We can all become warriors during this pandemic


Clarisa Russenberger, Managing Editor

This is a word that I think accurately describes how most of us are feeling right now. Many compare COVID-19 to a war. Doctors and nurses are on the frontline while EMTs, firefighters and police officers are working in the trenches.
However, in war, there is a concrete enemy and everyday citizens can enlist to fight for their country.
In this case, it’s much different. If everyday citizens tried to fight this battle, they could risk hurting more people than they are helping. The best way we fight is by staying home, something that inherently goes against human nature’s tendency to fight.
So, this leaves us feeling…helpless. It may be difficult for us to stay home, however, there are those in our community who don’t even have the option.
Those we find living on the streets, the ones we often pass without a second glance- Detroit’s 15,000 homeless people. Often with pre-existing conditions and no healthcare, these members of our community are some of the most vulnerable.
After learning about the detrimental impact, the virus could have on Detroit’s homeless community, my family and I decided that simply ‘staying home,’ would not be enough. We understood the necessity and importance of social distancing, but we wanted to find a way to help these people in our community. Thus, we came up with the idea of a “Social Distancing Food Drive.”
This Food Drive would be different from any done previously, in that my family would apply the rules of Social Distancing during the collection. We asked anyone who wanted to donate to place their donations on the front porch. We then drove to the donator’s home, picked up their donations from the front porch and brought it back to our house.
At our home, we organized the donations and transported them to Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM). DRMM is one of the organizations housing and testing Detroit’s homeless population during the crisis.
We posted our efforts on Facebook, Instagram and Nextdoor. We were astounded at the positive response. Donations came in from homes right in our neighborhood, to as far as Howell. In the first two weeks of our drive, we were able to raise 250 lbs. of donations. This included food, toilet paper and cleaning products. We were incredibly inspired by the kind spirits of the people in our community.
Through this drive, I realized that each one of us can make an impact and help our community. Yes, we are stuck at home, but that does not make us helpless, it makes us warriors and you can join the fight. Whether it be making homemade masks for medical workers, calling those who are alone or even donating to a food drive, there are many ways in which all of us can help the fight. Gov. Whitmer recently started #doingMIpart on social media. If you want inspiration about things you can do to help, check it out.
Due to the success of our first drive, we decided to hold another during the week of April 19. If you are interested in donating, have any questions or would like more information, feel free to call 248 – 348 – 7582.