Social distancing is a major challenge for local businesses and nonprofits. But we can make sure they’re still around post-pandemic. Here’s how you can help.

Are you a regular somewhere—Mario’s Fishbowl, Terra Cafe? Is there a local restaurant you love for comfort food or special meals? Buy a gift card now to use later, or check Facebook to see their ideas. Drop by either of the Black Bear Burritos restaurants to get a gift card; Tin 202 and Table 9 are selling theirs over the phone. Hill & Hollow asks that you email to buy a gift card. Apothecary Ale House & Cafe is offering 25 percent off to-go orders, so get your growler filled. Check with your favorite hangout. And if you’re taking advantage of the curbside service restaurants are offering, please tip even if you normally don’t on take-out—restaurants make up the difference when servers’ tips fall short. 

Our independent shops and boutiques are part of what gives Morgantown its unique character. Would you have bought a birthday or wedding gift from a local shop this spring? Don’t fall back on a major online retailer—place an order online locally or get a gift card from the local shop instead. Hoot & Howl sells gift cards online; Appalachian Gallery, River Fair Trade, and Whippoorwill Woods & Waters ask that you call for gift cards. Check Facebook to see how your favorite shop is getting creative with virtual shopping over FaceTime or personal delivery in town.

Many nonprofit organizations are cancelling critical fundraisers they hold every spring. But they need our support now more than ever—make a donation to Arthurdale Heritage, Friends of the Cheat, Operation Welcome Home, or your favorite cause.

This is true for nonprofit arts organizations, too. If you have tickets to a performance that gets cancelled or that you choose not to attend—at M.T. Pockets Theatre, for example, or a West Virginia Public Theatre production—consider letting your ticket price be a donation. Or better yet, take this opportunity to become a regular patron. 

Finally, many of our friends and neighbors work as servers, delivery drivers, and in other roles we all rely on that get cut back when the economy dips. They’re going to be tapping into Morgantown’s strong network of support. Make a donation to Christian Help, Morgantown Community Kitchen, Pantry Plus More, or your favorite social service organization.

Help keep the lights on in Morgantown!


photographed by Stephanie Swaim
posted on March 17, 2020

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Pam Kasey
Written by Pam Kasey
Pam Kasey has traveled, brewed, farmed, counseled, and renovated, but most loves to write. She has degrees in economics from the University of Chicago and in journalism from West Virginia University. She loves celebrating Morgantown and West Virginia as executive editor at New South Media.