Salisbury Press

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Editor’s View

Thursday, March 19, 2020 by The Press in Opinion

‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’

There’s a saying, We plan, and God laughs.

News of COVID-19, the new strain of the coronavirus, creeping ever closer to our neighborhoods has brought much anxiety to our lives. Add to that the cancellations of community activities, some of which we rely on to bring happiness and a sense of calm.

Daily we find ourselves looking for ways to keep our loved ones safe.

This requires some planning. But for so many, this planning can be overwhelming — even seemingly impossible.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced March 13 all K-12 Pennsylvania schools would be closed for 10 business days, effective March 16.

Many families count on the meals, breakfast and lunch, their children receive during the school day. Thankfully, that panic among parents was recognized quickly.

According to Wolf, the federal government has cleared Pennsylvania to serve meals to low-income students in “non-congregate settings” during the closures. Planning for this is in the works in school districts across the state.

In our own backyard, the Whitehall-Coplay Hunger Initiative is working to continue its Snack Pack Pals program and distribute food while schools are closed.

At this time, volunteers are in need of instant oatmeal packets. If you’d like to help, by either making a purchase or donating money, call 484-619-2340 or email dmdavidson@kw.com.

Parents are also struggling with child care. Some might not be able to afford to take off from work to stay home with their kids. Others might be without work because their places of employment — sports arenas, for example — have closed in an attempt to mitigate the spread of the virus. Both the NBA and NHL have suspended their seasons.

Some professional sports organizations have stepped up to help workers pay their bills. The owners of these teams announced they would pay arena workers as if the games were taking place.

Families’ struggles may also include older children. Many colleges and universities have decided to close their campuses and finish the spring semester with online classes. This sudden transition isn’t easy for these young adults, who have looked to us parents for the facts of the coronavirus spread, instead of the “whisper-down-the-alley” news they had been hearing and likely sharing. We’ve been reminding them to wash their hands and watch for symptoms, all the while reassuring them they are safe. Suddenly, without much warning, they are told to pack up and head for home.

I have witnessed the sadness and anxiety of this firsthand. Parents, please notice if your children are struggling with this. Some might be angry. Others might now be frightened.

It’s important we care for each other right now, with food and monetary donations, with encouragement to our loved ones and, by all means, with kind words to our neighbors.

If you often post things on social media, please consider positive quotes or ideas for ways to help others.

A teacher in the Bethlehem Area School District suggested that, while they are home from school, kids write notes and color pictures for residents of nursing homes. What a nice way to teach children compassion while lifting the spirits of seniors, who can’t have visitors right now.

A recent message on Twitter asked to be connected with a family in the Phoenix, Ariz., area who will have lost income because of the coronavirus and cannot pay a bill. The family who posted the Tweet wanted to try to help, citing Acts 20:35 — “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work, we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

How can you be of help at this time? Can you provide some food or make a monetary donation? Can you share some items you’ve stockpiled and are no longer available in stores? Can you simply offer encouragement and kindness and raise people up?

Whatever you can do, make a plan to do just that.

I believe in this case, If we plan, He would be pleased.

Kelly Lutterschmidt

editor

Whitehall-Coplay Press

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Catasauqua Press