By Tara Gary
When the coronavirus pandemic first started changing our lives, someone said to me that now is when we will see people’s true colors. This is a very true statement. After 9/11, I remember communities coming together. We were more cohesive and united. For the first time in my generation, we experienced something catastrophic and evil on American soil. This reminds me of that time. For the most part (as I expected), people are supporting one another, and I’ve heard and read about some truly touching stories as a result of this difficult situation.
In no way do I think this catastrophe is a good thing, but I do believe it takes something unimaginable to wake us up and realize we can’t control everything. Believe it or not, yes, we are vulnerable. But we can work together to get things done. You may see it differently, but I’m a glass half full kinda girl.
Have you seen the videos of the little girl arriving home to her neighborhood after her last chemotherapy treatment? The streets lined with cars full of families holding up posters wishing her well and clapping as she was slowly driven home. The smile on that child’s face! Or the first responders in NYC holding parades with fire trucks and police cars (sirens blasting) to thank the medical workers who have tirelessly given everything they can. One of my favorites is the elderly woman in Italy with her window open being serenaded by her neighbors singing “Happy Birthday to You.” It’s the gestures—big and small—of human kindness that make me able to tolerate such a horrible event in history.
When I collaborated with my team here at The Current Hub as to what the cover story should be about this month, we collectively concluded it should pertain to the good deeds going on in our community. We reached out to a few people, and before you know it, my email and phone were bombarded with story after story. I would assume nothing less, and it’s gratifying to see my assumption proven.
Many businesses are struggling to stay afloat, and yet, I hear of many of them giving back. Kale Me Crazy is helping with their Feed the Front Line program. You can donate via their app, website, or in-store. For every “Wrap Donation” you order they will deliver one wrap and one immunity shot to a local hospital’s doctors and nurses—who are bravely working nonstop on the front lines. What a great way to keep them going, with healthy meals! I love this concept. The doctors and nurses don’t have time to go out and get a meal, let alone a healthy meal. What better way to say, “thank you.” Watch this video to learn more about their program.
Crave Pie Studio has a Pie It Forward effort. So cute and clever. Customers can sponsor a mini pie to be delivered to someone on the frontlines of the crisis or even to nursing homes. Now that’s sweet!
Maple Street Biscuit Company’s Biscuits For Heroes offers you the opportunity to purchase “Hero Biscuit Boxes” online (which includes one biscuit sandwich, signature side, dessert, and bottled water) to send to a hospital, medical facility, or first response unit. For orders over $100, they’ll also send you a gift card in the mail for ten percent of the purchase.
El Porton Mexican Restaurant (all Georgia locations) is giving free meals on Mondays from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. to medical professionals, police, and firefighters dressed in uniform. I think that’s a fantastic and well deserved “thank you.”
Mike and Cristy Thomas (owners of the recently closed Wild Slice Pizzeria) teamed up with local restaurants to execute an idea Cristy recently came up with—School Meal Program. They are asking for customers to purchase gift cards, which supports our local businesses, and donate the value to the school meal distribution program. This keeps children fed who otherwise depend on school lunches as their main source of nutrition. “Since the meal program began six weeks ago, we have been able to generate an estimated $45,000 in revenue for our sixteen restaurant partners. That revenue has allowed us access to 7,500 meals for our local students who are on the Fulton County meal program. Currently we are servicing two learning communities bringing meals to children from eight different schools, “ said Mike. They have plans to establish the School Meal Program as a non-profit initiative—continuing to use local restaurants to support food insecure students through the summer and holiday breaks. For more information about the program, go to mikethomasgroup.com/restaurant-school-meal-program. Great job guys!
Carol and Janet at Lilly Sage Apothecary have kept their doors open to provide their customers and community with the wonderful all-natural soaps, lotions, and potions they make. I have a few of their products, and I can tell you they are beautifully handcrafted, made to last, and the scents are phenomenal. Carol said that not only are customers buying more soap and hand sanitizer, they frequently purchase their candles—invoking peace of mind for those who need that emotional balance during this stressful time.
Carol has enhanced their already amazing Howlite hand sanitizer. She told me she has added a great deal more witch hazel to intensify the antibacterial and antifungal hand sanitizer since the pandemic started. The spray can also be used as a surface disinfectant or room spray. When Carol and Janet learned that a local restaurant was providing free meals to those in need, they delivered one-hundred bars of their soap. The soap was given out with the meals. Carol and Janet hoped those needing a free meal would appreciate being able to wash their hands with a beautifully scented long-lasting handmade soap.
Which leads me to the local restaurant giving free meals: Roswell’s Table & Main is offering hot meals for food insecure families, no questions asked. Owner, Ryan Pernice began the program Table & Aid in March. On their first day they served eighty-seven meals, and as of now, over 2,750. What a generous and kind contribution to the community!
Jamie Lee at A+ Alterations has made over two-hundred face masks and is donating them to Emory Healthcare. She will continue to make masks and can be reached at 678-833-7007. Thank you, Jamie. That is sew nice of you.
The Chattahoochee Nature Center is donating produce from their Unity Garden—including lettuces, kale, and turnips—to the food pantry of North Fulton Community Charities. One of their trips to the pantry yielded 340 pounds of produce. That’s a lot of salad!
Roswell FireLabs has partnered with Atlanta Beats COVID (ABC) and Atlanta Face Shields (a collaborative effort of makerspaces, community organizers, and individual contributors in the metro-Atlanta area) to 3D print, sanitize, and distribute components for protective equipment, in a group effort to help address shortages in the medical industry. I wonder what 3D toilet paper would feel like?
Bagel Boys, Blessed Trinity Catholic High School, and Alpharetta First United Methodist Church have been feeding the healthcare heroes at Wellstar North Fulton Hospital. What a blessing!
The Visit Roswell Georgia team has been working with local hotels to offer discounted rates for medical workers who are in need of a place to stay, and also for those who are choosing to isolate away from their families. Those hotels include Best Western Plus, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Holiday Inn Express Alpharetta-Roswell, InTown Suites, and Home2 Suites by Hilton (after soft opening). Frontline medical workers deserve a nice pillow, with a wrapped chocolate, to rest their heads. Great idea, Visit Roswell Georgia!
I know that this too shall pass, and when it does, we may all see things a little differently and hopefully never forget to be thankful and smile.
If I were sitting in typical Atlanta traffic I may just smile, because that means things were back to normal.
If I were in the midst of a restroom visit, I may sigh and smile when I run out of toilet paper—knowing there is more in the linen closet and more available at my local grocery store.
If I met a peculiar stranger at one of my favorite watering holes, I may give them a nod, and I may just smile because I knew I could be amongst the general public again—without social distancing.
If I were standing in line at the grocery store (within a few inches of someone peeking over my shoulder to see what I was texting), I may just smile knowing we are back to normal. That smile would most likely turn into disgruntled words, but… I may just smile anyway.
If I were running in the park and a couple with three dogs walking extremely slowly took up the entire path and I couldn’t pass, I may just smile because the parks are finally open.
If I had to sit at Joe’s Pizzeria (which I LOVE), but sit in-between two men teasing one another with opposing bad jokes, I may just smile because I knew I was amongst friends again.
If I were invited to a party, I might not show up “fashionably late.” Maybe I would show up early, eager to help set up, and I may just smile.
If I were chosen for jury duty and had to report, I may just smile (but then act a little crazy). Just kidding. I would love to fulfill my civic duty. (Nope, just kidding.)
If my plane were delayed (again), I may just smile knowing I was traveling again.
If the lead band at a concert showed up thirty minutes to an hour late (as always), I may just smile to be at a concert again.
If my alma mater’s football team lost to our biggest rival (I can’t lie), I would be livid—I’m southern. But… I may just smile seeing my team on the field again!
If I had to drive around for ten minutes to find a parking space on Canton Street, I may just smile.
If I were walking down Canton Street on the third Thursday of the month to attend Alive in Roswell, I would definitely smile because I love Alive in Roswell.
One thing that keeps my spirits high and a smile on my face is seeing my community react to this situation with heartfelt diligence. Giving back to the community keeps all of us strong. Thank you everyone for doing your part!
Share Who’s Making You Smile
Next month I would like to include stories from you—our readers—of people, neighbors, whomever, who have done a good deed. Let’s recognize them for their kind gestures. Don’t forget to include photos if you have them. Whether a child made a card for someone or a neighbor ran to the store for you, any good deed—big or small. Hopefully, the response will be huge, as I assume it will. I will make every effort to include all of them, but no promises. Let’s see what happens.
Email your stories and photos to me at Tara@thecurrenthub.com.
When not writing, Roswell resident Tara Gary is busy making industrial furniture, charcuterie boards, and local art. Most nights she can be found with her friends at local breweries and pubs drinking craft beer.