Stories of Hope
Even in this uncertain time, we can still find reasons for hope. We’ve gathered stories of people from every corner of the globe carrying out selfless acts in this time of need. Think of it as the virtual hug you (maybe) didn't know you needed. Our team will continue to add to this steady stream of global hope, but we'd like your help. Tell us about the stories—big and small—that are lifting your spirits here.
Current Obama Scholar Christian Vanizette runs Makesense.org in France. Since the pandemic began, he has shifted the entire focus of his organization to virtual community organization and the development of a new platform to share best practices around the COVID-19 response, particularly for healthcare professionals. Explore his work +
Yesterday, my partner and I waited on line at the grocery store to buy flowers, chocolates, and bourbon for my daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren (the bourbon is for the parents!). We surprised them with the gifts, and talked for a while through a window on their porch. It wasn't what we are used to but it was good.
Bill P., Oakland, CA
I Grow Chicago is doing what they do best at a time when it is most needed: Showing up for their neighbors, one meal, one call, one care package at a time. In just a few weeks, the organization has provided 150 hot meals to neighbors, picked up and delivered 50 children’s meals from Chicago Public Schools for their after school families that can’t drive, and delivered 250 educational flyers with information about the virus to households with limited Internet access. Learn more about their work +
Distilleries are using their high proof alcohol to make hand sanitizer as Purell and other sanitizers become harder to find during the coronavirus pandemic. Read the full USA Today article +
I am a Social Worker. I am so proud of my fellow colleagues who are providing mental health services to all their clients even without the expectation of being paid. We refer to ourselves as the silent first responders. We are here.
Mary L., Chicago, IL
There will likely be opportunities down the road for you to go to the national parks and see the red rock, desert landscapes, and sweet cactuses for yourself. In the meantime, you can log onto your laptop and go on virtual tours of national parks. Read the full Elite Daily article +
It's not a big thing, but in our town in Germany, the church bells of the main great church are now ringing everyday at 12 o'clock since all church services and other activities are cancelled. It's a very nice gesture for everyone—like me—missing the various gatherings with friends. It reminds us that we're all still united, even if not physically.
Nitya P., Germany
2018 Obama Fellow Alex Smith and his organization, The Cares Family, fight loneliness and polarization in the UK by connecting seniors and young professionals to build new and lasting relationships. Alex penned an op-ed chock-full of creative ways to combat loneliness and help your older neighbors during this trying time. Check it out +
2018 Obama Fellow Erin Barnes is doing her part, too. At ioby, she and her team are implementing new ways to adjust to this new work reality, including a wide array of BBQ-related emojis and “bursty communications” on the messaging platform Slack. See all of her fun tips here +
Based in Singapore, Vivian Lim organized a response for migrants in her community and coordinated volunteers to distribute masks, hand sanitizers, bar soaps, and personal hygiene awareness messages. Explore the Leaders: Asia-Pacific program +
HYDE PARK — With parts of the city shutting down in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brave Space Alliance is assembling resources to help queer and trans residents on the South Side, taking its programming online and creating a crisis pantry to get food to those in need. Read the article +
Grubhub announced it will temporarily forgo $100 million in commissions on the meals it delivers from independent restaurants as a way of helping those businesses contend with the coronavirus epidemic. Read the full article +
Between the empty grocery store shelves, scary headlines, and mass closures, it’s hard not to feel like the world is ending. Which is why Medium Rare owner Mark Bucher wanted to do something to make people’s lives a little easier. Read the full article +
Jayden Perez, 11, and his family will donate over 1,000 hand sanitizer sprays to the borough school district, fire department, police department and library as concerns around the spread of COVID-19 grow. Read the full article +
ROME — It started with the national anthem. Then came the piano chords, trumpet blasts, violin serenades and even the clanging of pots and pans — all of it spilling from people’s homes, out of windows and from balconies, and rippling across rooftops. Read the full New York Times article +
CHICAGO — As stores struggle to keep enough hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes on their shelves, a South Side advocacy group is working to get these items in the hands of Chicago seniors and people with disabilities to help them as coronavirus spreads. Read the full article +
Do your part
Many of you are already doing so much to keep your families, loved ones, and communities healthy, but if you're able, you can find ways to support others in need by donating to an organization near you.Take action now