When I started the research for this blog, I wanted to showcase the examples of our River Region community sharing hope while sheltering in place. I soon realized that this hope has spread far across our state, our region, and yes our nation. It is amazing to see the creativity of people come to life when they know others need to see and feel hope. Hope carries so much power. Let’s keep it up.
Amidst the stay, work, and school-at-home chaos, our River Region community has found some pretty ingenious ways to bring encouragement to others all while maintaining social distancing guidelines. We put some of them together here so you too can bring hope in the chaos.
Sharing Hope Through #FlashlightPrayers & the #RedRibbonMission
Every evening around 8 pm neighbors walk to the end of their driveway and light a candle or a flashlight and pray together as a family. They pray for each other, health, and our leaders. Many have found great comfort with this simple act and seeing neighbors’ lights. In the same manner, many are hanging red ribbons from porches, light poles, trees- anywhere as a sign of their faith in Jesus Christ and to bring hope for others! Search Facebook to find a flashlight prayer or red ribbon group near you.
Rainbow, Teddy Bear, and Easter Egg Hunting
In a similar manner of sharing hope as the red ribbons, many homeowners are drawing pictures of rainbows on rocks, doors, and windows for others to find while out walking together. The purpose is to bring happiness and smiles to children (and adults) while out walking who may be feeling restless. Hang a rainbow anywhere on your property for others to see! There are Facebook groups dedicated to rainbow hunts that give clues on what streets to look for them on also!
Teddy bears and other stuffed animals in windows or sitting on benches outside their homes allow families to go on a “teddy bear hunt!” There are some pretty cute ones. These have been spotted not only in our River Region but all over the state!
Some neighborhoods have chosen to put easter egg drawings in their windows to celebrate Easter while social distancing. This is another fun way to celebrate the holiday without sharing germs. Many have added palm branches also because of Palm Sunday. Some are even putting up Christmas decorations!
Cheerful Sidewalk Chalk
If you have been out on a walk there is no doubt that you have seen some amazing chalk designs gracing neighborhood sidewalks and driveways. (It has been hard to find chalk in the stores right now!) What a great way to share messages of hope and also get fresh air and sunshine!
Providing Meals for Our Nurses
Mary Causey, a local Pike Road resident heard her local nurse friend needed some encouragement one night so she sent a pizza to the hospital. Out of that simple act of kindness, the realization of a great need arose. Mary decided to act and reached out to her friends. Word spread and the donations came pouring in to feed nurses in our local hospitals who are working long shifts during the Covid-19 crisis. 100% of money donated at this link (hosted by Century Church in Pike Road) goes to provide meals to them. A bonus is that catering has come from local restaurants like Chappy’s Deli, Derk’s Filet & Vine, Subway, Sweet Creek Farm Market, The Wharf, and other local caterers. Guess what? They all gave deep discounts if not totally free meals also! Beasley Allen, the firm Mary worked for also donated to provide dinners for every ER and ICU nurse at all three hospitals one day. (500 dinners total). Jackson Thornton, a local accounting business also sponsored meals. The numbers fed and donations have only grown since then. You can read the Montgomery Advertiser article here.
We know these are difficult times. Don’t feel bad if you haven’t been able to do any of these activities at your home. Maybe you and your family have your own way of sharing hope with others? Between distance learning, working from home, and navigating the news conferences, we know you have a lot happening. Why not take a moment to color with chalk, hang something on your door or window, or make a donation somewhere? If nothing else find some things you can be grateful for in all of this. You will be surprised what this small moment of rest and reflection can do for your soul.
Our crew at Dogwood would like to end this with one of our favorite quotes by Max Lucado:
“You will get through this. It may not be painless. It may not be quick…but God will use this mess for good. In the meantime, do not be foolish or naive. With God’s help, you will get through this!”