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Act of Kindness from Heather

Dear Dr. Osterholm and the CIDRAP Staff:

Thank you for your very thoughtful podcasts each week on the COVID-19 pandemic. I have become a loyal listener and crave the information each week. I am a “retired” nurse practitioner staying home with two children. My husband is an anesthesia critical care physician.

There are many long days and nights with my husband spending countless hours at the hospital and taking calls from home. My children asking when daddy will be home. I’ve found it hard to sit still many days. Some days we just drive and listen to music for a distraction. Lately, we’ve taken our drives one step further and decided to grab treats and deliver them to doorsteps of other frontline workers and families. Not only does this help us pass some of our darkest days, it fills our hearts when we hear back how it brightened another family or child who is missing their loved one fighting on the front lines.

But the real hero in this story is our daughter, Molly. As I said above, Molly is 6 and in first grade. Recently she was feeling sad about how the holidays are going to look different this year. She talked of past times visiting friends and family. She started thinking of how she really wanted to sing Christmas carols this year. Then an idea hit her! She said: “what if I sing Christmas carols to my neighbors and collect food for the food shelf?” She asked if she could ring their doorbells with a mask on and then run back to the sidewalk to sing.

Initially we only let Molly go to a few neighbors. However as she went to these doors and sang others out and about heard of what she was doing and welcomed her to their sidewalk to sing. Molly sang her heart out that day! She collected both food and money to buy food for the food shelf.

When her collections were complete, Molly and I went to the grocery store and she picked out food she felt other kids would like. We even got a math lesson in adding up prices and exchanging money. Molly filled 3 neighborhood food libraries and then delivered 150 pounds of food to our local Channel One Food Bank.

When I was feeling so much darkness, here was the light I needed. Here was my six year old teaching me to find the good in a dark situation. She showed me that she is learning so much during this most difficult time for everyone. While she is missing out on an in-class experience, she is gaining so much that can not be taught in the classroom. She is learning resilience. I feel fortunate that we are at the beginning of our children’s educational experiences. We have time to catch up. I understand this is not the case for all.

Thank you again for all you are doing in the fight against COVID-19!



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