As the COVID-19 lockdown came into effect, the stores across the city had empty shelves: no dry goods, paper, or disinfecting products. Unnecessary hoarding started a domino effect that left many in limbo.
For a long time, my dislike for shopping manifested in buying non-perishable goods in bulk, just so that it lasted a while, and I didn’t need to make a trip to the store. Seeing the scarcity of certain items, we decided to post an ad on Craigslist to give away things that were otherwise in short supply.
In just a few minutes, my mailbox was inundated, giving me a glimpse of the real scale of this issue.
Many people just wrote to share their thoughts or how they were trying to help the community in unique ways: one kind lady was setting up shelves outside her house, filled with items she had so that any passerby could pick the items needed. Many others wrote for the items. But what stood out was their astounding generosity — one gentleman who was caught unaware by the lockdown, which happened just before his monthly shopping, took just enough to tide him over for a couple of weeks.
Others, with kids, health issues, and old parents, recounted their desperate need for specific items and when offered items, they sent a mail, that on second thought they would like to manage with what they have and would instead like me to give those items to someone more in need.
I am speechless by the largeness of their heart. Giving something that you have plenty of is one thing, giving away stuff you desperately need yourself is a different level altogether.