Moving Company Helps Victims of Domestic Violence Leave Abusive Homes at no cost

College Hunks is a hauling company that in 2020 began free haulings services to people fleeing domestic abuse situations. Since the recent launch of this program, College Hunks has completed 100 moves for those fleeing unsafe conditions in both U.S. and Canada. The company saw this need as a priority because they said the lockdown mandated by the COVID-19 pandemic exposed individuals to increased abuse. The procedure of how to apply for this service is outlined on College & Hunks website.

There were 100 individuals moved from an abusive situation to safety and no cost to them. Humans have endless creative ideas for meeting their myriad challenges- new and old.

Picture retrieved from Good News Network

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here

Share a smile with Handmade cards for hospitalized patients

We are two brothers Hurshneet and Pravneet Chadha who started the initiative of Project Smile AZ to spread smiles and hope to patients who have been fighting COVID-19 all alone in the hospitals and anyone who is in need of a smile! With hospital rules to limit visitors, patients are extremely lonely and need a cheer me up thought. That’s exactly what our smile cards do!! We have more than 4000 Smile cards and have been donating them to hospitals across the US. Our goal is to bring a smile to everyone from A to Z.

More than 4500 Handmade cards have been shared to patients in hospitals, Veteran homes and to Navajo nation. We have made 130 kits for kids with card making and art supplies and shared them to friends at the Crisis center of Arizona and ACCEL centre for children and adults with disabilities like autism, who enjoy making cards from supplies. its a win win for those making the cards and those receiving it. The positive feedback from hospital staff and patients who have received these cards has been the biggest reward.

We learnt that we can always do something with where we are and with what we have to make the world better. We were stuck at home and did not have much supplies except some paper, cardstock and markers . We started off with a 100 card and soon made it to 4000 plus. Our messages brought that many smiles to patients who were lonely in hospital. Second lesson we learnt is that together we can make a big difference. Very soon after the initiative many people started regularly donating cards to our cause which helped make a bigger impact.

Story shared by Hurshneet Chadha, USA

More info here or at projectsmileaz@gmail.com

St. Xavier student creates website for grocery delivery during the pandemic

To help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, Trip Wright, a 17th-year-old college student in Cincinnati, created the zoomfooddeliver.com organization. The aim was to provide safe and free grocery deliveries to the elder and those who could not get to the stores because they were susceptible to contracting the virus. Within two weeks, Wright had recruited 70 volunteers and had fulfilled 30 orders. Between his online classes, Wright checked emails and orders so as to correspond between those in need and the volunteers.

The elderly and those susceptible to the coronavirus in Wright’s community could stay at home and have groceries delivered to them for free.

Creative ways to cater to the needs of those susceptible to the coronavirus while keeping them safe.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

Face masks designed for the deaf and hard of hearing community

College senior Ashley Lawrence noticed that the masks that were being made did not cater to the needs of those that are deaf and hard on hearing. Ashley, who is majoring in deaf education decided to design masks with transparent screens around the mouth. The transparent screen enabled those who can lipread to read the lips of the mask wearer. They also ensure the people see more of the facial expressions of the wearer.

Images retrieved from DiversityNursing Blog

Masks that were sensitive to the needs of the deaf and the hard in the hearing were designed. Ashley reports that many people reached out to ask for the masks.

The importance of looking out for the needs of the marginalized, those that are easily overlooked.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

WRTV launches ‘The Rebound: Indiana’ to help Hoosiers bounce back in COVID-19 economy

The WRTV launched Rebound: Indiana which is a one-stop online shop that helped the community to navigate through the financial impact because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The target is the Hoosiers (Natives of Indiana) and the aim is to help them find unemployment and economic stimulus resources. The online viewers were connected to the top officials from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Using advocacy, assistance, accountability, and investigation, The Rebound: Indiana hopes to help the Hoosiers bounce back and recover.

Image by WRTV

The community was reconnected with resources.

Creative ways to bring professionals to the community using technology. The natives/minorities were prioritized in the intervention.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

Lasagna Lady: cooking 1,200 pans for strangers in need

Soon after getting laid off during the pandemic, Michelle Brenner first turned to comfort food—using her grandmother’s special recipe, she made a huge pan of lasagna. Then, she offered to go grocery shopping for some friends and was dismayed that they had all added frozen lasagnas to their lists. Her culinary mind screamed, “This just won’t do at all!”

Picture from Good News Network

The Italian-American posted on Facebook, letting her friends and neighbors know that she could whip up some homemade goodness for them—all they had to do was ask, and come by to pick it up. She received her $1,200 government stimulus check, and used all of it to buy ingredients for her cooking. She has made over 1,200 pans of lasagna—no questions asked—for anybody who wants one. She then began dropping them off for essential workers at the local police and fire departments, the hospital, and even the prison.

In order to scale up her operation, she set up a fundraiser on Facebook to support her work. Before long, it had raised more than $22,000, mostly from strangers on Facebook from all corners of the world. She says this will enable her to continue cooking for several months. “The world as we know it is falling apart, but my two little hands are capable of making a difference,” Brenner told the Washington Post. “I can’t change the world, but I can make lasagna.” To support Brenner’s initiative, click here!

Story shared by Brandon Miller, USA.

More info here or at bmiller2@bsu.edu

Mutual Support for the Elderly

Seventy-nine elderly members of Kiboino were provided with food, masks, and cleaning supplies during the first several months of the covid-19 pandemic. This was done by a community member, Stephen Sergon, who now resides in Washington, DC U.S. Kiboino is a very low-income community, and weather conditions exacerbate food insecurity. When the pandemic hit, Stephen says he first thought about his elderly mum’s safety but then remembered other elderly persons with no one to turn to. Stephen then provided the money. And through the community elders and the village storekeeper’s coordination, the elderly members were identified and given the supplies.

Picture sent Stephen Sergon. See more pictures here

The elderly and vulnerable members of the community had food to last them for several days. They also had face masks to protect them from the coronavirus as well as cleaning supplies to boost hygiene. Besides, these elders talked about feeling happy and cared for by the gesture. This was expressed in the videos that were taken and shared. In addition, purchasing these suppliers from the village store had a positive impact on the village economy.

What one considers to be little or insignificant can mean a lot and makes a huge difference to someone who must choose between buying something to eat or soap. For these vulnerable people in Kiboino village to get soap, food and masks was their biggest joy. They were so gracious that they shed tears of joy.

Story shared by Stephen Sergon, Kenya

More info at sergonsteve@yahoo.com

Kite Oxford Nairobi

In the last five months, we (a student led organisation) came together to provide food baskets to mentees families. We decided on redirecting our mentorship project funds at first to covid response, seeing that many of the families were in desperate circumstances with most losing their daily jobs as casual workers. The school counselor, the principal and gate keepers of the area assisted greatly in coming up with the names of the needy students this then facilitated our action in providing monthly food baskets to each family.

So far, we have been able to provide tonnes of food baskets to over 41 families who have an average 5 members living within the home since April to date. We have been able to spread awareness and support each of the families as we check up on their well being when we distribute the foods. Most are hopeful that things will get better while some of the mentees (children) are unsure of their education as schools have been closed with no assurance of opening up again until next year.

I’ve learned that its important to hear the need of the people, at first we thought covid might restrict us in meeting to discuss what the families needed most in terms of foods they eat. Another challenge was most families don’t have phones to be contacted easily, on this we just permanently informed them that we will be distributing the food baskets on first of every month at a particular time (11am) this helped us a lot. We also had to understand how to communicate better in swahili as most parents did not like speaking to us in English.

Story shared by Patricia Ojijo, Kenya

More info here or at patriciaojijo@gmail.com

“Roti revolution” that helps feed migrant workers

An initiative that involves women from the residential community of Surat, India, cooking five extra rotis each has become a massive lifeline for migrant workers who are suffering amidst the COVID-19 lockdown. The initiative was started by NGO, Surat Manav Seva Sangh ‘Chhanyado’. Women from across the city cook extra rotis or flat bread that are collected and taken to the NGO’s community kitchen in the city. The kitchen is staffed by 16 women who exclusively make vegetable curry and chili pickle, packing the rotis collected from the households along with it. The food packets are then distributed to about 35,000 people in need in different parts of the city.

Picture by S. Mojumder/Drik/CIMMYT.

Story from India.

Read more here or at the Community Tool box.

Making Sure Kids Get Fed during School Closures

Food service professionals and other community members are stepping forward to ensure no child goes hungry. Millions of kids across the US rely on school meals for essential nutrition. Communities are getting creative; some schools are delivering meals or hosting meal drive-throughs for families. Learn more about these efforts in this article from Voices for Healthy Kids

Image retrieved from Voices for Healthy Kids

Story from the USA.

Read more here or at the Community Tool box.