Be Kind

Wednesday, July 15 2020

Be kind, be calm, be safe - Such a simple but powerful message. Like many other Gabriolans I have used this phrase as a mantra when feeling under pressure due to a line-up moving too slowly, or when once again I’m not successful in receiving a grant I know the community could use. 

The most powerful segment of the phrase for me is “Be Kind”. These are indeed unprecedented times. Businesses have had to lay off employees, many of our trades people are without work, and so many artists and self employed folks are finding it difficult to make ends meet. This is significant; it can undermine how one sees oneself in the world.. And the situation seems to have no real end in sight - if we are lucky, perhaps we will see a series of breathing spaces - but our guard can never be fully let down - and so the economic and internal toll continues. 

This uncertainty and fear is a kind of pressure cooker for all of us no matter what our economic status is. So the power of taking action locally; of making a contribution whether it is in time, money, or homemade cookies, turns the table on uncertainty and the perceived loss of control. Neighbours helping Neighbours has long been PHC’s slogan, but at the beginning of COVID it morphed into the name of a “matching help” program. Those who need help picking up groceries or something from the drugstore, or those needing a friendly phone call or visit, get the help they need. Food programs have turned into grocery box home delivery and along with the help of the Lions Club, the BC Farmers Market Coupon program has expanded. The Home Hospice, Respite Care, and Seniors programs continue in safe distancing ways.

This is a marathon not a sprint - like many not for profits and businesses in the community, PHC is trying to figure out what our program outreach will look like in the fall. Whatever the outcome we will continue to need help so feel free to continue to give your time, your money, and any homemade cookies you might have. They send powerful messages of caring to your neighbour and build in you an internal reserve you can call on as we march cautiously forward. The information in this Sounder is just a small sampling of how your contributions have made a difference. Thank you. 

~ Brenda Fowler, Executive Director, People for a Healthy Community