Good deeds

When talking to a friend a few weeks ago, he said something about the current pandemic that made me think.

“These are the kinds of times that will define a generation,” he said.

This pandemic will have lasting impacts, but the circumstances don’t define us. How we deal with the situation will.

It may feel like we can’t do much as we distance ourselves and spend more time at home. We can’t write personal checks for large amounts like professional athletes and the wealthy, but there are ways to make a difference.

We need to help those who are impacted by the virus the most - families who have lost loved ones, people who have lost their jobs, the elderly, the immunocompromised, the less fortunate, healthcare workers, first responders and emergency personnel.

Reach out to these people and let them know they are appreciated. For the unemployed, offer financial help or resources to find employment. For the elderly and at risk folks, offer to pick up goods for them so they can stay home, or cook them a meal. For healthcare workers, a simple ‘thank you’ means a lot.

Single parents, grocery store workers, janitors and people who can’t work from home should be acknowledged as well.

We can’t compete in sports, but we can create competition in doing good deeds. Consider teaming up with others to see who can raise more funds for local charities, stay home the longest, collect the most food for the local food bank, send out the most thank you letters or post the most meaningful and heartfelt messages online to raise awareness and spread hope.

We all should be staying home and distancing ourselves. If you have to go out, do a favor for a neighbor. Make someone feel special. Find simple ways to make a big impact. Cartoonist and author Scott Adams once said “There’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”

We can all make a difference. The sooner we get past this, the sooner sports and other things we love will return, but we must make sacrifices and live our lives differently - or else the consequences will be grave.

Local organizations you can help make a difference:

United Way of Onslow County: (910) 347-2646

  • Accepting food donations for their Children Healthy Eating on Weekends (CHEW) program.

American Red Cross: (910) 347-3591 (Onslow County), (910) 451-2689 (Camp Lejeune)

  • In need of blood donations. Canceled drives have caused shortages.

Onslow Community Outreach: (910) 455-5733

  • Needs basic lunch items for soup kitchen.

Salvation Army: (910) 346-8800

  • Accepting donations for food pantry.