by Cassius K
During difficult times, you’ll notice an emergence of conscience and courage in a lot of people. You might see people being willing to help others even when they are at risk themselves, acting courageously in conscience.
The coronavirus pandemic is no different. While you might see more coverage in the mainstream media about people fighting over toilet paper, here are 5 recent instances of kindness coming into play during the outbreak.
1. NJ Resident does grocery runs
Going from store to store collecting groceries for people in need, Bloomfield, New Jersey resident Abraham Dickerson is doing his part.
“Why did I start? Because I care,” the good Samaritan said. “I didn’t want to see anyone go hungry or possibly risk their life going to get food.”
Dickerson’s gesture means a lot to the people he is assisting.
An elderly woman named Barbara Brooks explained how Abraham helped her get groceries. Her residence is a tower where seniors live, and she has to deal with asthma. She was advised to be distant from others as much as possible.
“It means that someone cares,” she said. “I’m almost out of breath.”
A resident named Adeleri Onisegun noted “He’s not asking for anything, he’s not expecting anything, he’s not taking anything.”
2. Civilian prevents a shooting outside the grocery store
Even though many are warm and helpful, it must be expected that crime may rise.
When people battle over food or whatever it is outside the grocery store for example, and somebody pulls out a weapon and tries to strike the innocent, it might inspire a courageous reaction from bystanders.
It was a situation like this that recently transpired in Omaha, Nebraska.
A man entered an Omaha, Nebraska Hy-Vee store and started firing shots, when bystander Tom Wenzl tackled him and disabled the threat to everybody in the vicinity.
Customers were running out of the store, but he stayed and ducked down out of sight behind a counter. “I hunkered down – he was in five or six – I crouched and waited. When he came through, that’s when I tackled him,” Wenzl explained.
He actually prevented a cop from having to take lethal action, because Omaha Police Deputy Police Chief Scott Gray said he was a “fraction of a second from shooting the guy,” as he also jumped into the altercation. That was after Wenzyl initially started trying to wrestle the gun away, with the first move.
3. “Take this.” $1000 handed to grocery store staff
At Darrell’s Market & Hardware in Aurelius Township, Michigan, employee Julie Huguelet was walking out the door after a long shift when a stranger handed her an envelope.
“Take this. Give $10 a day to each of your employees” he said, without giving his name or any more information.
Without opening the envelope, she took it to the owner of the store, Jared Browers. “There’s a thousand dollars cash in here,” Browers noted after opening it.
They explained the pace of business had “doubled” at the store and that traffic is like not like anything they’ve ever seen before, in the midst of this situation surrounding the pandemic. “A lot of us are getting to the point where we’re just exhausted,” said Huguelet. “We crash and go home and sleep, then come back.”
Store owner Jamie Robinson said the gift meant a lot.
Robinson said after a long week, many employees were in disbelief when they heard about the anonymous $1,000 donation.
“Is this for real?,” some asked her. “Did this really happen?”
“It was a pretty amazing thing,” Robinson said. “It really boosted the staff.”
“It’s just really going to be a nice reaffirmation of the work we do every day,” Browers said.
4. At the location of a fight, woman gifts toilet paper
A more negative story received publicity recently about people allegedly attacking each other with wine bottles at a Sam’s Club in Hiram, Georgia, in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area.
At this same store, WSBTV Atlanta explained: “A Paulding County woman shared a sweet story of strangers helping strangers during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Carol Burton Largent said that she went to Sam’s Club to get some toilet paper, something notoriously out of stock these days.
Largent asked a woman next to her when she pulled up at the store if there was any toilet paper left.
“I asked her if they had any toilet paper left and she said no, it was all gone. Then she proceeded to open her pack of toilet paper and gave me 24 rolls without even thinking about it,” she said.
Largent said she told the woman she didn’t have any cash.
“I don’t need your cash, God put you here for a reason,” Largent said the woman said.
5. Pandemic Partners do grocery runs
A Facebook group is emphasizing community power while maintaining respect for the need to be cautious of spreading illness.
A post in a group called Pandemic Partners Southern Oregon offered to visit the store for people who are over 60 years old, or suffer from a weakened immune system. Members of the community offering to visit stores for people in need, that’s surely a practice that we can look forward to continuing.
People in the group are offering handmade face masks to health care workers, posting job listings, food pantry availability, meals for kids and first responders, and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to help their neighbors through a difficult time.
It’s a wonderful example of community spirit.
Bad times can also bring out the good in people.
In conclusion, you can rest assured that the result of everybody being in need, all at once, is not always universally this greedy, self-centered reaction. This reaction is something that the media may over-emphasize in the coming months, turning people against each other if they let it.
Reality can be quite the opposite: some people experience a surge of courage, associated with their conscience essentially, during a time like this. We have some survival instincts latent in us, that some people may have never even experienced an awakening of, ever in their lives.
It’s also important to remember that we, the citizens and people who live wherever we live, have the ultimate power to shape and determine our future. We can all help others in our communities, rather than make their lives more difficult or ignore their problems.
We’d all be well advised to shape our future with intent, rather than letting some other people or entity shape it for us. People can build their own culture, or the system can build it for them.
Cassius K. is a writer from North Highlands, California.