My niece, Paris Harrell, lives in North Carolina and is a second-grade teacher at a school with a high number of immigrant families and low income. They are shut down with the rest of the world due to Covid-19. Seven of her friends reached out to her with one question, “What can we do to help the kids in your class?”
It has been evident throughout Paris’ life of her deep love and compassion for people. She is constantly coming up with ideas to develop a healthier community. Through all the years I have known her, she has been blessed with talents of thoughtful giving, support and focus.
Paris suggested to the seven friends of hers to contribute to a grocery fund for students and families in crisis. Paris made her first delivery a few days after the schools closed down. She has created a google doc form that her colleagues and administration could submit food needs of school families. Rather than a food pantry where people are just given what is available, Paris hoped to provide specific requests which allow more dignity through choice. The requests that came in were far from wants, but absolute necessities to survive: Rice, bread, milk, bologna and cheese.
Requests are coming in each day. Paris and her fiancé, Avery, are the deliverers of the blessings. They are trying desperately to maintain a healthy social distancing, but distancing is extremely difficult. This is why… when the children see their teacher coming, they come running to her. They wait at their window and swarm her car. The children want to know one question – “When can we come back?” She has also been blessed through extraordinary ways. The other day her app sent her down one street, and she thought she was lost, but after finally arriving at the apartment of low income housing, one of the residents heard what she was doing, and he donated fifty free loaves of bread.
This is what Paris has learned that deeply touched my heart… “Even when things seem so wrong, they lead us to a beautiful place. Coronavirus is terrible, but we are seeing a lot of God moments through it as well.”
Community: Read Luke 6:31-36.
Times like this require extremely creative thinking to stay safe, but even more so – to reflect Jesus. I love you all.