Turn this way, it’s the COVID-19 pandemic.
Turn that way, it’s something else, the bad news du jour, if you will. Maybe today it’s fear over how safe Washington will be as President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris shed the “elect” in their titles during a locked-down inauguration. Or maybe the fear of how divided this country has become.
There’s plenty of bad news and fear to go around these days, it seems.
But then on Sunday, it was tough not to smile as people of all races, ages, creeds and colors happily walked into Hope Distributed. Masked up, bundled up and ready to work, the over two dozen volunteers opened boxes of canned goods and other non-perishable foods, stacked them on pallets and put them into over 300 boxes for the MLK Day of Service Food Drive.
The destination of those boxes full of food? Whoever needed them.
And the volunteers laughed, worked together and laughed some more. A good time, despite the seriousness of what they were doing, was had by all.
The Arc of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County partnered with the Harrisonburg Rotary Club and Hope Distributed for the drive, an event that, sadly, has been needed more than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic nears one year on U.S. shores.
Sometimes, however, it takes bad news to hear the good news shouting.
And all those people working side by side was something to behold if you were lucky enough to have seen it Sunday. People working toward the common good, people working to help fill the growing hold of hunger in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
Amid it all, Ellen Braun, Hope Distributed’s pantry administrator and volunteer coordinator, said it best.
“You can’t be embarrassed to ask for help,” she said. “At some point, we’ve all needed to ask for help.”
Shout it louder, please.