We suspect by now some of you have heard about them in drips and dribbles, the small acts of kindness that members of our community have shown to one another during these trying times.
How the folks at Smokin’ Friday BBQ brought food, drinks, gift certificates and general good cheer to other area restaurants as a gesture of good will.
How members of the Cow Creek Tribe delivered perishable food from the temporarily closed Seven Feathers Casino Resort to Casa de Belen, a shelter for homeless youth in Roseburg.
And how volunteers with Umpqua Valley Habitat for Humanity helped repair a fence for a disabled veteran in Roseburg, even though the agency is minimizing interactions with the public and volunteers are not working on any projects.
We want to give these and other acts of kindness a shoutout.
Space only permits us to highlight a handful of these heartfelt gestures, which are replicated ten-fold each day in our community. But it is important to take a moment to acknowledge such kindness and encourage all of you to keep it up, please. Such generosity is the glue that binds us during difficult times like this.
Kudos to all the people who make up Douglas County government, which has been aggressive in responding to COVID-19 and in keeping the public apprised of its actions. In a crisis like this, transparency and communication is paramount. A special thanks to Tamara Howell, the county’s public information officer. Tamara has worked overtime since COVID-19 appeared, letting the media and the public know the seriousness of the outbreak, the latest information on it and what is being done to address it.
Similarly, the City of Roseburg and its new communications director, Eric Johnson, deserve kudos for all they have done in the face of COVID-19. Much of what the city does may seem minor compared to the magnitude of what this disease has wrought, but often it is the seemingly small things that count. For example, this week the City Council held its regular meeting, but limited who could attend to comply with social distancing protocol. The city, for the first time, quickly put together the technology to live stream the meeting over the internet so those who wanted to follow could do so.
Our thanks go out to the “Umpqua Sewing Warriors,” who were featured in a story in Thursday’s edition of The News-Review by reporter Carisa Cegavske. Started by Stephanie LaFluer from Oregon Serigraphics in downtown Roseburg, the volunteer group sews masks for health care workers and other people who may need them.
Thanks to the Douglas County Community Organizations Active in Disasters, which as you may recall was instrumental in helping the community during Snowmageddon. DCCOAD is using an online platform to help connect people to services, medical supplies, food and other resources.
Thanks to Greater Douglas United Way, which is leading fundraising efforts to help those in need. They have created a special COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, which has already raised more than $50,000, including a $25,000 donation from PacificSource.
As United Way Executive Director Bryan Trenkle told us: “We are in the middle of a pandemic. One that we’ve never experienced before. It is a war, a war with an invisible enemy, that is devastating individuals and families around the globe. I felt it was necessary to set up this fund so that we could have resources for our community, for our people, for our families.”
Then we have people like RB, who asked that we not use his name so as not to bring attention to himself. RB and his wife are elderly, and she has some health issues that make her especially vulnerable to COVID-19.
Because of that, RB rarely goes out now. That means instead of getting his hair cut by his longtime barber, RB’s wife cuts his hair. It’s not great, RB acknowledges with a chuckle. But here’s the thing: every time RB’s wife cuts his hair now he mails a $30 check to his old barber, just to show some love and help keep the barbershop afloat.
Amen to that.