As we continue to shelter in place until the end of April (or probably longer) and we face an ever-changing future, we wanted to take a moment to come together and pause. Too often these days, the darkness feels overwhelming. So, as a reprieve, we're sharing some beauty, some acts of courage, and some bright moments of light emerging from this surreal, global shift. The collective is growing, and while we’re witnessing something historic and horrifying, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also take notice of the good that's happening in our communities.
Look for the Helpers
The global pandemic of COVID-19 may be filling our news with scary stories about lockdowns, warnings from health officials and angry bipartisan talking points, but, what it can’t seem to break is our human spirit. A famous quote from Mr. Rogers rings true at this moment, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Sure enough, each day, humanity is stepping up and finding a way to lend a hand. We hear stories of neighbors offering to buy groceries for seniors and local businesses donating their groceries and food to hungry workers. Grocery store employees are definitely putting in a tremendous effort to keep shelves stocked right now. We’re so grateful for their efforts. Local news in Texas reported recently that the team at an H-E-B grocery was treated to lunch by their neighbors at Whataburger who wanted to pay them back for their hard work.1 One couple eating at a local diner left a $9,400 tip to help support the wait staff. People are full of goodness. And people do care.2
A Light in Dark Times
Often, it’s the little things that make a huge difference in moments like this. A call from an old friend, a note from a neighbor or a symbol of solidarity that says, “I see you, we’re in this together.” Shining a light in the dark—literally—could be that symbol for COVID-19. The first day of Spring may have sprung a couple of weeks days ago, but communities around the country have begun stringing their holiday lights back up to brighten the dark. We may have to keep our distance, but if you can see your neighbor’s festive lights, we may not feel so alone.3
A Triumph of Spirit
We’re working remotely. Our places of worship are closed. Stores, restaurants, and gathering places are shuttering their doors. It feels cold, lonely, and dark. Yet, the human spirit is resilient and nothing says, “We’ll make the most of this wild moment,” like the inspiring videos of Italians—whose country has been hit so hard by COVID-19—greeting twilight by singing together from their balconies. La vita è bella, indeed.4
We Can All Help
Local food banks and programs like Meals on Wheels provide nutrition to thousands of at-risk groups across the country and are suddenly facing a crisis themselves as more people than ever are going to rely on their services. If you’re looking for a way to help, please visit feedingamerica.org. Additionally, check out this comprehensive list of ways we can all help in the community.
It may seem dark and the future feels uncertain, but we also feel empowered by this unique challenge to make a difference. Reaching out, connecting in new ways, and having hope, love, and each during these strange times, might be some of the biggest lessons take away from all of this and the reminders we may have all needed. We are here for you and we want to support you. Please our Facebook Community, BEAUTY OF CHANGE, and share your stories of community and connection with us, or let us know how we can help.
“In the darkest times, hope is something you give yourself.” - Uncle Iroh, The Last Airbender