So many of us are struggling right now, searching through the darkness for that light at the end of the tunnel. Times might be tough, but a handful of unexpected heroes are working hard — often in unexpected ways — to bring smiles back into people’s lives.
Have you noticed an unusual number of teddy bears sitting on display around your neighborhood? It might be more than decor or forgotten toys. According to a New York Times report, people are setting out teddy bears as part of a safe “scavenger hunt” for kids going on walks or rides to fight their boredom.
People in numerous countries are participating in the teddy bear hunts. To participate, people put the stuffed animals in front yards, windows and parked cars for passersby to spot and enjoy. The game is simple: Spot as many teddy bears as you can while you’re out and about. Maybe you want to join in?
Some people are bringing smiles to others and finding a creative outlet in the process. Artists of all skill levels are sharing their talents by leaving chalk pictures, obstacle courses, hopscotch grids and uplifting messages along neighborhood sidewalks and streets. News sources like The Charlotte Observer have captured the phenomenon, where one family has captured the hearts of their neighborhood with colorful images and messages of love and hope but a simple search reveals that people from all over and in multiple countries are using chalk to boost morale.
Facebook members are coming together to help others in need. Have extra resources and want to share them with people who live nearby? Desperate for supplies, toiletries, transportation or food? Go to Facebook Request or Offer Help to connect with your local community and spread goodwill. Ask on Nextdoor if any neighbors need your extra supplies. Or maybe consider building a blessing box to add the items to and share them with others.
How much bad news is out there right now? It’s enough to make even the most well-adjusted people want to go back to bed and stay there until all the ugliness has passed. For a happy change of pace, check out John Krasinski’s labor of love, Some Good News, where the comedian heralds the hard work of our healthcare workers and highlights the positive and uplifting efforts of people making the most of a tough situation.
The One World Concert, which aired live on April 18th, featured 66 artists and bands — 6 hours of music played by top names like Jennifer Hudson, Kesha, Annie Lennox, Sheryl Crow and Lady Antebellum. Lady Gaga and numerous other artists organized the event in coordination with Join Global Citizen and the World Health Organization. All donations they raise will go to the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Maybe you can add your own fun and funny videos the growing mix of worldwide sharing?
Prominent religious leaders are working together to help people of multiple faiths stay strong on one united front. Love Your Neighbor is an effort that coordinates Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders to support one another in social distancing efforts. Each offers a message encouraging parishioners to do what they can to serve their fellow humans through this chaotic time — and offers reassurances for people wary of attending virtual religious services.
The United Nations Foundation has shared numerous stories of generosity and fellowship from across the globe, like a woman in Ireland who did over 8,000 squats in 1 month to raise over €1,000 and the NY theater group that organized a song-share fundraiser and donated a total of $10,000. Partnered with the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation, the United Nations Foundation has raised over $65 million to support the WHO in supplying countries with much-needed personal protective equipment.
The coronavirus might have us divided in a number of ways, but our communities can stand united, no matter how long it takes. Difficult times may still lie ahead, and each of us might need to adapt even more as new challenges come, but we will get through this pandemic — and we’ll do it by standing together. What can you do to brighten the days in your community?