The Quiet Deeds
COVID 19 hit the small town of Live Oak, Florida on March 26,2020. This was the starts with the town closing the schools due to CDC guidelines. This created strains on a lot of families as people were having to stay home with their children. This meant that some children might not get the foods needed. Heidi Hofer, seen a need and jumped in feet first. She started buying simple lunch staples for children. “I realized that it wasn’t just children that were hungry it was silent adults, also.” She told me.
Heidi Hofer operates a thrift store in the heart of Live Oak. “I decided that I needed to encourage a constructive yet educational activity also. I decided to had each child a lunch and a book.” What started out as a project with 200 lunches, soon increased to over 600 lunches. This did however, prove to be a problem. “I had to get creative and ask for donations and I was blessed by the outpouring help from the local churches, I received so much that I was actually able to feed families.” When the CDC essentially locked down the town, that didn’t stop Heidi. She and her volunteers wore gloves and masks and took lunches to the children in town. This inspired the schools to drop off lunches to children with their work packets.
“I didn’t look at it as a competition, but an inspiration. I just didn’t want any child or family to be hungry.” She said. Then there was the outbreak that hit Live Oak. Three nursing homes started having outbreaks among nurses and residents. The nursing homes locked down staff and residents. This could easily result in a depression among all involved. Heidi came to the rescue again.
“I could not go to the nursing homes, but I could give a little ray of sunshine. I could be someone’s hope.” Heidi said. Heidi called each nursing home and got the number of staff and resident of each home. “I called on the community to help me collect goodies to make these people’s day a little happier.” Heidi said.
When asked, what is a lesson that needs to be learned during COVID? Heidi replied “We are better together, not alone. If you see your neighbor is struggling reach out. It will be a blessing to you both, I promise. I believe COVID has displayed the human spirit of strength.”
Heidi is only one out of a bunch of stories of people stepping up to help their community during this time. It doesn’t require money, but a little act of kindness. Kindness does go a long way and people do remember.