Life is certainly not the same in our Cottage Grove neighborhood with the concerns of a pandemic and a protest movement born from the loss of life of more of our African American people.
These protests, however, leave me with a sense that this time in our nation’s history, we are heading toward real change in racial equality. I am hopeful.
I am also hopeful every week when our Health Outreach Team meets and we report on how those in our community are supporting one another through this pandemic.
Gloria McMasters, one of our Community Health Workers, recently shared she was feeling a nudge for some reason to stop off at a home on her street and check to see if there were any needs. She had not seen Ella and her twin girls who lived there out and about since the pandemic stay-at-home orders. She wasn’t sure if anyone even lived there anymore.
Meanwhile, Ella and her two daughters were struggling. She had been laid off from her job and was going without food frequently so there would be more for her girls. She said a prayer to send someone who could help them out. Then Gloria knocked on her door.
Gloria has since set the family up with healthy food access and checks in with them regularly. She has also been able to obtain a large donation of clothing for the girls as Mustard Seed’s scheduler, Nicky Bello, just happens to have very fashionable twin girls who needed their closets cleared of outgrown clothes.
In return, Ella is now making cloth masks in all sizes and fabrics for Gloria and our other CHW, Jo Anne Foster, to hand out in the community.
These acts of caring for one another and sharing of our time and talents elevate the health of our communities. And not just our physical health. Knowing there is someone down the street who cares how we are doing lifts our mental and spiritual well- being as well.
So get out there and follow that gentle nudge to check on your neighbors. There may be someone down the street praying for you to knock on their door.