It has often been noted that while the coronavirus pandemic can bring out the worst in some folks, it is definitely bringing out the best in so many others.
Nowhere is that more evident than in the wide-ranging efforts to feed the hungry and homebound during this crisis.
From National Guardsmen to recovering alcoholics and drug addicts, from county employees to members of service clubs, you can see people stepping up, often to the point of putting themselves in some danger.
Just in recent days, The News-Post has been featuring stories of self-sacrifice on the part of so many to make certain that families in need and people for whom a trip to the grocery store is truly a matter of life and death will have enough to eat during the crisis.
Since Gov. Larry Hogan announced he was activating the Maryland National Guard on March 13, approximately 2,000 guardsmen have helped to provide Maryland residents with access to food and medical assistance, among other tasks.
Dozens of members of Frederick’s local National Guard Unit, A Company 1-175 Infantry have helped out with the city of Frederick and the Frederick Community Action Agency to distribute food and hygiene products to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.
Guardsmen handed out food at several locations to residents and delivered care packages to homeless residents at an encampment in Frederick and along Carroll Creek Linear Park.
As we have noted before, the number of volunteers available to help meet the needs of our community have been depleted during the pandemic, in large part because so many of the volunteers around town are retired people trying to give back to their community.
Those older residents are the ones most at risk from the coronavirus, and they have been warned to stay home. That leaves a lot of volunteer positions vacant, and could leave a lot of people without the help they need.
Instead, the volunteers’ places have been taken by a plethora of people. At the Frederick Rescue Mission food bank, for example, the residents of the mission themselves have pitched in to help staff the food bank.
At the Meals on Wheels program, volunteers have been told to stay home, and their places delivering daily hot lunches to the homebound have been taken over by county government employees.
Service clubs have stepped up as well. The Rotary Club of Frederick is offering to bring groceries and other household supplies to seniors during the pandemic.
Club members — wearing their protective masks and gloves — are shopping at local grocery stores and then delivering the packages to the homes of seniors.
With the Food and More program, club members deliver food to senior households twice a month, Joanne McCoy, president-elect of the club and chair of its Food and More program, explained to News-Post reporter Steve Bohnel.
Two or three club members are assigned to each senior household, McCoy said. In addition to shopping and delivering food, they also check in regularly with the seniors through phone calls, cards and small gifts via the postal service.
Rotary Club members have long been recognized for the services they provide to our community. The club is marking its 100th anniversary this fall.
So it comes as no surprise that they are involved in this effort as well. As one volunteer, Jonathan Watkins, told our reporter: “I like giving back. When I heard about this program, I was probably one of the first people to say, ‘I’m in.’”
He and so many others are showing their generous spirit at this time of need. For so many in the Frederick community, those words are true: “I’m in.”