This Spring- Thank you!
This year, three of the holidays most significant in their religious traditions fall within a couple weeks of each other: Passover, Easter, and Ramadan.
Besides coinciding with the start of spring, and this year the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, these holidays share a focus on sacrifice and redemption. They put our attention towards those in greatest need, those without, those who are vulnerable.
It is safe to say that everyone who observes the holidays, and even those who don’t, see this year’s celebrations were celebrated differently. Our Seders, Easter dinners, and Iftars include zoom, substitute ingredients, and cleaning products at the front door. Our windows have rainbows or teddy bears in them and in the evening we go out to cheer the people risking their lives to help the afflicted.
For all the talk of toilet paper hoarding, we have seen tremendous generosity—sacrifice—in our communities as people give their time, their talent, their treasure to help neighbors in need. And with that sacrifice also comes redemption; we see an awakening to the vulnerability of so many families and an understanding that a society that allows homelessness to exist does so at its own peril.
Physical distancing has taught us how much we need community; that is part of what the rainbows and teddy bears, and the nightly applause, are about. We need each other.
What might be lost in this is that the nurses and doctors and paramedics are heroes, but so are store clerks, delivery drivers, and sanitation workers. And, so are all of you—the social services professionals who protect vulnerable families, engage passionate volunteers, navigate a maze of changing regulation and opportunities, and bring hope to those without homes.
You exemplify the message of these holidays. We cheer for you as much as any of the others.
CEO of the National Family Promise.