Spreading Local Love
“When I was a boy and would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” – Mister Rogers
It seems every time I scroll through Facebook or turn on the news, all I see and hear are stories of doom and gloom. After a few minutes of abusing my brain with negativity, I actively search for the good stuff. Earlier this week, my sister posted an article from The Good News Network that included a roundup of positive updates on the coronavirus pandemic from around the world. I felt better. There are people out there doing amazing things in this world.
I then went back to my Facebook and immediately started to notice the good things that people are doing locally. From teaching online classes to launching campaigns to support local businesses, there are so many unsung heroes right in my back yard.
So, I decided to do a weekly roundup of my own and highlight five local heroes a week, doing what they can to spread some local love.
1. Breana Kaut: Food for the Front Line
Food for the Front Line is a grassroots effort by Breana Kaut, who has, in just a short time, raised almost $10,000 to provide meals to people serving on the front lines! Her efforts have gotten coffee delivered to HUP ER, pizza delivered to Penn Valley Forge, hoagie trays sent to Dulles 6 at HUP, and so much more!
She has set up her Venmo for donations of anything you can give. Every dollar matters when it comes to taking care of those on the front lines. Breana is also working as much as she can with small businesses in the food industries to deliver these meals to our front line heroes. Not only is she supporting our front line workers, but local small restaurants and eateries as well!
If you have any suggestions for places to deliver meals to, she has a running list of locations on the front lines. You can Venmo her your donation: Breana-kaut. Please type ‘food donation’ into the comments. You can also reach out to her directly through her Facebook page: Breana Kaut.
2. Nate Moore: #HereforGoodPA
#HereForGoodPA is a community-first fundraiser aimed at assisting small businesses who have been hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown.
Nate’s print shop, RockHound Apparel, has opened an online store selling t-shirts that represent each impacted business. The businesses will earn $10 of relief each time you purchase their shirt on his website. RockHound Apparel will print and fulfill the t-shirt order at no cost to the small business needing support!
If you want to help, you can go to this website and support your favorite local business by purchasing one of their t-shirts! www.rockhoundapparel.com/hereforgoodpa
3. Lydia Sarson: Sarson Suppers
Lydia may not be a full-time chef, but it certainly wouldn’t be a stretch. I speak from experience when I say her cooking is out of this world, and you could work DIRECTLY with her to build a meal based on ingredients you already have in your pantry!
All you have to do is reach out to her and set up a mutually agreeable time to chat via video call. You take her on a virtual tour of your pantry, and she helps you whip up an incredible meal from the ingredients sitting stagnant on your shelves! Think of it like Chopped, but without the sweaty competition breathing down your neck.
You can find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lydia.henry.165
4. Ryan Matz Photography: A Photo Project a Day Keeps Coronavirus Away!
Ryan Matz is putting his incredible knowledge of photography to use by recording photography lessons and projects that anyone (including kids!) can do from home or out in nature. The idea is to get out and explore the world around you and inspire you and your children’s creativity!
Each lesson will review a different photography topic, such as patterns, details, or textures. The video includes the lesson along with some examples Ryan creates and ends with a fun exercise you can do with your camera, phone, or iPad. Once you’ve completed the task, you can upload your image to the comments, and comment on the images of others. This is an amazing way to build community around the concepts of awe and beauty.
If you want to participate, you can join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RMPphotoproject/
5. Bluebird Distilling: From Hard Liquor to Hand Sanitizer
Bluebird Distilling is a Phoenixville, Pa favorite when it comes to local spirits. In light of the crisis, however, they have transitioned their operations to producing hand sanitizer at cost for local shelters, hospitals, and doctor’s offices. As someone who frequents Bluebird Distilling, I have always loved their product, and seeing them join the effort was nothing short of heart-warming.
If you know a front-line operation who could use some extra hand sanitizer, you can have them reach out to Bluebird here: firstname.lastname@example.org. When this is all over, and we can head back to our favorite watering holes, I encourage all of you to give your business and support to this one first. They have stepped up for their community in a big way, and the least we can do is show them some love when we find ourselves on the other side of this.
That’s this week’s round-up! Of course, there are so many more people doing great things in our local communities that I plan to highlight every week! If you know a business or person who is doing something awesome in their local community, please shoot me an email at email@example.com so that I can add them to my list!
Any time I find myself feeling down or frustrated by the state of our world right now, I look for the helpers. They remind me that we will get through this… together.