Hi, my name is Jeff and I am a people person.

I’m here today because I miss holding in person meetings. Yes, I know that right now we need to be careful, but the heart wants what the heart wants.

Thankfully, I’ve found ways to continue to connect with our community – and while it’s not the same as getting a hug from Miss Gladys at the Senior Center or getting a fist bump from Joe Daniel, it’s still fulfilling.

Here at the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce, we’ve been hosting weekly town halls and virtual gatherings in an attend to keep our members and our community up to date.

We’ve talked about financial programs available for businesses during this pandemic, about how to protect yourself from disease with our medical professionals and how to cope with the depression of not being able to interact with our neighbors.

We’ve hosted a successful State of the Community where business and community leaders informed a large virtual crowd of how Culpeper is faring during the crisis and what we can expect going forward.

Just because we are unable to meet in person isn’t going to stop our mission of connecting our community and our businesses.

One of our events that was originally postponed by Gov. Ralph Northam’s orders to stay at home was the Women’s Lift event. Our Lift committee recognized now, more than even, our women need uplifted and celebrated. They are juggling full time jobs – many remotely – while homeschooling their children and doing so without the usual support they receive from their friends and relatives. This upcoming Thursday, May 21 at noon, we’re going to start to give back to them by hosting our Women’s Lift series focusing on “Infusing Self Care.” The 30-minute vignette events will feature influential speakers who will speak on the theme of “Infusing Self Care” and will continue through the end of June every Thursday at noon.

Our committee and our staff know how important it is to stay healthy and connected during this time – and they are working to help women stay strong during this pandemic.

The event will focus on how to coordinate your life, so you do not need to take a break for self-care – you’re already practicing it!

These series will be available live and there is the opportunity for Q&A.  They will also be uploaded onto the Chamber YouTube and Website.  Attendance to one or all Lift Series events will be free of charge with an option to donate to the Chamber.  Donations are greatly appreciated and will allow us to continue to provide valuable resources to our community.

Yes, I’m ready to get out and see everyone again, but in the meantime, we’re going to continue to host our virtual events and town halls so that the public and our members stay informed and entertained.

It might not be the same, but you might even get a virtual hug from me!