Jayde Powell, is a University of Nevada honors student whose idea to help others during the coronavirus crisis has sparked a movement that’s spread into all 50 states and around the world.
Powell, a Pre-Med student, started “Shopping Angels,” an organization that provides “free shopping services to those populations at higher risk of contracting the novel COVID-19 virus, to include individuals over the age of 60 or those with impaired immune systems,” as stated on their facebook page.
What began as a local community effort by enlisting 20 members of her medical fraternity went viral in just 9 days, with over 2800 volunteers in the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. And the countries and volunteers are growing.
“People who are younger – whether it’s my age or my mom’s age – don’t have as much fear or anxiety in regards to going shopping for basic necessities,” Powell said. “For at-risk populations, it is a source of valid and intense fear. I wanted to help ease this fear during a time of panic and create a community program that would hand-deliver items to these people while exercising proper precautions.”
Beyond helping senior citizens or those with heart, lung or immune systems problems, Shopping Angels also assists parents of infants and young children. Businesses are donating food for those who can’t afford groceries, and others are donating money through a GoFundMe Page.
Powell’s story is one of many being told of people helping and supporting people during this extraordinary time. Retired medical workers are volunteering to help relieve the work load in hot spots like New York City and New Jersey. People are coming out onto their apartment balconies, applauding and cheering for doctors and nurses as they change shifts at their hospitals. Businesses are donating much needed supplies. Or changing their productions lines to produce products in high demand.
Stories abound of people making masks, running errands for their neighbors, or others like one Italian musician, Didie Carla, who’s performing on his balcony each evening for neighbors during the look-down.
The Miami Herald has launched “People Helping People” to assist local people in meeting the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Legendary country music singer Dolly Parton has donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University to help discover a cure for COVID-19. In addition Parton is doing something unique, reading bedtime stories to children from her Imagination Library via You-Tube.
With concerts cancelled, theaters closed, and sports on hold, many celebrities, sports stars, as well as several high net worth individuals, are donating large sums of money, and/or lending their influence to help during this crisis.
Lesser known, but no less important, are the many pastors, preachers, deacons and other Christians who are ministering to the needs of their members, although the meeting house doors are closed. Through calls, texts, and emails, Christians are connecting with one another. With the various technologies available worship services and Bible studies are being piped into people’s homes. Encouragement is being given. Worries lessened. Fears calmed. And hope offered.
Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on
That’s what we’re all doing right now. Maybe not literally, as we practice social distancing. but we’re leaning on one another. In various ways. In different degrees. By many different means. Some large. Some small. But all important. Leaning on one another.
Lean on me. It’s the core of Christianity. It’s the essence of the gospel. It’s the heart of the second great commandment. It’s fulfilling the one another exhortations of Scripture. It’s bearing burdens. Doing good. And being Christ-like.
“Bear one another burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).
“As we therefore have opportunity let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:10).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman