There’s no doubt people in the Ozarks are creative, a trait that’s been shining brightly since the COVID-19 crisis began. From fundraisers to fun things to do, local businesses, nonprofits and individuals are coming up with ways big and small to help their friends and neighbors cope during this difficult time.
In no particular order, here’s a sample of what’s happening. Let us know about the things we missed by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Springfield Cardinals and Community Blood Center of the Ozarks are set to #FlyTogether with the Step Up to the Plate Blood Drive. Every donor from April 20-24 will receive two 2020 Springfield Cardinals ticket vouchers courtesy of Great Southern Bank, a free Springfield Cardinals cap courtesy of Ashley HomeStore and other gifts from 20 Cardinals partners while supplies last. Appointments can be made by calling 417-227-5006 or visiting www.cbco.org and clicking "Donate Blood."
Creating on the Lawn
Lawn Art With Neighbors invites Springfield residents to create works of art in their front lawn for a citywide public art exhibition that can be experienced while safely practicing physical distancing. L.A.W.N. is a front-lawn public art exhibition, organized by the Springfield Art Museum, Sculpture Walk Springfield, and the Missouri State University Art + Design department. View the website for important dates, including the public viewing dates.
Showing Off Talent
Captain Springfield needs YOU to be an SGF Art Hero during these trying times. The arts keep us uplifted, active, and entertained no matter what is going on. A true SGF Art Hero can complete five art challenges by watching each video and completing the challenge to collect the art token. Challenges are daily April 20-24 and winners will receive the awesome prize of free entry (one per participant) to Artsfest & Cider Days Sept. 19-20.
Enjoying ‘Peas in a Pod-Cast’
Friends of the Garden, supporters of the Springfield Botanical Gardens, are determined to continue growing together - and with you - despite social distancing. Check out Peas in a Pod-Cast, a new podcast series to help beginner and experienced gardeners learn and pass the time in quarantine. The Master Gardeners of Greene County hotline remains open to answer gardening questions and MU Extension is offering virtual Home Horticulture Town Halls. The botanical gardens remain open as long as park-goers continue to adhere to CDC best practice guidelines.
Getting into Movie Mania
The Moxie is posting staff movie picks with introductions and discussion questions, hosting virtual Moxie Mornings for kids ages 2-6, hosting film discussions online at the newly minted Moxie Movie Club Facebook group, sharing favorite movie-related links and lists and more.
The oldest and largest community theatre in Missouri is hosting a Quarantine Talent Showcase. Send an email to email@example.com at Springfield Little Threatre featuring a video with your talent (singing, dancing, cooking...whatever!) and it might be featured in a Talent Showcase post on Facebook and Instagram!
Writing Letters to Zoo Animals
Dickerson Park Zoo is accepting letters to the animals, a fun project that made national news.
To write to an animal at DPZ, email your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. One letter per person and emailed letters only, please. Also tune in to Facebook Live for mini-zoo classes with Jamie and Emily at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday-Thursday.
WOWing Frontline Workers with Art
Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium invites kids to color a picture of encouragement for the everyday heroes working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Children of all ages can draw a message of support for doctors, nurses, first responders and everyone working to keep our community safe. Artwork submitted to email@example.com might be featured on the giant digital screen outside the facility.
Reading a Free Magazine
Start planning your best post-isolation life with free access to 417 Magazine’s April digital edition.
The history museum also is accepting letters about what life is like now to help build an archival collection that will be used by future researchers. Take a picture of your letter and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dancing with the Family
Springfield Ballet is offering virtual classes at least through April 26. If your dancer is interested in participating but you have not signed an online waiver, please email Kaitlyn at email@example.com to complete the request. Dance is for everyone! It’s about movement, expression of self and provides a great stress reliever as well. Enjoy the art form in all its shapes and sizes.
Keeping the Littles Busy
- Itty Bitty City is offering a variety of Facebook Live events and activities including crafts; Win-It Wednesdays; Meet Cubetto the adventuresome little robot that teaches coding concepts; Itty Bitty Animals Which Way Adventures, music, yoga and more.
- The Springfield-Greene County Library District offers virtual storytime at 10 a.m. each Tuesday on Facebook.
- The Discovery Center of Springfield Inc. is offering child care for health care workers.
Getting a T-Shirt
- The Greek Corner Here For Good Campaign allows patrons to purchase a custom $20 T-shirt featuring a local business or nonprofit and $10 goes directly to the organization.
- The CrackerJack Shack Helping the Helpers program works like this: Every shirt purchased generates $12.50 toward a local restaurant gift card that will be given to a healthcare worker YOU nominate.
- Five Pound Apparel is donating $15 to a business of your choice when you buy a Support SGF shirt.
Making Music with a Meal
Get a free music CD featuring local artists with a food purchase at Lindberg's Tavern, Dugout Bar & Grill, Tie & Timber Beer Co., Springfield Brewing Co., Mother's Brewing Co. and 4 By 4 Brewing Co.
Brewing Up Good Things
- Great Escape Beer Works is donating 10 percent of proceeds from the sale of its Queen City Lager, a 5.5 percent ABV American lager, to local charities and nonprofits dedicated to helping relief efforts for those affected by the virus.
- For every “Pint or Crowler of Thanks” purchased, Springfield Brewing Co. will match it with a coupon for a free “Pint of Thanks” for a healthcare worker.
Members of the Springfield community are cooking up smoked meats to distribute to families each Friday. You can find them at Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park April 17. For future events, visit the Hillbilly Smokers Facebook page.
The Downtown Springfield Association is providing Downtown Curbside Bingo. Players can make purchases at any downtown business to cover up squares on their downloadable bingo card. The first player to fill five connecting squares will win a prize package from the DSA.
Feeding the Frontlines
Houlihan’s Restaurant (north) is providing donated meals to “heroes on the frontlines.” Donated meals go to medical professionals, first responders, law enforcement and other heroes within Springfield city limits on Monday and Thursday. Four to 10 meals can be donated for $40, $60 and $100. Call 417-862-7777 to place an order at least one day in advance. The program is part of O’Reilly Hospitality Management, LLC’s, O’Reach company culture of social responsibility.
South of Springfield at College of the Ozarks, masks are being made in honor of Mynette Ulrich, the C of O fruitcake baker for 30 years who died March 15. Besides baking fruitcakes, Ulrich was known for a cheerful demeanor and for making and donating quilts. C of O volunteers have been working from home to cut, iron, and sew masks made from hundreds of bolts of fabric donated by the Ulrich family to launch “Mynette’s Masks.” The college is providing mask-making kits for the public to pick up from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily while supplies last in the gazebo in front of the Alumni Center. Masks will be donated to frontline organizations. The public also can pick up finished masks from 8-10 a.m. April 21 at the Alumni Center.
- Arvest Bank is donating the monetary value of 1 million meals - $200,000 - to its local food partners across its four-state region in place of its annual Million Meals campaign.
- Great Southern Bancorp Inc. is giving $300,000 to nonprofits, including Ozarks Food Harvest, Discovery Center, Care to Learn and United Way of the Ozarks.
- Community Foundation of the Ozarks created the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to accept charitable donations to support local nonprofits' work amid the coronavirus outbreak. CFO and Mother’s Brewing Co. also partnered to create a fund supporting hospitality industry workers who are unemployed due to the pandemic.
The “Have Faith” initiative led by “Philanthropy Row” virtually convenes area churches and organizations and helps to coordinate the faith community’s response to the health crisis. “Philanthropy Row” consists of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Community Partnership of the Ozarks and United Way of the Ozarks.