We’re in some uncharted territory right now, there’s no playbook for this. Events are being cancelled, schools are shut down, and there is a lot of anxiety that people are expressing in different ways.
What’s great to see though, is when someone steps up and says “Hey, we’ve never been through this either, but we’re going to help.” Rather than spread fear or rage or confusion, they just say hey, this is what it is, and we want to help.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “we want to help” from Josh Elchert at Heavenly Pizza over the years. If you’ve been to an event where free was pizza available, I’d bet you that 99% of the time, that pizza came from Heavenly Pizza.
Josh knows that there are a lot of kids that depend on the free and reduced lunch program from their schools to get enough food, and when school’s out, food is short. That’s why after school and on Saturdays, he’s been offering a free slice of pizza and bottle of water to any kids who ask. He’s been doing that as part of his “pay it forward” program for quite awhile, but it’s been after school and on weekends because when school’s in session the kids are taken care of.
But, now that school’s out for at least the next three weeks, there’s a need during the day as well. Again, Josh said “We just want to help.” So he’s extended that program to weekday lunches too. They weren’t even open for lunch until a couple weeks ago, and now they’re using that to help the community, just like they’ve done hundreds of times, maybe even more.
There’s a way you can get involved, too. A GoFundMe campaign is running to help. Originally the goal was $250, and as of a few minutes ago, they’re up over $500. Every dollar donated goes to the pay it forward program that was put together as just another way to help by Heavenly Pizza.
A very smart person I know said, “This is what it means to be a community,” and I thought that’s exactly right. It’s easy to complain, call it a political game, blame other countries, or shout that everyone is overreacting. That’s the easy thing, but that’s not what a community does. A community pulls together and says “We want to help.”
Thanks, Josh Elchert and Heavenly Pizza for demonstrating what community is all about.
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