The mysterious packed lunches appearing during quarantine

by Eric Daniels

The coronavirus has been tough on everyone but it has been tougher on some than others. While most people have had plans ruined, been forced to isolate, changed their routine, and possibly put on a little weight, others have lost their jobs, missed meals, struggled to pay bills, and continue to suffer. It is in these moments when everyone suffers but some suffer more that we see the true generosity of people.

In the good times giving to charity is still an amazing thing. A selfless task that allows you to share a little of your fortune with those who are far less fortunate. Yet at a time when everyone has less, it is amazing to see that some people are still able to give to others. It is an incredible example to us all.

A story has recently gone viral of a mysterious person who is making lunches for anyone in need in her community. The woman set up a table in a local park in Maryland. There she wrote three signs. The largest sign says simply “Free Lunch”. The second sign explains that they will be available every day after 11 am and the third sign explains that the lunches are for anyone who needs them. It gives a little more detail that tells anyone who needs to know that it is a mother making these lunches and that she is doing so in a fully sanitized kitchen.  

On the table every day she leaves a large number of brown paper bags filled with nutritious lunches for those who are in need. This woman has not only given her money but she has given her time to prepare these lunches to help those people who she doesn’t even know. 

Some people argue that there is no such thing as altruism. They argue that people give, even in extraordinary situations, to feel good about themselves. I think the fact that this woman is willing to go to the trouble of making these lunches, that she leaves them out anonymously, that she does so without knowing who will even take them, is a clear indication that altruism is not only alive and well but that it thrives in moments of hardship.

The coronavirus may be the greatest disaster that some generations will ever face but if we can leave this difficult time with the ability to care for others more, with an understanding of what life is really about, then perhaps it was not all for nothing. 

The woman’s table charity went viral after passers-by read her signs. A local government official shared the photo on his Facebook page and thanked the woman for her work. He described how seeing the act lifted his spirits. I think it is important for us all to realize that everyone, no matter the situation they are currently in, is under stress. Whether you are struggling to pay your bills or are just struggling to know what to do with your extra free time, it is ok to feel under pressure. It is a tough time for everyone and no one should feel ashamed of feeling differently right now. The important message to take from this story is that there are people out there to help. 

If you are struggling, please talk to a loved one, a neighbor, a friend, or a professional. If you are doing good then perhaps see if you could do anything to help those around you. We never know who are the ones who are suffering most in our community until it is too late. Do what you can for others because right now, someone needs your help. 

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