During these uncertain times in which we find ourselves adjusting to the new realities of distance learning and Zoom sessions with educators, classmates and friends, we are encouraged to remember that as a school community we remain called to be a community that is called to “embrace the mission of Jesus Christ: to form men and women of faith, service, and leadership in church and community.”
And while our ability to be in the presence of and serve those in our community has been stifled by the need for social distancing, it does not mean that we have lost our ability to serve or be a people for others. Times like these call us to do what we can to promote and protect the “common good” while at the same time being creative, innovative and community-minded so that no one in our homes, neighborhoods or local community is socially isolated.
With that said, below is the beginning of a list of suggested ways that we, as a Gibbons community, can remain in service of others during this time of social distancing:
Consider ways to serve members of your immediate family
- Assist in the preparation of a meal. Much like helping prepare the meal at the Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen, your assistance will not only be appreciated, but is an act of solidarity in service of your family.
- While busy with classes keeps you tied to your computer several hours of the day, consider assisting in the daily activities around the house: laundry, dishes, trash, etc… Offering to go “above and beyond” is appreciated and says to the others in your household that you understand “we’re all in this together”.
- While aware that you have your own workload when it comes to school, consider assisting your younger sibling (if you have one) with their schoolwork as well.
- While it’s easy to spend hours playing video games behind closed doors, consider spending time while enjoying the company of the others in your house. They, too, are looking for conversation, avenues of joy and companionship.
- Never underestimate the value of the words “thank you”. Find creative and effective ways of expressing your gratitude to those “in your company” (even if only virtually) these days. This includes your parents, teachers, siblings, friends, grandparents, etc...
- Pray. And when possible pray together as a family. We are encouraged to remain in “spiritual communion” with one another by “going to Mass” (virtually), praying the rosary (individually and as a family) and remembering those most in need of our prayers.
Consider ways to serve in your neighborhood
- Have a people friendly dog? Consider taking your pooch to visit one of your elderly neighbors for a dog-to-window visit. Despite the glass that separates you, this simple act can help brighten the spirits of those feeling alone and isolated.
- Know of a neighbor who has a child? Consider offering to be a virtual tutor. Maybe record yourself reading a favorite children’s book or signing a song or playing a musical instrument and send them the video recording of your doing so.
- Using your own lawn mower, offer to cut the grass of a neighbor in need. Or offer to wash the outside of their car (it is pollen season after all).
- Be kind. Be considerate. Be compassionate. Remember those that could benefit from being remembered - especially people on their birthday, anniversary, or on days of significance. Kudos to Daniel Mazzerina, Mr. Friedman et al who made sure that we heard Wagon Wheel (Gibbons-style) on the first Friday of distance learning.
- Be the light of Christ - a prophetic voice of hope - in our conversations, on-line postings, and virtual encounters. Be mindful that our words - both spoken and written - have the power to lift up and tear down. Therefore, remain considerate and mindful that we’re all in this together.
Consider ways to serve our partner agencies
- We are in the season of Lent: And Lent provides us an opportunity to be prayerful, to fast and generous in our almsgiving. Therefore, please remember our faith communities and those agencies - local and international - that are in need of our prayers and financial assistance during this global crisis.
- Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen: We have a team of educators, alumni and parents who are preparing 200 bag lunches on Mondays to help provide a meal for those who might otherwise go without. While out shopping for your family consider picking up something from their WISH LIST of needs. Items can be dropped off at the Soup Kitchen, located at 121 Hillsborough St. (entrance on the corner of Morgan St. and McDowell St.) or by contacting Mr. Meyerl at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Beginning & Beyond: While schools throughout the country are no longer in session, many parents rely on places like Beginning & Beyond to serve as a child care option. Think about and pray for the teachers and students of Beginning & Beyond. Draw a picture or write a note to our friends at Beginning & Beyond. Record yourself singing a song, reading a book or playing an instrument that can be shared with the children. Share with gmeyerl@cghsnc your pdf or YouTube links and I will be sure to share them with Mrs. Roz to share with all the teachers.
- Brookdale Retirement Community: While we are no longer able to visit with our friends at Brookdale, the residents still reside in this retirement community. Consider writing a particular resident a letter (via e-mail) or a poem. Share with them that you are thinking of, praying for & missing them. Words of acknowledgement & encouragement can go a long way when one feels socially isolated from the rest of the world.
- InterFaith Food Shuttle: Our friends at the InterFaith Food Shuttle are on the front lines of providing food and meals to those most in need - especially the elderly poor and children who would otherwise receive meals at school. Please consider supporting them in their efforts. Any size cash donation is greatly appreciated - consider making this your form of Lenten Almsgiving
American Red Cross and Blood Connection In the words of US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, “Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement,” noting how important it is for healthy Americans to donate blood at this time. He also noted that both the American Red Cross and Blood Connection donation centers are taking extra precautions so that people can donate safely.