Today, I am struggling to understand what I just experienced.
Before Christmas, I saw local news story about Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, Inc. in Charlottesville, VA, and how they are giving away 100 pounds of balanced food to folks in need in the Charlottesville community. They asked for donations. So after I finished grading exams, I went through my cupboards, pantry, and freezer to ID donations, which included Clorox wipes, paper towels, frozen vegetables and fruit, dried beans, blankets, etc.
Today (probably about an hour ago) I went to drop things off, and I was STUNNED. The food lines were so long, the parking lot was 100% packed, there was so much traffic that the local police were there. That -- in and of itself -- was something I have NEVER experienced before in my life. I was trying to figure out where I could drop my donations (and they made sure I had anything before they let me enter before other cars). Turns out I went to the wrong part of the building, and in the parking lot behind the building, while I was talking to some staff, people started rolling down their windows and saying they would take things.
To look in the faces of people in need is not something that I can forget.
As I posted on social media, I wrote: "PLEASE: If you have the capacity, give physical things (food, basic staples, etc) to your local charitable organizations. I think we are going to need this kind of giving more than ever. Or as Dr Michael Osterholm Fans/Followers would say: please consider contributing to the pandemic of kindness.”