Almost overnight, our world has changed. But in the midst of our dystopian nightmare, examples of compassion are all around us – proof that that caring for one another is in our American DNA.
Here are but a few examples.
In Dunwoody, a group of moms, one of whom is Mayor Lynn Deutsch, have formed “Lunch-4-Our Bunch” to feed Dunwoody school children who might go hungry while not in school. Every Tuesday through the end of the month, the moms come together to make 1,000 bag lunches for distribution on Wednesdays outside at Malachi’s Storehouse at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church at 4755 North Peachtree Road in Dunwoody.
Malachi’s Storehouse also accepts donations. You can drop off groceries and pantry items on Tuesdays, 4:00-7:00 pm, or donate them without leaving home by ordering them and having them shipped directly to Malachi’s. Details are on Deutsch’s Facebook page. You can also donate money at “Lunch-4-Our Bunch” at gofundme.com.
Teens in Dunwoody are helping too. Recently, Jackson Moore, a Dunwoody High School sophomore who runs Rent-a-Teen Dunwoody, received a desperate request to move an elderly man and his furniture into an assisted living facility before visitation was shut down. He and fellow DHS sophomore, Matthew Moss, immediately got their team together, moved the man and all of his possessions and beat the deadline.
That same day, another Dunwoody resident, Lynn Johnston, a school teacher, posted on Nextdoor.com under the simple headline “Here to Help,” volunteering to run errands “for anyone who needs help.”
“I wanted to volunteer because I am hearing too much negativity in the media,” she said. “You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution.” At press time, her post had received 53 likes and 30 comments from others offering their support.
One of those comments was from Chrysé Wayman, a healthcare IT consultant, who started a Nextdoor.com group called Project Dunwoody Food Delivery to enable neighbors to shop for groceries and necessities and deliver them to people who can’t leave home.
“Literally, an hour after I created the group,” Wayman said, “more than 50 people had signed up.”
For those who don’t access social media, where the group is hosted, Wayman plans to get the word out by creating a digital flyer volunteers can download and print out for local teens to distribute to neighbors’ mailboxes. To join, go to Nextdoor, then to the Groups tab, select Project Dunwoody Food Delivery and request an invitation.
What I saw while writing this article were people fighting fear and anxiety with kindness. They came from every walk of life — from business and education to the TV and film industry.
One of them, Miles Henley, a film location manager, attracted my attention with his sense of humor.
“I will put on my bio hazardous chemical warfare suit and pick up and deliver your supplies to your doorstep,” he wrote, adding that he had plenty of time to help because his wife was stranded in Vietnam and his profession, TV and film production in Georgia, had shut down. Of course, I had to hear his story.
During our phone call, I learned his wife had gone to visit her parents in Ho Chi Minh City, where he said COVID-19 had become rampant. She wanted to come home, but since the trip required a stopover in Seoul, Korea, with a two-week quarantine, they opted instead for her to go stay with an aunt in the countryside.
While we were discussing the scarcity of everything from hand sanitizer to rubbing alcohol, neither of which I could find, he said he had an extra bottle of alcohol to give me. Later that night, there it was, all neatly wrapped, on my doorstep. A seemingly small gesture, but very much appreciated.