Howdy, Cactus Huggers!
Earlier this week, I expressed that I was feeling a little burnt out, and hoped that the week would get better as it went on.
And I’m happy to say that it did.
The acts of kindness from the last couple of days are especially unique, because I’m not sure whether I’d be able to do them if we weren’t experiencing a time of social distancing right now. This will probably make more sense as I explain exactly what they were…
Wednesday, 4/22 – Act of Kindness #17: A few days ago, I saw the sweetest video that moved me to tears: An elderly man living in a nursing facility was gifted a pillow from a nurse with his deceased wife’s picture on it to replace the photo of her that he sleeps with every night. It is simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming, but mostly it’s just an incredibly lovely act of kindness that the caretaker did for her resident during these challenging times. (Watch the video here.)
This video, coupled with thoughts of my own grandmother who spent the last several years of her life battling Alzheimer’s in a nursing home, prompted me to wonder about how the elderly in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are handling the current state of things. I can’t imagine it’s easy. We hear news almost daily about different facilities that are directly affected, and I’ve seen and read a number of stories about residents who are sorely missing their loved ones who are unable to visit them at the present moment.
It’s got to be incredibly difficult and painful.
So I wanted to research ways I could help someone, anyone, who is living in one of these facilities and who might need a pick-me-up. I came across this link, which supplied a list of facilities in the country that are accepting letters, cards, and drawings for their residents.
But I wanted to do something more.
On that same web page, I saw the link to www.carenotcovid.com. I learned that I could film a 30-seconds-or-less video that The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living will show to nursing home and assisted living residents across the country in order to give them support and hope. An excellent idea, right? It took me fewer than 60 seconds to make my video, upload it, and share it on Twitter. In addition, I made an Instagram story so my followers could see some of the ways they can help, too…because wouldn’t it be awesome if those living in nursing homes and assisted care facilities received tons and tons of uplifting messages?
Yes…yes, it would be awesome.
Thursday, 4/23 – Act of Kindness #18: I got to do a really cool thing yesterday afternoon: I attended a virtual meet-and-greet with high school students in which I answered their questions about how my business is handling this challenging time. This neat opportunity was made available to me by my company, which recently launched a special COVID-19 volunteering and giving page on one of its directories.
I had no idea what to expect going into this, and I was worried that I might be talking aimlessly for a full half hour to bored high school students. But that’s not at all what happened. After I introduced myself and explained what I do for my company (and how it operates), I was pleasantly surprised when they really engaged in conversation with me, and asked me thoughtful questions such as how I’ve created a sense of normalcy working from home during this time, what my biggest challenges are, and whether I think these events will change the way business and society operate in the future. It was a very fluid conversation and the students thanked me profusely for my time at the end, which made me feel like it was truly appreciated that I set aside part of my afternoon to talk to them.
And it made me feel really thankful that associates within my company put in the time and energy to make these volunteer opportunities available to us so that we can participate in something constructive to help combat feelings of helplessness.