My mom was a volunteer and supported the people around her in every way she could. Whatever the situation called for, she delivered: she drove the carpool, baked cupcakes, stitched costumes, sent flowers, and visited the hospital–when her family or friends needed her, she was there. I learned a lot about helping family and supporting my community from what I learned by watching her do for others. Though she’s been gone nearly 30 years, her spirit animates the people who she touched and who continue following her example. I’m the youngest of five, so I could watch my siblings follow Mom’s example. One sister leads groups of health care providers to Haiti several times a year; another sister and brother work through their churches; yet another sister ran errands for elderly women who lived in her apartment building when they no longer could do for themselves. Me? I’ve helped charities by participating in walk-a-thons, spell-a-thons, flower or candy or even fresh fruit sales—yet I did that work in person, just like my mom and my siblings.
This time is different. Covid-19 makes it different.
There’s a distanced feeling to how we experience life right now. It’s hard to “see” or “know” the good that we are doing for others by working with Feed the Fight–safe at home, it can be hard to imagine what it is like to have a job in a health setting. I got an email this week from a nurse that reminded me, though: “Our schedules have gone out the window and our hours have changed…We sometimes don’t know where we will be placed until it happens that day.” The chaos affecting her life also affected her eating habits. “Because of this, often times, we don’t have time for lunch” and not knowing where she might be posted sometimes “we don’t bring a lunch.” But the meals provided through Feed the Fight make a real difference: the meals delivered help “our staff step up and take care of Kalamazoo residents. Thank you for thinking of us and God Bless you for what you are doing to keep our morale up…”
Mom, thanks for setting the right example. If you were here, I know you’d be smiling.