We all have friends, family, colleagues and neighbors negatively impacted by COVID-19. Don’t we? Some are either sick, recovering, retrenched or struggling to get needed medications and food supplies in the ongoing lockdown, which simply means they need the good old empathy and compassion.
It’s safe to say things have not been easy for everyone. And the more we follow the news, the easier it is to come to the conclusion that the situation will not get back to normal anytime soon.
That doesn’t mean we should all give up. No way. We are not a people who give up. Instead, when things get as tough as they are right now, we double our compassionate efforts to ensure our individual and collective well being. Beyond keeping to the life-saving social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines from the authorities, we increase our love and care for people around us.
A phone call to check up on them. Prayer for their safety and good health. Words of encouragement and support sent through SMS, email or on their social media pages. The list goes on.
As life is threatened and love is challenged, we are reminded of the powerful words of late New York Times bestselling author and sociology professor, Leo Buscaglia: “Life is our greatest possession and love its greatest affirmation.”
Isn’t that so true? Our love affirms that we truly value life – ours and others’.
Buscaglia was right to posit that we should all live for something, especially “creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.”
Perhaps, in this pandemic, no segment of the population is more susceptible to loneliness and hopelessness than our seniors. And as a society, we can’t afford to leave them to such. We have to act, and act fast in demonstration of our love for them.
That is why the Dearborn Police Department, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, the Inkster Police Department and the Qazi Foundation all deserve commendation for actively supporting our recent distribution of more than 550 large boxes of food items valued at more than $40, 000 to senior citizens in Dearborn and Inkster. Neither cold weather nor the palpable frenzy in the community could deter them from collaborating with us. And the news media, especially Fox 2 News Detroit and Channel 7 Detroit, also played their part in helping people find joy and inspiration in such collaborative outreach to our seniors.
But there are more seniors in need. From cities like Roseville, Highland Park and Detroit where we have been distributing food items for a long time, to Redford, Garden City and Westland, there are countless seniors hoping for front porch delivery of food boxes that could ease their food-related anxiety and concerns. No day passes without us getting more requests and recommendations for food deliveries to seniors, and we won’t allow the thought of our obvious inability to help ALL seniors-in-need hinder or slow us down. Grateful that many in Michigan see us as the go-to nonprofit for seniors and others in dire need, we will continue to expand our partnerships and collaborations to ensure we quickly help as many as possible and in a way that preserves their dignity.
And while a number of organizations are firing or furloughing their staff because of the pandemic, we are actually maintaining existing staff and hiring new ones. Just last week, we hired 27 staff to perform different functions in our faithful task of providing hope and help to the homeless, hungry and hurting in our community. We have also opened new sites to meet the life-saving needs of the moment. Yes, we now have additional residential sites to help fight the pandemic!
We actually are on the frontlines of the fight. Like doctors, nurses and others in the healthcare sector, we in human services are also exposed 24/7 to the risks associated with the pandemic. All our residential sites operate round the clock, providing essential wrap-around services to women and children, seniors, veterans, teen moms, returning citizens, substance use disorder patients, and victims of domestic abuse who need to gain stability, sobriety, second chances and self-sustenance.
So, as we sincerely and respectfully thank you for your continued prayers, words of encouragement and financial support, we humbly ask you to join us in commending our drivers, janitors, chefs, case managers, counselors, residence specialists, program supervisors and directors, and other very important members of the 300-plus Detroit Rescue Mission positive action team who risk so much to ensure that the “least of these” around us get the hand-up they need today and beyond.