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Sharing the love … and the TP

What a stunning week. Life as we’ve known it is changing so quickly that this column may very well be out of date when you read it, but the message endures — we love our communities. The on-the-ground stories are heartwarming. As an example, on Sunday a cashier at the Clemmons Walmart Neighborhood Market shared how last week inspired her. Customers paid the grocery bill of the person next in the check-out line, took items out of their own cart and handed scarce products to another customer, and other acts of kindness and generosity. Big cheers to all those who have been so selfless; your actions inspire those who are on the front lines of service. They need that. Your kindness is noticed and received like a big, socially-distanced hug.

As announced last week, the Clemmons Community Foundation launched COVID-19 Local Response Funds to help our communities’ most vulnerable weather the economic turmoil created by COVID-19. For Clemmons and Lewisville, the fund was seeded with a generous gift from the Bingham family’s Thad and Mary Bingham Fund. We’ve also set up a response fund for Yadkin County with a starting gift from the Wayne A. Shore Endowment Fund. These families’ examples of generosity in a local crisis are such a blessing. Also providing lead gifts are the foundation’s current and former board chairmen, Mike Combest, Greg Brewer, John Bost and Ken Burkel.

In Clemmons and Lewisville, the foundation is working in partnership with local leaders representing government, business, civic, and faith-based organizations. The partnership includes, among others, Mayor Mike Horn, Town of Lewisville; Mayor John Wait, Village of Clemmons; Ditra Miller, executive director of the Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber of Commerce; Scott Spillman, president of the Clemmons Rotary Club; Rev. Dr. Vincent Howell of the Interfaith Alliance of Clemmons and Lewisville; and Mike Combest, the foundation’s board chair. This Response Fund Advisory Team is working to help assess the evolving impact and guide the distribution of resources collected, responsibly, where most needed, and without duplication. We expect the focus to shift as the local impact unfolds. The on-the-ground input is so important as we work to help make sure our safety net organizations survive and that individuals and families are not devastated.

The team is doing more than advising on dollar distribution. Together and individually, we are also collecting and disseminating information about resources and assistance on our website’s COVID-19 local response page, https://www.clemmonsfoundation.org/covid19 . The Interfaith Alliance of Clemmons and Lewisville, along with the social workers of our local public schools, are gathering information about needs and resources available from the faith-based communities with information posted, as learned.

It is inspiring to see the energy, care, compassion, and remarkable creativity that has so quickly emerged through the up-ending of our individual lives and community life. As the cashier said, “people’s true colors have come out this week.” May history color our communities resourceful, kind, caring, grateful, and generous. Join in the community response, shaping the history we are together writing each day. Share the TP or other act of kindness with your neighbor — or someone you do not know (keeping a distance). Consider an extra donation to a nonprofit organization you have long supported. Buy a gift card from your favorite local restaurant or retail shop. If closed, do it online. Or make a gift to the CCF COVID-19 Local Response Fund online or by check. Your gifts can help blunt the impact in our communities. With prayers for the days ahead and hope in what we are doing together.

Sandi Scannelli is president and CEO of the Clemmons Community Foundation.