This crisis has exposed countless shortcomings in our country, from our inadequate healthcare system to our federal government’s feckless response to the pandemic. But the crisis has also brought out the best in many members of our community.

One recent example comes from our friends and allies at the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP), who recently organized volunteers to sew and donate masks to UFCW Local 400 grocery workers.

The organization reached out to Local 400 to connect with workers in Richmond, Tidewater and Northern Virginia to identify where masks were needed. Then volunteers like Eva Thorpe sprang into action. Eva organized members of Burke Presbyterian Church to sew 55 masks, which were delivered to Alton Simmons and Terrell King (on the left and right, respectively, in the photo above) at Safeway #1606 in Burke, Va.

While it should not take mammoth efforts by volunteers to provide proper protective equipment to grocery workers, unfortunately it is. As Kim Bobo, Executive Director of VICPP, stated, “Although we all recognize that in the richest nation in the world, we shouldn’t have to be sewing masks and delivering them to front-line workers or shelter residents. But we do. And it is one of the small ways we can show grocery workers and shelter residents that they are loved and appreciated.”

We appreciate the efforts of VICPP and all community members who are supporting our members on the frontlines of this crisis. We are all in this together.