Monday, March 16, 2020

Tucson, AZ: COVID-19 Unfolding, Part 2: Neighborly Kindness

Neighbors helping neighbors make churchkhela. Kardanakhi, Kakheti, Caucasus Georgia. October 2011.

I walked to my car, noticing that various cars had a folded, white page of paper tucked into their windshield wipers. Ah, as did mine, I saw.

Opening it up, I read this, which was printed in both English and Spanish:

Hello! Do you need non-perishable food items or supplies right now? 

We are a group of neighbors who want to make sure that everyone in the neighborhood has the food and supplies they need in the coming weeks. We are not a church or an organization. 

Please call or text this number if you need non-perishable food or supplies: xxxxxxxxxxx. 

We can drop things off at your door. You can call or text now or at any time in the coming weeks. 

You can also call or text the number if you would like to donate food or supplies for your neighbors, or if you would like to volunteer to help deliver supplies. 

Please do not hesitate to call or text this number: xxxxxxxxx. 

I admire folks who see, early on, a problem they can help with, and who have the wit, grit and capacity to act right away, whereas I am a slow thinker.

My unknown neighbors' act reminds me of populations that survive because of neighborliness, such as in Caucasus Georgia, for millennia the target of invasions from other lands. And in rural South Louisiana, in which cyclical hard times and the isolation of  'otherness' at the hands of others, coalesced neighbors into local, informal circles of social services.

A beautiful thing.

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