By Jasmine Willis
I have noticed in the aftermath of the shutdown random acts of kindness occurring in my small towns.
Dansville Strong came rolling in after the tragic loss we all suffered last year. It had remained to help the community during this Covid 19 crisis in any way it can.
I have noticed the local restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, and post offices remaining a beacon of hope in these hard times.
On one of my runs into town for some milk I saw something that made my heart smile. I saw large white ribbons tied to every tree, post, and light in the community. I called them Ribbons of Hope as I snapped some photos of them for the site.
C.A.N.N. Founder Clare Van Durme has been a blessing to this community for years. She operates an organization that gives back to the community. She helps with the collections for the Fill-The-Bus every November. She has been a shining light to so many community members. It didn’t surprise me when I found out the angel tying ribbons to the trees and posts was Clare Van Durme. She has a huge heart of gold.
The Ribbons of Hope say in large black words HOPE AND HEALING. That is what this entire community needs the most right now. We need to keep hold of our hope. We need to believe in healing. We need people like Clare keeping our hopes alive.
Every time I take a drive out for groceries or supplies I am made aware of the love in those ribbons that stretch across this hometown.
Wayland American Legion and Wayland Free Library have been doing what they can to brighten up the spirits of their community. Knowing they are an important part of the thread that keeps it all together. The legion chose to do an Easter Giveaway with the Easter Bunny to cheer up the entire community of children. The library has created a Bear Hunt that allows the children to find all the teddy bears waving to them in the windows.
This simple act of kindness sparked a great joy within this community. It gave them hope of greater times to come. The Bear Hunt is growing all the time on social media. The Easter Bunny cheered up over 100 children.
The church community got involved in every area to bring the message of hope to as many people as they can be it social media, drive by, or drive in. Redefined Church Pastor Nick Lincoln held his first drive in service on Easter Sunday. It brought a lot of great joy to everyone who came, and many wish they could be there again. It is a place of comfort to be close to your church in some way. It meant a lot to have the first drive in service in a front lawn. The energy coming from the music and the sermon were encouraging and honest. It was about the power of Jesus giving you the gifts to conquer any battle. He is worthy of all our praise.
No matter what act of kindness you have chosen in these recent months it has been huge. It has made it so people can eat, take a nice walk in historic downtown, worship with other humans in the safety of a vehicle, go explore an entire community for Teddy Bears, and personally meet the Easter Bunny. You are all doing your part to keep our hope alive.
That is why these small communities cannot be beaten down for long. We rise up in times of tragedy. We grab whatever we have to help others. We make a few people smile along the way.