We’re All in this Together

Neighborhoods Band Together To Help Each Other

The Emergency Need library is stocked for families all around the neighborhood to get supplies. Moana Pope, creator of the space, is hoping that it will help families that are short on food and that they will replace what they take and add something for another family (Photo by G. Roberts).

The Emergency Need library is stocked for families all around the neighborhood to get supplies. Moana Pope, creator of the space, is hoping that it will help families that are short on food and that they will replace what they take and add something for another family (Photo by G. Roberts).

Grayson Roberts, Staff Writer

In a time where it is dangerous to leave the house and there is so much fear and anxiety. It is important for everyone to come together, including neighborhoods. In one neighborhood, Prairie Ridge, many people have come together to support each other and bring joy to others in this hard time. Some examples of this are, writing encouraging words on fences, making obstacle courses using chalk for kids on the sidewalk, organizing spirit days for people to write positive messages on sidewalks and hang easter eggs in trees to celebrate easter and even turning a lending library into an “emergency need” library. 

“We worked together to sanitize the library and items within.  We stocked it with toilet paper, kleenex, masks, hand sanitizer, can goods, spaghetti and sauce,”Moana Pope, creator of the emergency need library, said. “The purpose is to help those in need of an item immediately and to reduce going to stores as often. It is my hope they will then replace or add to the library when they restock.  Several families have been caught short and have utilized the food library.” 

Pope makes her own hand sanitizer (recipe below) and plans on making science experiment videos with her husband and helping neighborhood kids with their math homework. Pope  also paints rocks for the neighborhood kids. Normally, she paints them and sets them out on sidewalks. Kids are supposed to find them, take a picture with them and hide the rock in a different spot. 

“Charlie ( her husband)  and I have been putting 4-6 rocks out everyday this week.  I had sent an email to [Prairie Ridge] asking the kids to keep the rocks this time due to the virus~ just in case” said Pope.  

But she doesn’t just do it for others. 

“I paint them as it is therapeutic for me as I like to keep very busy.  It brings me joy to hear the kids excitedly say, “I found one!” or they come to the door to tell me all about it.  We don’t have grandchildren so this is our way of being the “neighborhood grandma and grandpa. I have noticed recently that kids are painting their own rocks and hiding them, “ Pope said.

This time can be specifically hard on kids, especially those who have birthdays during these past few months. One neighborhood boy had his birthday this last Thursday. What usually is a day to celebrate with parties, going out to eat or going somewhere fun for the day is no longer allowed. Instead, a birthday parade was organized to drive by his house. Many people from the neighborhood, friends and family drove by. Including the fire and police department. 

“I also participated in a birthday parade for Will. Although I did not organize it, I did offer to lead it with the patrol car because having happy birthday played over the loudspeaker might have brought some joy in this time where everything is so different,” said Candice Breshears, State Trooper and Prairie Ridge resident.

Teens can help during this time to unite their neighborhood or even a few neighbors together and check up on them. 

“Bring joy where you can to others in the neighborhood and still practice safe distancing.  A smile, a wave, a ‘how are you doing’ comment can mean the world to someone during this time.  Do small acts of kindness/thoughtfulness such as leave colored pictures or art, a note of encouragement, a painted rock on a doorstep -several kiddos have done this lately to Charlie and I – It was wonderful to know we are thought of!,” said Pope. 

Everyone needs to stay positive, stay healthy and follow the rules given. Everyone truly only has each other to lean on in this hard time. Support your neighbors, check in on them because at the end of the day no matter who you are or what you do we are all in this together.

 

Hand sanitizer Recipe

Whatever portions you use it is always a 2:1 (alcohol to aloe)  For example, I use 2 cups of 70% alcohol (has to be min of 70% or better or it is ineffective), 1 cup 100% pure aloe and several drops of essence oil (any odor)  Mix well and place in a tight squeeze bottle then label it. I have made so many batches that I now buy aloe that is already scented to save time and money.

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