In times of great uncertainty, small acts of kindness can go a long way. As Minnesota residents and others around the world are directed to stay home to help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many people are sharing the acts of kindness they are seeing in their community. Even here in the Grand Rapids area, many have been working to spread joy in our own backyard.
Throughout this time, the Grand Rapids Herald Review would like to share some of these acts of kindness with the community to further their impact and hopefully bring a smile to your day. If you know of any acts of kindness being done in our community during this time of isolation, please share them with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Be the light MN
Shining rays of hope to the students, staff, coaches, and community, Independent School District (ISD) 318 turned on the lights of Noble Hall Field Thursday night as a part of the #BeTheLightMN movement.
“We are joining schools across Minnesota in recognizing and honoring our seniors and student athletes,” said ISD 318 Superintendent Sean Martinson. “Schools may look different, but we want our young people to remember that we value them and miss them. Our coaches are still connecting with kids using technology and training at a distance. #BeTheLightMN is just one more way for us to show how much we care about them.”
The movement began in Texas, but has now spread throughout the country. In Minnesota, more than 200 schools are participating. An updated list of schools can be found on the Minnesota State High School League’s Facebook page. Grand Rapids High School and Bigfork Public Schools are coming together to turn their stadium lights on at the same time each week for 20 minutes starting at 8:20 p.m.
A message shared at Mario Lucia Field stated: “BeTheLightMN is a way for our stadiums to shine lights of hope, encouragement and love to our students, staff, coaches, and community. Especially to honor the Class of 2020.”
Northern Lights Community School
The staff at Northern Lights Community Schools has been working diligently to deliver breakfast and lunch to approximately 95 students every day since the school closed in response to the governor’s order for distance learning. This effort did not stop when spring break came around. With help from Second Harvest North Central Food Bank, the school staff packed and delivered 1,870 meals in one day on April 3 for students to have throughout the week of spring break.
“The process has been going very smoothly,” Mike Hamernick, director of Northern Light Community School, commented.
Since distance learning began, the school has only increased the number of meals it has been providing for students, according to Hamernick. As it gets more difficult for families to go out to get food, having the option to have two meals delivered becomes a good option for many. Although the school does not need direct help from the community as they work to limit staff’s exposure to others, Hamernick did suggest supporting the Second Harvest North Central Food Bank.
“We are providing our meals to students using school food and funding, but are supplementing what we give them with donations from Second Harvest to get them through the weekends and feed other members of the household who would also benefit from the home food deliveries,” Hamernick remarked.
Even though schools are working through distance learning, the teachers and staff continue to support their students.
“I think we’d just like the community to know that even though the building looks empty there are a whole lot of people working to support our students - we’re just doing it remotely and in small teams,” said Hamernick. “Schools provide so much more than book learning and this is now more evident than ever before. We’re here for our students and their families and will do what we can to support them in this time of need.”