New Eastside resident Karin Long has added a unique voice to the ongoing dialogue about the current national health crisis: she’s offering to help. Whether it is fetching groceries, waiting in line at the pharmacy, or completing some other small task, the Loyola law student recently posted her commitment to “getting those essentials for people who can’t get them” on the neighborhood app NextDoor.
After reading her offer, people responded with “a massive outpouring of shock and gratitude for what seems to me to be a very normal response to the crisis.”
“I got like a hundred replies,” she exclaims. “But only one person took me up on my offer.”
So she picked up some groceries for a fellow resident.
The gesture helped solve a problem very similar to the one that inspired her to get involved in the first place. “My grandmother, who lives in Indiana, needed someone to go to like four different stores to find toilet paper,” she says.
It also reinforces her desire to change the conversation.
“I saw a lot of people shouting online about being scared and telling others what to do,” she recalls. “I thought, ‘what kind of action could I take to help take care of our little corner of the earth and help out your neighbors?’”
Now Long is willing and ready to help with additional requests, and she’s got suggestions for those who are unsure about what to ask.
“I would love it if moms would say, ‘I’m homeschooling my kids could you just get us groceries,’” she says. “Because if you’re working from home and you have kids, you have to practically homeschool them now.”
Besides helping on an individual level, she hopes the effort will affect some change on a larger scale.
“You hear all these stories from World War II of people pulling together to get through the tragedy,” she explains. “I hope my generation can do something similar.”
But first and foremost, it’s all about the little things. For our readers who could use a hand, Karin can be reached via Nextdoor.com.