have been isolating for a set time and are not experiencing symptoms, you may elect that they return to work in your home. See the links below for more information on recommended protocols and cleaning instruction.
 

Return to Work Protocols (ASA)

Cleaning and Disinfection for Households (CDC)

Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (EPA)

 

You need to make a change to your household staff’s pay.

This time is a perfect example of the importance of paying your staff on the books. To apply for any financial help, they will need to provide proof of employment, termination, or reduction of hours. Be flexible to work with your staff as they find and apply for support during this time.

Emergency Income During the Pandemic specifically explores paying your nanny and has information that can be applied to all domestic staff.

The ideal scenario is to continue to pay your household workers, even if they are not coming to your home for a brief time. If you terminate or furlough your staff, they will need to find alternative sources of income and may no longer be available when stay-at-home orders are fully lifted.

 

You are hiring new domestic staff.

Due to our tech-savvy culture, reviewing candidates and interviewing can be done seamlessly. Once you have a candidate you’d like to hire, options for self-quarantine and isolation before their start date are available. Depending on the area in which you live and your unique situation, testing may soon be available to ensure your family and staff stay safe and healthy.

Our expert recruiters can assess your needs and recommend the best course of action for keeping your current staff or hiring during this time. Connect with your local office today to discuss your options and begin implementing structure.


Celebrate at Home: How to Make Small Celebrations Special

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Even as restrictions start to ease in many states over the coming months, this summer will be different than past summers. With most weddings, vacations, birthday parties and graduation ceremonies cancelled, it is more important now than ever to find new ways to host celebrations the whole family can look forward to. The team here at British American Household Staffing has put together a list of little ways to acknowledge and celebrate milestones (or just Friday nights!) at home this summer. 

 

Plan and Decorate 

Whether your child is facing changed plans for a birthday, a graduation or another milestone, take the time to plan a special at-home celebration in advance of the big day. Plan as you would any other party - make a guest list and let virtual attendees know to save the date. Older children can customize and send invitations out online via Minted (currently free due to COVID-19) or Paperless Post so the event still feels official. Don't forget to decorate! We recommend Little Miss Party in a Box for simple, fun banners, balloons, paper products and more for any type of event, from themed birthdays and Father's Day to fun at-home movie nights. 

 

Camp Out 

A night in tents in the backyard or blanket forts in the living room feels extra special to children disappointed about cancelled summer camps or other outdoor plans. Younger children will love making this DIY paper campfire while older children with access to a backyard will enjoy this portable, easy to extinguish campfire. Make S'mores (on the stovetop counts!) and take turns telling spooky stories. The Spruce published this inventive list last year of flashlight games for kids - perfect for an indoor camp out! 

 

Hire a Virtual Performer

Many children's acts have moved performances online during this time. Now you can orchestrate a virtual visit from a garden fairy or a live, personal sing-along with your child's favorite Disney character. Consider taking it a step further and have your child and their virtual guests dress up for the occasion; challenge children to come up with an outfit from their own closet or order something special from Magic Cabin or Melissa & Doug

 

DIY Something Delicious

Your favorite restaurants might be closed but more and more are offering DIY kits to make specialty foods at home. Get the whole family involved to cook and eat together. Baz Bagels offers a bagel making kit (complete with toppings and a fun playlist from the store!) to make the perfect brunch spread. NYC's iconic Katz Deli is currently shipping pastrami sandwich kits and other specialities nationwide. Flour Shop now sells mixes for their exploding confetti cake, as well as cake pops online via Williams Sonoma

 

Splurge on a Sweet Treat

Many of the country's best bakeries are now delivering all over the country.  Magnolia Bakery offers nationwide shipping on birthday cakes, cupcakes and more. Famed Portland ice cream shop Salt & Straw (Danny Meyer's favorite!) ships frozen pints all over the U.S. Flavors change frequently; right now we love their Salted, Malted, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper.  We also recommend this brownie assortment from the small Brooklyn shop, Baked, and, of course, we love La Durée's macarons

 

As always, we're here to assist with all your household staffing needs during this challenging time. Both childcare and cleaning professionals are considered essential workers and we have implemented strict protocols to make sure your family is as safe as possible. Contact us today to learn more.


How to Hire Summer Staff for the Hamptons Amid Coronavirus

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As states are reassessing their readiness and beginning their reopening plans, families are ready for a break from the city and a return to a sense of normalcy. For many, that means packing up and spending the summer in the Hamptons.

 

There are many options for hiring and onboarding household staff for the Hamptons during this time. Our expert recruiters are happy to guide you through your options and find the right solution for your family. It could be that you interview remotely, implement strict quarantine for you and your staff before moving, or finding ways to minimize physical interaction. A large home with only essential staff will still require a house manager, housekeeper(s), chef, and nannies for the children.

 

This summer may need an all-hands-on deck approach and staff that are happy to be flexible with duties and schedules. While the decision to overlap roles is understandable in our current situation, we encourage that your family still maintain boundaries and help domestic staff avoid burnout.

 

If you do select to hire hybrid household staff to take on the duties of multiple roles, be clear about what should be the priority and what your expectations are. A nanny may be happy to help keep your home tidy, but her utmost priority should always be the care of the children. Communicate clearly and openly about day-to-day changes as they come. We are working our way back towards some sort of normalcy, but there will still be days for you and your family that are more difficult. Give your staff the opportunity and space to adjust accordingly and complete their work. 

 

The most common hybrid role for Hamptons household staff is the housekeeper/cook. This will not be a professional chef hire, but many housekeepers are happy to prepare meals and cook for the family. If you prefer a professional and dedicated chef, we recommend hiring a chef that can perform meal deliveries.

 

It continues to be best practice to have your household staff live-in with you during this time. Doing this ensures that your family and staff stay safe, healthy, and are able to support one another. If you have never provided living accommodations for your staff, whether in your home or elsewhere, see our tips to help make the transition smooth.


 

As always, we are here to help you and your family. Contact our office today to discuss your needs and find the best domestic staff to support your family this summer.



 

Find more help in your search:

 3 Questions to Ask When Deciding What Household Staff to Hire

What Is the Process of Hiring Household Staff?

How to Maintain Structure at Home During Uncertain Times


Take a Deep Breath: Ways to Keep the Whole Family Calm During Times of Stress

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Now more than ever, it is crucial that families effectively learn to manage stress together. One family member's worry can quickly lead to growing anxiety among the rest of the family so it is crucial that children and adults alike feel supported and find practical ways to unwind. 

We recommend using this time to teach children stress management techniques that they can utilize for the rest of their lives. The team here at British American Household Staffing has gathered some resources to help your family navigate these topics together.

 

Communicate

First and foremost, make sure that parents and caretakers are having honest, clear and age-appropriate conversations with children about the current news. The CDC has put together helpful guidelines for talking to children about COVID-19, as have Harvard Medical School and PBS. Take time to answer children's questions, address their concerns and acknowledge disappointment over cancelled events and changed plans; make sure that the other adults and caregivers in your child's life are approaching discussions in a similar way. 

 

Find a Routine that Works for Everyone 

One way families can help children maintain a sense of normalcy during this strange time is to make daily and weekly routines that work for the whole family. Making sure children (and adults!) have a regular sleep schedule, daily physical activity and some alone time is crucial to having a harmonious time together at home. If you're having trouble with your current schedule, we suggest reading PBS' useful article about organizing a family schedule. Consider apps like Kids To Do ListKazu Time or Time Timer to help children stay on track with their daily responsibilities.

 

Start a Meditation Practice with Headspace 

You have likely heard of the meditation and healthcare app Headspace; the English-American company has received excellent reviews and has been featured in major American and British publications, including the BBC, NPR, ABC News, The Today Show and Martha Stewart Living

Meditation has been proven to reduce anxiety, increase sleep quality and promote general emotional health. Separate studies conducted by Northeastern University found that 3 weeks of Headspace increased compassion by 23% and reduced aggression by 57%. In addition, an internal study found 10 days of Headspace reduced irritability by 27%. The app, with free and paid content, offers guided meditations and resources for adults and children of all ages. 

 

Encourage Emotional Awareness and Problem Solving 

For younger children (ages 2-5), Sesame Street's Breathe, Think, Do app is a wonderful tool to help children manage stressful situations. In the free app, kids help a Sesame Street character deal with everyday problems (ranging from taking turns in a game to separation anxiety) by reminding him to breathe, think and find an appropriate solution. For example, children might choose to encourage him to talk to an adult or find a healthy distraction. Don't miss the helpful section for parents with tips and videos to reinforce the behaviors children learn in the game.

For children ages 5-10, we love Stop, Breathe and Think Kids, an app that allows children to pinpoint their current emotion and then recommends meditation and mindfulness activities based on their selection. The company offers a similar app for adults; consider adding this to your family's nighttime routine to encourage all family members to check in with and process their emotions. 

Another great option to consider is the free Smiling Mind app. The Australian app offers hundreds of mindfulness activities for all ages. In addition to breathing meditations, the app has sensory exercises, like listening to music. It allows multiple users to keep track of their daily progress. 

 

Take Care of the Whole Body 

The whole body plays a role in stress management. One proven tool to combat stress is to engage in daily physical activity. You could add a family yoga hour to your morning routine (we recommend Harmony Family Yoga), go on a daily walk or incorporate a few simple stretching and breathing exercises before bedtime.

For more ideas, check out our recent newsletter with more ways to stay active at home

 

Journalling 

Consider incorporating a journalling habit into your family's day, either privately or to be shared with other family members. We love the Three Good Things app which encourages users to write down positive moments in the virtual "happiness journal" at the end of each day. This, of course, can be done individually but we love the idea of children and parents sharing their entries before bed each evening.

 

Find the Right Fit for Your Family 
Remember this is a new and challenging time for everyone and there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. Talk to friends, teacher, caregivers and family members to brainstorm new solutions if your current plan isn't working. Don't forget to ask your children too -they might have some creative solutions of their own!

 

As always, we're here to assist with all your household staffing needs during this challenging time. Both childcare and cleaning professionals are considered essential workers and we have implemented strict protocols to make sure your family is as safe as possible. Contact us today to learn more.


Should I Hire A Night Nurse? Newborn Care Advice

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In these unprecedented times, we at British American Household Staffing want to offer as much peace-of-mind as possible. New parents can be overwhelmed in the best of circumstances. If you are expecting or adjusting to life with baby, we encourage you to consider hiring newborn help to provide your life with some consistency and support during upheaval.

 

We thoroughly screen all of our nurses and specialists and present the highest quality staff to our growing families. All of our candidates practice strict self-isolation to ensure the safety of your family. If you choose to hire newborn help, we can guide you and your caregiver through a time of isolation before transitioning into your home to greatly reduce all risks for you and your family.

 

Whether you are a new mom, first time parents, or expecting soon, the extra support of a night nurse or newborn care specialist provides peace of mind and expert help in your family’s transition. Contact our office with any questions you may have about hiring during these times or to begin your search.

 

Should I hire a night nurse?

Most new mums and dads start organizing everything in preparation for the birth as soon as the pregnancy test is positive. The questions you ask yourselves are endless: What will the baby be like? Are we ready? Should we move? Should our parents or family come and stay with us for the first few months? Can I handle my family living with us for the first few months? Will I be able to leave the baby and exercise? Should I study more about sleep training? What about breastfeeding? Should I pump? What if I can't? 

 

What many parents don't know is how much a night nurse or newborn care specialist (often called a baby nurse) can help your new baby as well as you. A good night nurse or baby nurse will make sure you get enough sleep. Even more importantly, they will ensure the baby is on a schedule, feeds properly, regularly and correctly, helps the baby stay calm, and reduces anxiety in the parents, which subsequently reduces anxiety in the newborn. 

 

They teach the parents how to structure their baby's days and nights, resulting in a baby who enjoys the benefits of a sleep routine from very early on, which in return, will help them as a young-adults with sleep, structure and routine, invaluable for school age children, pre-teens, teens and later, adults. The baby nurse or newborn care specialist will keep your baby safe and teach you everything they know, giving you peace-of-mind when caring for your baby. The cherry on the top is that you, as parents, are able to be well-rested and enjoy the development of your baby without being sleep-deprived, anxious and exhausted.

 

There are several schedules and categories of newborn care specialists, sometimes referred to as "baby nurses", “night nurses” or "maternity nurses." They may work 12-hour overnight shifts, or 24 hour shifts with the baby. Specialists that work 24-hour shifts will either have 2 days off for every 5 days working or one 4 hour break per day.

 

Almost all newborn care specialists or baby nurses are hired for a minimum of three months to establish good sleep practices. Most clients who work with BAHS keep their newborn care specialists or baby nurses for six to eight months, sometimes longer. 

 

If you are a new parent, expecting parent or parents-to-be again, do not hesitate to reach out to our educated childcare specialists. We have childcare specialists in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. They all hold degrees in Childhood Education, have extensive nanny experience with newborns and understand the intricacies of newborn care development.

Speak to one of our in-house childcare specialists today.

 

Find more answers to common questions on our FAQ page for newborn care.


Books Clubs & Reading Resources for the Whole Family

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Most of us are aware of the multitude of benefits of daily reading, both for children and adults, from a larger vocabulary to increased emotional intelligence and empathy. In 2018, The New York Times published a study about the importance of reading to young children and the effect on behavior later in life. Scholastic recently shared a list of the physical benefits of reading. However, especially without the structure of your normal family routine, it can be difficult to make sure your loved ones are spending enough time with books instead of the screen. The team here at British American Household Staffing has put together some ideas to help adults and children incorporate more reading into their daily lives. 
 

Virtual Book Clubs

Avid readers all over the world are creating virtual book clubs during this time to share ideas and motivate one another to make the time to read. We love Reese Witherspoon's book club; each month, the actress and entrepreneur selects a book with a female lead and readers are invited to join the community via InstagramFacebook and Goodreads to discuss their thoughts. Another one of our favorites is The Hyphen Book Club, hosted by Emma Gannon, bestselling business author and one of Forbes' 30 Under 30 2018. Quarantine Bookclub is a great way to connect with authors via Zoom to discuss the books they've penned; the group offers several talks per week with various authors and will continue to as long as we remain at home. 

If you're interested in hosting your own digital book club for your friends, read through this list of suggestions from Country Living before you get started. 

 

A Flexible Book Club for Kids 

We adore Literati! The subscription service sends 5 curated age-appropriate books to your family per month, plus a few fun surprises. Only purchase the books your children love and send the rest back. The service has club options for children 0-12 years. Literati also offers one-time purchase options of themed boxes of books and personalized stickers for children of all ages.  Themes range from history, art and science to dreams, animals and wisdom. 

 

Personalized Storybooks 

If you're looking for special gift for a child in your life to encourage reading, we love the idea of a personalized picture book. One of our favorites is The Great Alphabet Chase, which allows you to personalize the name and appearance of the lead character to match the recipient. Another great option is The Little Boy Or Girl Who Lost Their Name; Wonderbly allows you to customize the book for your child's name - each name creates a different story, making it a great gift for siblings who will each receive a unique adventure featuring their name. 

 

Incorporate Reading into Daily Activities

Now is a good time to try to incorporate reading into daily activities the children may be helping with around the house. Ask your child to read a recipe from a cookbook as you make dinner; we love River Cottage Family Cookbook and The Young Chef Cooking and Baking books. 

 

Start a Family Book Club 

It's easy to start a book club that works for your whole family! Take turns each picking a book and make a plan on when to meet and discuss it. If time allows, make a special snack related to the book or dress up as the characters. If your household has children who are too young to read, make a habit of reading the book aloud to them each day. Don't forget to include grandparents or other family and friends that may be interested in participating via Skype or Zoom.

We suggest picking a book, like Harry Potter or Stuart Little, that has been reimagined as a film; read the book first then watch the film together and have your child consider what was similar and different in the book. Ask your child what they might have done differently. Read more tips on starting a family book club here.

 

Travel the World 

Books are a great way to teach your children about different cultures. CNN published this wonderful list of 25 Books To Teach Your Kids about the World, including Ludwig Bemelmans's Madeline, Jeff Brown's Flat Stanley and Brian Selznic's The Invention of Hugo Cabret. We suggest doing something to mark the end of each book and further discuss the place the book portrayed; perhaps cook a dinner inspired by the cuisine of the featured location, listen to music from the region or simply look at photographs of well-known monuments online together. 

 

Add Some Drama to Story Time

We've mentioned this in a previous newsletter but it is worth bringing up again as it has received a great response from children. Novel Effect's free app allows parents and caregivers to read from their child's favorite print book while the app follows along and plays music, spooky sound effects, and hilarious character voices at all the right moments. Simply download the app, select from hundreds of popular children's titles and start reading. Titles range from classics such as Guess How Much I Love You and Goodnight Moon to new favorites like Barack Obama's Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters and B.J. Novak's The Book with No Pictures. The app has just launched a small selection of Spanish language titles, with more coming soon. 

 

Further Resources

Finally, we recommend utilizing Scholastic's tools for parents, including these lists of 6 Smart Strategies to Boost Reading Fluency and 9 Creative Ways to Read as a Family

 

 

As always, we're here to assist with all your household staffing needs during this challenging time. Both childcare and cleaning professionals are considered essential workers and we have implemented strict protocols to make sure your family is as safe as possible. Contact us today to learn more.


Staying Active at Home

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According to the CDC, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination each week. The guidelines also recommend that children and adolescents be active for at least 60 minutes every day. The benefits range from weight management and reduced risk of cancer and diabetes to improved sleep and decreased anxiety. A comprehensive list of benefits is available here on the CDC website. 

With the current restrictions in place, it may be difficult for you and your family to make sure you're fitting in enough physical activity each day. The team here at BAHS put together a list of resources to get the whole family moving at home without any special equipment. 

 

Home Workout Apps

With more and more home workout apps at our fingertips, it can be overwhelming and challenging to know where to begin. We've narrowed it down to our top choices. Nike Training Club is currently offering all premium content free of charge; the well designed app includes over 190 home exercise routines ranging from yoga and targeted strength training to kickboxing and circuits. We also love AaptivTechradar's top home workout app of 2020. The service offers thousands of guided workouts, including options with and without home gym equipment.  Regular membership is paid, but you can freely access live Youtube workouts and their Family Fitness YouTube channel with fun videos to get the whole family moving. 

 

Yoga for the Whole Family

For adults and older children, we recommend Yoga with Adriene; the channel features fun and engaging yoga videos for different skill levels, time increments, and a 30 day challenge for beginners. For younger kids, try the free Super Stretch app; children can use the app alone or with adults. Using storytelling, entertaining animations and video examples, the interactive app introduces children to various yoga poses and breathing techniques. 

 

GoNoodle

GoNoodle is consistently one of our top recommendations for families; both the site and the app are dynamic and kid friendly (though we do prefer the app!). Great for younger children, the app features fun and engaging free videos that encourage children to dance, try yoga and move in other creative ways. It boasts over 300 activities for children and is completely free with no in-app purchases.

 

NFL Play 60

For young sports enthusiasts, we recommend NFL Play 60, an app for kids created by a partnership between the NFL and the American Heart Association. Children are able to choose an avatar then run, jump, spin and twist to move their character through the game. Clear a little space in the living room and get started! 

 

For Budding Ballerinas

Sarah Du-Feu, a former dancer in the English National Ballet, is offering free online ballet classes for ballerinas of all ages. She offers weekly live sessions for all age groups, from 2 through adult, as well as recorded videos if you can't make the live option. Follow her on Instagram for the latest scheduling updates. 

Another great option is Petite Feet, a site that offers weekly paid Zoom sessions for children as young as 2. The classes are hosted by Liz Vacco, a dance, yoga, theater and early childhood educator with a degree from Yale University. 

 

Walk for a Cause

If it safe for you to leave your home for exercise, we recommend Charity Miles. The free app allows users to raise money for charity by walking, running or biking. For every mile tracked, the app will donate between 10 and 25 cents to a charity of your choice. Consider having the whole family join and see how much you can raise for a charity you are all passionate about! 

Another great app with a good cause is UNICEF Kid Power. Children accumulate coins by participating in high energy dance, yoga, and meditation activities - the coins are then donated towards feeding malnourished children around the world.

If you're looking for more fitness tips, take a few minutes to read through these 30 Tips from the American Heart Association on how to keep your family active.  

 

 

As always, we're here to assist with all your household staffing needs during this challenging time. Both childcare and cleaning professionals are considered essential workers and we have implemented strict protocols to make sure your family is as safe as possible. Contact us today to learn more. 


Homeschooling & the Benefits of Hiring a Governess

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As children are now learning from home, many families are managing multiple schedules, assignments, and lessons everyday. Technology allows for teachers to stay engaged in a child’s learning, but there is no substitute for one-on-one attention and direction. 

 

Parents and nannies are having to roll up their sleeves and dive back into school. If you are overwhelmed with homeschooling, or schooling from home, consider hiring a governess to support your child’s learning and ensure they do not fall behind during this time.

 

What is the difference between a nanny and a governess?

 

While many nannies are happy and able to help with homework, a governess will have extensive experience teaching and tutoring multiple subjects. A nanny’s main responsibility will be the care of the children in her charge including transportation to activities, helping with meals, keeping the nursery tidy, and encouraging all developmental milestones like food transitions and potty training.

 

A governess will work for a family with school-aged children and have an active role in teaching and intellectual development. This could include scheduling schoolwork, teaching lessons, administering state tests, and helping children learn independently. A governess will often speak multiple languages and be comfortable tutoring language skills. Many will have experience teaching in a classroom.

 

The Benefits of Hiring a Governess

 

Hiring a governess during this time at home can give your children the educational and emotional support they need to stay on track during this uncertain time. Their end goal is always to help children feel loved, valued, gain confidence, encourage education, and help them learn coping skills.

 

If you struggle to manage all of your children’s individual schooling, we strongly encourage hiring a qualified governess to work in your home or remotely to provide one-on-one guidance and care. This structure and support will help children by giving stability during changing times and ensure they are equipped to return to school in the fall.

 

Hire a Governess with BAHS

 

Still not sure exactly what type of nanny your home needs? Contact our office to be connected with an expert recruiter that can assess your needs and recommend the right nanny for your family. Our team of recruiting specialists can help determine what care is best for your family and match you with qualified candidates.

 

See more information on How to Hire a Nanny: What to Know and How a Nanny Agency Can Help

 

Because every family’s needs are different, our commitment as your nanny agency is to provide expert service that saves you time, sees that all details are in order, and matches a nanny that compliments your home and unique needs. We believe that if both sides of the placement - family and nanny - are beyond satisfied in their placement, the relationship will be happier, more successful and longer-lasting.


How You and Your Family Can Help from Home

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During this difficult time, you may find yourself asking what you and your family can do to help those directly affected by COVID-19. We've put together a list of resources; whether you would like to make a monetary donation, spend some time at the sewing machine or have a glass of wine, you can help in the fight against COVID-19. 

 

COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO

With so many new charities and GoFundMe pages set up at the moment, it can be challenging to decide where your donation will be put to the best use.  Before donating to any charity, we recommend doing a quick search on Charity Navigator to confirm the fund is accredited. Our top choice right now is the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO. The World Health Organization, the United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation joined together to create this unified giving platform that directly supports WHO's work.  The website states: 

Donations support WHO’s work, including with partners, to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate research and development of a vaccine and treatments for all who need them. 

The site accepts tax-deductible donations online, via check, text and more.  

 

Donate to a Local Food Bank 

With millions of people out of work, children home from school and businesses closed, many are struggling to feed their families. Donating food, money, or time to a local food bank is a great way to help. 


Feeding America has several resources on its site, including a helpful tool to find the food bank closest to you. 

 

Help Send Books to Children in Need 

By donating to First Book, you'll assist in getting books in the hands of reading age children in low-income communities. Since the shutdowns began, almost 2 million books have been distributed to children and families at emergency feeding sites and homeless shelters across the country. If you have physical books to donate, try giving your local women's shelter or church a call; current regulations on donations of physical items vary greatly across the country. 

 

Check in with Neighbors

If you are leaving home to go to the grocery store or if you have been able to secure a grocery delivery, think about reaching out via phone to a vulnerable neighbor and see if there is something you can pick up for them. Many people in high-risk categories may be afraid to leave their homes and are unable to get fresh foods during this time. Remember to leave groceries outside the door or stay at least 6 feet away during the drop-off! 

 

Handmade Masks

Older children interested in sewing or design can help by sewing handmade masks and donating them to hospitals. While hospital personnel treating COVID-19 patients cannot use them, doctors and nurses treating other ailments can, which then frees up N95 masks for COVID-19 responders. Vanderbilt University offers free instructions for making simple masks with and without elastic. Be sure to check with your local hospital to find out if they accept donations and their preferred method of receipt.

 

Donate Plasma

If you've already had and successfully recovered from COVID-19, you can help others by donating plasma via the Red Cross. People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that can attack the virus. Adults 18 years and older, who are currently in good health and have a prior, verified diagnosis of COVID-19, but are now symptom free and fully recovered may qualify. Visit the Red Cross website for details. 

 

Help Those in Crisis Remotely 

During this time of isolation, many people are struggling physically and mentally. Consider signing up as counselor for a crisis phone or text hotline. Most offer online training programs that can be done on your schedule. We recommend Crisis Text Line - they are actively seeking volunteers in both the U.S. and the U.K. 

 

Watch Your Favorite TV Shows

With the 4th Wall Chrome Extension, your family can donate to WHO, Meals on Wheels, Project Hope and more simply by streaming the shows you love on Netflix, Hulu or Prime Video. Just download the extension and start watching; the app will make a donation to a COVID-19 relief cause of your choice after you've accumulated a certain number of minutes streaming. 

 

Drink Wine 

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher recently partnered with Battle Creek Vineyards to launch a new Quarantine Wine. The pinot noir is available for pre-order online and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to COVID-19 response charities and organizations. 

If pinot noir isn't your drink of choice, you may have other options. Many local wine shops and liquor stores are currently offering specials benefiting charities. In New York City, Nolita Wine Merchants are offering curated "Restaurant Relief Bundles,"; the store is donating 50% of the profits on a select group of Spanish and Portuguese wines to the Restaurant Workers’ Community (RWCF). 
 

 

As always, we're here to assist with all your household staffing needs during this challenging time. Both childcare and cleaning professionals are considered essential workers and we have implemented strict protocols to make sure your family is as safe as possible. Contact us today to learn more. 


Stay Healthy with Meal Deliveries from Top Chefs

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Staying healthy and taking care of ourselves has become more important than ever. As we shelter in place, it can be difficult to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. It’s good to stay mobile and eat right, not just for your physical health, but for you and your family’s emotional health as well.

 

Generic Meal Delivery versus a Dedicated Private Chef

 

As well as keeping us healthy, food can be a great comfort during uncertain times. With more delivery options now than ever, it can be easy to access unhealthy diets or feel overwhelmed by the number of choices. Meal planning day to day can be exhausting and monotonous.

 

Many great meal delivery services exist, but none provide the ease and customization of employing a private chef. Whatever your family’s varied and unique needs are, a qualified chef can cook with all of this in mind from their own kitchen and deliver fresh, healthy meals to your home. 

 

Your private chef will take the stress out of meal planning and finding new recipes. Once your chef gets to know your family’s tastes, they can ensure your favorite comfort food is always in stock, and introduce new flavors and dishes. They will work so that the pickiest of eaters will have balanced meals and healthy diets.

 

Normal private chef duties that can be done remotely are:

  • Keeping informed of all food and sanitation rules
  • Menu planning based on dietary needs and preferences
  • Preparing meals to be reheated by the family later
  • Preparing healthy snacks that are easily accessible to the family between meal times

 

See more information on what a personal or private chef can do for you.


 

How Private Chefs are Cooking for Families and Staying Safe

 

Once we are able to move about, your chef can come to your home, prepare all meals on site, and keep your pantry stocked. Until then, however, most private chefs are preparing meals at their own homes and delivering directly to clients either with their personal vehicle or through ride sharing services.

 

Your chef will understand best practices from the CDC for delivering food safely. There is currently no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food, but it is important to keep counters and utensils clean and sterile to stop the spread from surfaces. Knowing exactly who prepared and handled your food and limiting the number of hands that transport it, can reduce risks of contamination and give you peace of mind about the food your family is enjoying.



 

If you’d like the dedicated service of a private chef to provide meals for your family during this time, contact our office today to connect with a recruitment specialist and begin your search.

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