Skip to main content

Pooler Magazine

SEEING THE SILVER LINING IN A STORM: Good Deeds Abound in a Local Neighborhood

SEEING THE SILVER LINING IN A STORM: Good Deeds Abound in a Local Neighborhood

Story by Hannah Hanlon

In early 2020, most people had probably never heard of the word “coronavirus.” Now it’s a part of our daily vernacular with hashtag slogans such as #stayathome and #socialdistancing being used millions of times.

People locally and globally quickly learned how to adapt to new norms that they may never have thought they’d have to adjust to: wearing N95 masks to go out for essential items, for instance. That is, if an N95 mask is available and not sold out. Some local residents have noticed this need and felt the call to action.

Since the shelter-in-place orders, individuals and communities have been finding ways to support each other. Such an exemplary spirit is found in The Hunt Club neighborhood where individuals are doing what they can, whether it be by organizing teacher parades, making handcrafted cards and scrapbooks to thank essential workers, or encouraging neighbors to put teddy bears in their windows to uplift the spirits of children.

Some have been spearheading charitable organizations to make masks for frontline workers, while others are contributing what they can by individual efforts—even getting their children involved to help.

Christy Bush, a cabinet maker for a local aerospace company, has enjoyed seeing the acts of positivity and goodwill spread throughout the community and so have her kids. “One of our kids did some mosaic chalk art on the sidewalk with some inspirational quotes,” says Bush, as she bakes homemade bread and jars pickles. “And the kids are also helping me to make masks.”

Bush’s family lives in Mississippi, on the border of Louisiana, where cases have rapidly increased. And she’s very concerned for good reason—she has three generations of family living there, one of whom is 95 years old. “My side of the family is very small,” says Bush. “There’s very few of us left. And this has been giving me nightmares.”

She started making masks initially for her family and friends, and then she continued to make masks to give to healthcare workers, neighbors, and co-workers. “So far, I have made over 200 masks,” says Bush. “At least I feel like I’m giving something…doing something.”

Bush believes that the only way people can combat this is if they work together as a team. “We can’t be selfish. We can’t think only of our own individual needs.”

It could be said that this is a real object lesson in why communities invested in mutual aid are needed in addition to dependence on top-down government. If people were in the habit of behaving in the best interests of others, many wouldn’t be finding themselves between a rock and a hard place.

Tera Jones, founder of Crafting for a Cause—Low Country, an organization which makes and donates masks to frontline workers, believes this wholeheartedly. “It seems like it should be our civic duty to do this and not ask people to pay for them,” says Jones. “People are out there risking their own health, and we shouldn’t be charging them for that.”

Jones started the charitable organization in early January 2020 in response to the fires that were happening in Australia, which compelled people to make bags to help the animals. She was inspired when she saw this community of people around the world coming together. “I saw that in our area and thought “Let’s keep this going—there’s always going to be a need for something.”

Jones and her organization of volunteers have made around 7,000 masks so far, as well as stuffed animals for children. “We’ve donated to the sheriff’s department, hospitals, doctors, food businesses,” says Jones. “It’s incredible.”

It would be easy to be overwhelmed and terrified by the storm of negativity surrounding us but with every storm, there are always the silver linings to look for. “We’re always going to see the negatives, no matter where you go, but I try to search out the positives,” says Christy Bush. “We’re spending more time together as family. This is the time for families to connect.”

It has been a time for going back to the basics. Cooking more at home. Canning goods, jarring pickles, baking bread. Going back to the way it was with our parents and our grandparents.

Some of us may be more dependent than ever on technology— especially if your day job now has you working remotely from home—but try to take some time to learn from the land. Put up a jar of jam or make a pot of soup. Or you know—maybe learn how to make a protective mask for vulnerable ones and essential workers. These are skills that we can learn and teach kids. This is the time to do it. This is how we can get stronger as individuals, as families, as communities.

This is the time to gain back some things that were becoming lost. One of the things that was lost was clean air—it now seems clearer with increasingly blue skies. Marine water is becoming cleaner. The carbon footprint is being reduced. The air feels a little cooler.

Christy Bush says her husband, Michael, was able to be even more productive when working from home, and she has talked with other people who have remarked about the same thing.

“Companies are growing, but keeping people home is keeping people safe,” Bush says. “This is another side of opportunity.” This is also an opportunity to take a unified effort of thinking about others on a more global scale. “We need to think about the other people around us,” says Bush.

This is certainly a moment in history that many have never experienced, and most will never forget in their lifetimes. When reflecting on such watershed moments, the generations after will ask: “Where were you at during this time?” Perhaps the more important question to ask is: “What did you do during this time?” 

LEARN MORE about Crafting for a Cause-Low Country and Meals for Medical on their Facebook pages.