How Nextdoor neighbors are helping each other get through the pandemic
All photos via Nextdoor
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Life during the coronavirus pandemic has been challenging for everyone, both the sick and the healthy. But despite the hardships people are facing on a daily basis, many have also performed incredible acts of kindness for those in need.

When it became clear there was a shortage of masks and other personal protective gear for health care workers on the frontlines, people all over the world cracked open their sewing kits and got to work. Even though they were closed to patrons and losing money, a number of New York City restaurants collaborated to help feed the city's hospital teams. The fact that we're all going through this together seems to be resonating with people in a significant way, and sparking an unprecedented trend of good will. That's especially apparent on apps like Nextdoor.

Being kind to others has an uncanny way of making the giver feel better, too. In fact, the more random and unexpected your acts of kindness are, the more they'll trigger pleasure in your brain.

And if you start doing them in and around your community, chances are you'll create new bonds with your neighbors that will help make everyone stronger at the end of this pandemic experience. Even if you don't currently know your neighbors, it's surprisingly easy to reach out and offer assistance. Just take it from these folks:


Octogenarian Block Party

Maddy Silverman's 80th birthday was coming up, and even though she loves to get down, due to coronavirus and quarantine restrictions, it didn't look like a traditional party was in the cards for her. But that didn't stop her party spirit. She decided to reach out on Nextdoor and see if any local DJs would be willing to host a socially distanced block party for her neighbors and herself. Not only did one respond and offer to play the party for free, many of her neighbors showed up wearing masks to party with her safely and responsibly.

"I'm a young 80, a very young 80," Silverman told Spectrum News 1.


Stimulus Check

Austin, Texas native, Andrew May, realized that he could use his stimulus check to help someone in his neighborhood who was struggling. So he offered it to anyone "in need" on Nextdoor, and almost immediately received tons of positive responses. A few individuals who could benefit from his generosity were also suggested to him. Eventually he decided to give money to two families he met via the app. One is a single mom of three kids who's been unable to pay rent for the last two months. The other is a husband and wife whose 16-year-old daughter reached out to him. The couple weren't able to receive stimulus checks because they only recently became American citizens. Both husband and wife had been out of work due to the virus.

But Andrew didn't stop there. He and a few other neighbors he met on Nextdoor are now working on helping a family living in an RV who has a son with special needs.


Gen Z Deliveries

17-year-old Danny Goldberg's father is an ER physician, so Danny realized how impactful the pandemic would be early on. He knew that keeping away from other people during the pandemic would become a priority, but not everyone would be able to do so. One particular thing he quickly saw becoming an issue was elderly and immunocompromised individuals' access to the essentials. "The elderly and immunocompromised should be sheltering in place, and if they can't get food deliveries, they would eventually need to go to the store, which is too big of a risk," Danny told Forbes.

So he created Zoomers to Boomers (ZTB) — a volunteer group of Gen Z neighbors who deliver groceries and other essentials to their Baby Boomer and immunocompromised neighbors for free. Danny set up the flagship website, posted about it on Nextdoor, and orders took off from there. Many of ZTB's core management team are high school friends of Danny's, but once word got around, and sites like Upworthy reported on it, the group expanded exponentially. There are now Zoomers to Boomers groups in cities all over the world.


Rollerskating Shark and Taco

Laughter is often the best medicine, especially when everything starts to feel overwhelmingly scary and depressing. That was Colene Robinson's notion when she decided to dress up in a shark costume and roller skate around Boulder, Colorado. She posted on Nextdoor that she'd happily visit any street in her city to bring a little hilarity and joy to her neighbors. Not only did she receive lots of grateful requests, a retired roller derby skater offered to join her on her cheer up mission dressed as a giant taco.

The rollerskating shark and taco team visited over 50 families in one weekend. They danced to the "Baby Shark" song, delivered handmade signs for big events like birthdays, and successfully lightened the mood wherever they went. This video pretty much says it all.


Heartwarming Posts

San Franciscan Nick Munro was at home looking for things to do, like so many of his neighbors, when he realized he had a ton of post-it notes lying around. So one day, he decided to stick them up on his window in the shape of a heart as a little message of support and solidarity for his neighbors during this challenging time. The gesture was quickly noted by locals, and pretty soon, Munro started to see more and more post-it hearts popping up on windows around town.

"These are the things we never would have seen without this coming together," Munro told NBC Bay-Area. He hopes the trend will continue long after the pandemic subsides.

These are just a handful of the incredible, selfless things people have done for their neighbors during this crisis. Contributions like this will also help strengthen communities as we move out of lockdown and into post-pandemic life.

You can check out many more #strengthinneighbors stories @Nextdoor on Instagram. Their page also has information on how you can win a $500 gift card to support your favorite neighborhood spot. Being kind to others is a super power that every single one of us can access to help bring the world back together. So what are you waiting for?

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.

via Wikimedia Commons and Goalsetter

America's ethnic wealth gap is a multi-faceted problem that would take dramatic action, on multiple fronts, to overcome. One of the ways to help communities improve their economic well-being is through financial literacy.

Investopedia says there are five primary sources of financial education—families, high school, college, employers, and the military — and that education and household income are two of the biggest factors in predicting whether someone has a high level of financial literacy.

New Orleans Saints safety, two-time Super Bowl Champion, and social justice activist Malcolm Jenkins and The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation hope to help bridge the wealth gap by teaching students about investing at a young age.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.