If you know anything about European history, you may have heard of the Irish Potato Famine. In 1845, a blight struck the potato fields of Ireland, creating an agricultural and economic disaster. Countless died of starvation and disease, while many others were forced to flee their homeland in search of work. Yet, in the midst of this crisis, a surprising group of helpers appeared. Many Native Americans, who had themselves endured much hardship, began raising funds for the people of Ireland. Their actions galvanized the public and brought international awareness to those affected by the famine.
Now, many years later, the world is uniting to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While the virus has already impacted many lives, Native Americans have been among the worst hit. Their communities lack the resources to handle a pandemic and have been quickly overwhelmed. So, when a GoFundMe campaign to help Navajo and Hopi families began asking for aid, support came pouring in from Ireland. Even after all these years, the Irish people still remember that act of kindness.
Let’s Lend a Hand
Presently, many people are suffering from the consequences of COVID-19. As mentioned above, Native American communities are particularly vulnerable and could use your help! But there are other people who need assistance as well. People who frequently go unnoticed because they are the ones helping us. Perhaps it’s time we returned the favor?
While the sheer scope of need can feel overwhelming, the generosity of the Irish people should remind us that no act of kindness is ever wasted. Each of us can do our part to support the men and women serving on the front lines of this crisis. After all, even the helpers need help sometimes. Below are just a few ways we can support our local heroes while practicing safe social distancing!
Leading the charge in the fight against COVID-19 are none other than medical professionals. Countless doctors, nurses, and scientists have given their time and safety to ensuring the health of the wider public. While it may seem like there isn’t much we can do to support them now, we can take steps to assist them in their work. First, remember to practice social distancing and proper handwashing techniques. These will help prevent the spread of germs and reduce the number of COVID-19 cases. Secondly, consider donating to organizations like the American Red Cross which help supply lifesaving medical equipment.
If one group has been the face of selflessness during this difficult time, it has been teachers. Despite school closures, educators everywhere have made the transition to remote learning while doing their part to support students and keeping curiosity alive. With teacher appreciation week drawing to a close, it’s worth asking how our society can better support teachers in the days ahead. One way is by helping them procure classroom supplies through organizations like DonorsChoose. Another option is to schedule them a FREE 30-minute consultation with project coaches who can assist them in navigating the landscape of virtual education.
During this chaotic time, our country’s postal workers have continued to help us stay connected by delivering letters and packages at the risk of their own health. Their services cannot be ignored, yet the United States Postal Service is in dire straits. One way to support them is by sending letters and buying stamps. These simple actions can help infuse the postal service with some much-needed funds while reminding our elected leaders what a valuable service it provides. If you really want to take a stand, have your students write a letter to their local state representatives and demand they save the postal service!
Food and Grocery Workers
We all need to eat, even during an ongoing pandemic. Food and grocery workers have managed to supply their communities with food and meals even as the cases of COVID-19 continue to grow. We can make their job easier by taking cautious steps to protect both them and other customers. Always wear a mask whenever you visit your local supermarket. If you have access to gloves, consider using them as well. You can also consider making a donation to the James Beard Foundation, which is working to support restaurants, chefs, and food workers through a relief fund.
“It’s not about how much you do, but how much love you put into what you do that counts.” – Mother Teresa