Unity and selflessness are two of the greatest characteristics to have in life, especially during a crisis. Helping other people and one another is important, especially in times of need. In this current time, our world is facing one of the biggest problems that it has ever faced, the pandemic caused by coronavirus or COVID-19. A lot of people have been left either jobless because of the failing economy or homeless and hungry with the lack of source for income. A small act of kindness can immediately affect a person’s life in a very big way. If you feel like wanting to be inspired by others generosity and selflessness, here are the best stories of countries all over the world that are helping each other in the midst of this pandemic.
- THE SOUP BRIGADE BY CARING FOR FRIENDS ORGANIZATION IN PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania is considered to be one of the most beautiful and kindest places in the United States. It’s full of picturesque communities that are full of kind people such as Delaware River which is home to the St. Andrew Parish. This place in Yardley, Pennsylvania is even included in the Top 50 Nicest Places that were recognized by Reader’s Digest. For approximately four decades, the parishioners from St. Andrew has made it a habit to make and give out meals to the elderly and shut-in residents of the area. They hold their meetings at the church parish house every third Sunday of the month.
However, their 37 years of regular service was abruptly cut by the coronavirus. In the midst of the pandemic, regular church members have come up with a way to continue their practices along with the rise of needs by the people in the community. The parishioners came up with the idea of making meals in the comfort of their homes. Caring For Friends, a non-profit organization, are the ones responsible for taking the prepared meals from the houses of the members to deliver it to those who need it.
The parishioners also came up with a community garden throughout the community since they can’t do it in one specific place. The people from the community can go to St. Andrew Parish to take a seedling of any type that they can plant in their homes. Seeds range from tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, and basil to name a few. It’s a great way to help the community in not just preparing great food but also encouraging them to grow a few plants that they can use.
- THE BLACK LIVES MATTER (BLM) MOVEMENT IN THE UNITED STATES
Black Lives Matter, also known as BLM for short, is a decentralized movement that advocates for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against Black people. It began to be a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and acts related to anti-Black racism. One of its intentions was to connect Black people located all over the world that have shared desire and longing for justice to act together in their communities.
It called the attention of almost a lot of countries which joined in this protest that aims to protect the Black people. The campaign aimed to focus on issues like racial injustice, police brutality, criminal justice reform, black immigration, economic injustice, LGBTQIA+ and human rights, environmental conditions, voting rights & suppression, healthcare, government corruption, education, and common sense gun laws.
Inspiring stories have been shared online regarding this movement which aims to come together against racism. Some of which were white people defending Black people they’ve known in person and are just working decently and don’t cause harm to the people around them. An example was the post of the 45 year old Caroline Brock who asked his appliance repairman named Ernest Skelton regarding his experience in racism. The middle aged man who was said to be friendly and also a successful business owner, shared that he gets pulled out in Myrtle Beach at least 6 times per year. It’s sad to think that he doesn’t get pulled out for violations but because of the suspicions that he could be a suspect in a crime or another.
Other similar posts are also posted sharing other inspiring stories of black people who continued to do great things despite the criticisms they’ve received. And these served as an eye opener that not all people that are included in this race will do horrible things. It is also used to make a stand for them who are abused and oppressed despite having clear criminal records. Their voices must be heard too, thanks to those people who chose to step up for them.
- MUSIC AND ENCOURAGEMENT FROM BALCONIES ALL OVER THE WORLD DURING THIS PANDEMIC
After the coronavirus outbreak which began in January 2020, millions of people have been driven to anxiousness and boredom due to staying at home for a long time. Yet, people in different countries tried new ways in order to cope with the new normal. People have responded in their own balconies, talking to each other within a safe distance through windows and even rooftops. Some would even sing to one another, applaud and show gratitude to their health workers and a lot more. Indeed, people still find a way to show a little bit of hope in these times of trial.
Stories of different communication strategies has been spread around the world like how people gathered on a balcony of a residential building to clap and make noise with the use of kitchenware to thank essential service providers during a one-day Janata (civil) curfew imposed amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in Amritsar, India, on March 22, 2020. Another one is the story of the classical musicians Sofia Ceccato and her husband, Simon Bechemin, who used their talents to play for neighbors from their balcony during the coronavirus outbreak in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last March 21, 2020. A family in downtown Ronda, Spain last March 14, 2020 also shared hope and encouragement when they applauded from a balcony during an event staged to thank Spanish medical staff who are fighting against the coronavirus as civilians that remained confined in the comfort of their own homes.
There’s a lot of beautiful stories that this page couldn’t handle if all of it was shared. Yet, these stories just showed that there is still beauty and hope in humanity. That despite the hard times experienced throughout the world, people still continue to find a way to encourage each other. And that, indeed, is precious and must not be forgotten when this is all over.
- FREE FOOD AND HYGIENIC KIT IN PARTS OF ASIA
Besides the musical encouragements and applause during the times of the pandemic, food, which is everyone’s necessity has been shared as an act of love as well. As COVID-19 rapidly spread out to the world with a devastating effect, grace and kindness remained as well. People around Asia shared a few stories of how a little gesture can help hope to pace with the number of cases.
In a simple kitchen in Malaysia, a chef named Abu Luai shared his expertise in cooking to serve delicious meals for the front line workers in the hospital. He shared a few dishes that he prepared with love like the chicken mandi, which is a Middle Eastern classic of smoky spiced goodness and basbousa.
The effort of filling stomachs is also happening in Singapore as Abu Luai’s lovingly-prepared meals are being picked up by a volunteer in Malaysia and are delivered to hospitals. Free meals are also delivered to low income families which has always been a mission of the Free Food for All’s (FFFA). In line with the spreading virus, they also included sanitizing kits for the families. The charity has already raised over S$13,000 of its S$25,000 (US$17,400) target and is hoping to raise more, in order to help more families in need.
There’s a lot more similar stories to tell but these glimpses of kindness are enough to prove how talents and goals can produce a certain kind of help families right now need. With people helping hand in hand, there is hope that we can cope up with this pandemic stronger than before.
- NALANDAWAY FOUNDATION’S FREE ART FOR WELLBEING KITS
Parents and children are continuously thinking about daily activities they can do together. Some tried cooking and baking, some tried playing instruments, while others discovered their new talents and hobbies.
Sriram, the founder of the non-profit NalandaWay foundation, shared that they wanted to be useful in the way they know how. In their case, they know arts, as well as children. With a rising number of parents and children dealing with stress and anxiety while staying at home, the foundation came up with the idea of putting up downloadable free ‘Art for Wellbeing’ kits.
With different kits made specifically for five age groups, parents can use the suggested activities not only to keep their children occupied and safe inside the home, they can also follow the tips listed in order to help their children to express and cope with their feelings. Children also suffered with the normal as they were not allowed to see and hang out with their friends anymore. Yet, with this kinds of activities, parents could be somehow able to figure out whether their child needs an ear to listen, or even a simple hug.
- BRAVEHEARTPHL’S KIDS ARTWORKS FOR FRONTLINERS
During the pandemic, a lot of people are asked to stay at home, especially the children. We know for sure that these you are limited to financial support, which is something they can’t donate right now. But a psychiatrist named Melissa Paulita Mariano has come up with an idea on how kids can contribute in sharing rays of sunshines to our frontliners.
An inspiring Instagram post that appeared on @braveheartphl, shared artworks and letters sent made for the healthcare workers and other individuals who struggle with the pandemic. Most of which are made by children who can already draw and write. Words like “”You are not alone! We support you in your battle against COVID-19.” and “I love you for everything you do. Keep us well.” are written in some of these artworks which surely encouraged the frontliners in the Philippines.
Even these small acts of love are really appreciated which leads to no excuse when it comes to giving encouragement. Everyone is able to do so, and even if all you can do today was to encourage and lift yourself up, that’s totally okay.
- ROHINGYA WOMEN DEVELOPMENT NETWORK’S DONATION DRIVE FOR INCOME LESS PEOPLE IN MALAYSIA
Not everybody is privileged to have food on their plate everyday. Some may have income but still need to pay other house necessities like rentals. This is one of the reasons why countless calls from refugees are received everyday seeking help. Most of them are on their wit’s end on thinking how to feed themselves in the following days and how to keep a roof over their heads amid the lockdown in Malaysia.
A lot of people are struggling, but Syaedah of Rohingya Women Development Network (RWDN) tried her best to find out a way that they can help. Thankfully, the RWDN are able to secure support from donors and fellow NGOs like Tenaganita in order to buy and deliver provisions to the refugees.
As supplies continuously trickle in, Syaedah, who was also a refugee herself who has been doing sewing work through RWDN, tirelessly ensured that they can reach every household that is in most need.
A call for help is still present and it never stops, which means kindness, support, and encouragement must be continued as well. What about you? What are you willing to offer during this time of the pandemic? Can you lend an ear, a small amount or anything related to helping others? Remember that even the smallest deeds are well appreciated and that you can make a change if you just chose to do so.
- ALZHEIMER DISEASE ASSOCIATION SINGAPORE’S MEMORIES CAFE SESSIONS
Social activities have been limited and physical gatherings are not allowed during this time. Yet, the Alzheimer’s Disease Association Singapore (ADA) is aware how their popular Memories Cafe sessions have served as lifelines to people, especially the ones with dementia, along with their caregivers. So they started streaming sessions that are live weekly in replacement of the canceled events due to the pandemic. Being diagnosed with dementia means you are mostly depending on social activity in order to stop their condition from deteriorating, and every minute counts.
Today, they can gather and sing along wherever they are. On the screen of a mobile phone, they can now witness a band playing classical hits, along with the band members that try to make the experience and mood lively with small talks and jokes. It may not be the same as being in a room filled with people who are singing and dancing their hearts out, but it can still make a difference to its audience.
- CHILDREN ACROSS UK MAKE DRAWINGS OF A RAINBOW AND POST THEM ON THEIR WINDOWS
Children continue to be a ray of hope when pictures of rainbows have started springing up in windows of England after schools have closed in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Some kids started to get bored as they were limited to the only sides of their own home. Yet, hundreds of schools have thought of a way that these kids will have a new activity to do at home, as well as to have a contribution to the country who’s facing a hard time.
Hundreds of schools started to encourage pupils to put up paintings which aim to “spread hope” after a trend started online. The community is hopeful to spread their cheerful windows campaign as wide as possible. Children began drawing rainbows and posting it on their windows which is not just only for the means of arts and crafts time, but also to help maintain morale for children, along with their families during these difficult times.
Children really do great things in their own little way. This simple job done by them already made a lot of people smile and is continually doing so. It is our hope that these children will grow as individuals who will learn how to properly take care and address the problems that the future generation will have to face.
- BLACK MAN JOINED BY 75 NEIGHBORS IN A WALK THROUGH AN UPSCALE COMMUNITY
Shawn Dromgoole struggled in living in his hometown in the neighborhood of Nashville as he fears for the judgement he may receive from the White neighbors they have. Yet, one day, he decided to speak up and shared his experience online that stated how scared he was to go out and walk outside with all the news that warns people of suspicious black people. To his surprise a lot of people, despite racial differences, are willing to walk with him which started from 75 people to hundreds that supported his goal. Today, he continues to walk and be an inspiration to people who felt the same by visiting different cities and setting an stand that not all black people deserve the treatment and discrimination they have been receiving throughout their life. Kudos to Shawn’s braveness to open up and deal with his fear, a lot of people, especially the ones in his race, have been encouraged and inspired that there is still hope for humanity and the world.