Charlotte, NC – Each morning, the writer, Chris Rudisill, gets a text message from his friend Stan Schneider. It is a simple message of “Good morning” or wishing Chris a good day, but the premise is so much more. During this time of shelter-in-place, many in our community are facing unprecedented feelings of isolation and depression. These simple acts of kindness can brighten what seems like a mundane existence. From saying hello, to tipping an unseen bartender or surprise deliveries, friends across the region are helping to cheer up their neighbors through simple acts of kindness that are helping us all get through this unprecedented pandemic.

            According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s March report, those working in the service industry, specifically in restaurants and bars, accounted for 60 percent, or 419,000, of the jobs cut during the month. These workers rely less on a paycheck every week and more on the tips that come from our dining out and entertainment that has come to a stop during shelter-in-place. A group in Chattanooga, Tenn. launched a website to help. At ServiceIndustry.tips you can select a region, and you are presented with a “randomly selected neighbor who works in the service industry and where they work.” So, next time you fix a drink yourself at home, or sit down to eat a meal, consider tipping a virtual bartender or server in our community to help them get through this difficult economic time. The list of workers includes everyone from front of house staff like bartenders and servers to exotic dancers, event production staff, and hotel cleaning crews.

            Local attorney Candelario Saldana wanted to do more than just applaud for our local healthcare workers, so he launched Dinner for Healthcare Heroes, an effort to raise money and coordinate food to Atrium’s Medical Center staff in Charlotte. Pantry items are being collected by Nate Turner/Your Custom Catering & Events to give to those who are in need. People in the community have overwhelmingly donated food, toiletries and other essential items to Wedgewood Church, one of the city’s best-known LGBTQ-friendly congregations. Turner is also part of the Lunch Is On Us initiative that has been providing meals Monday through Saturday from 1:30–2:30 p.m. at three distribution sites throughout Charlotte:  Finally, signs and chalk art have been popping up across the neighborhood of North Davidson, fondly known as NODA, since the beginning of the epidemic. The historic community is known for its art and hipster-rich bars and restaurants and encouraging diversity and promoting love for its neighbors. One sign from a guy named Ian says “during these times if you need something like an errand run or are in a pinch, feel free to text me.” The handwritten sign includes a phone number and continues, “we’re in this together. (Q Notes Online – Chris Rudisill at https://goqnotes.com/65574/acts-of-kindness/)

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