Photo contributed by Remi Levitt '21
Families gathered outside their houses just a couple weeks ago, in safe social distancing fashion, with pots, pans, spoons, plates and every other kind of household object. These objects were then slammed together in perfect harmony, a sort of noise-filled tribute, in order to show their appreciation and call attention to the healthcare workers who have been risking their lives to fight COVID-19.
While the acknowledgment of health workers is nice, some students have been taking substantial action to give back to the community, where not only healthcare workers but single parents, those less fortunate and those with high-risk careers are facing especially difficult times. Many people are losing their jobs which is their only source of income or have to go into the workplace lacking sanitary necessities. Charity, homemade masks, and websites are only some of the tasks students have taken part in as a way to help.
Remi Levitt ’22 created the Coat of Love clothing drive as a way to give back to the community during this nerve-racking time.
“I was sitting with bags and bags of clothes that I no longer wore, and a lot of my friends and family were in the exact same position,” said Levitt. “I realized how many families would not be able to afford many basic necessities, like clothing, so I figured that starting a community-wide clothing drive[…] would be a great idea.
Levitt has advertised the Coat of Love clothing drive all over her Instagram, asking her followers to clean out their closets and fill some garbage bags with clothes in the name of putting the extra time quarantine gives to good use. She has also explained the drive on her blog, Coat of Love, detailing the step by step simple process of the drive, and urging her readers to share with as many friends as possible.
Retail companies are also facing harsh consequences from the quarantine. James Dobin-Smith ’23 has created a website called OneWestport to serve as a place where consumers are encouraged to buy from local businesses. The website categorizes the businesses, featuring salons, restaurants, fitness and others. With all companies organized into one place, the easy access, special gift cards offered and lists of phone numbers and addresses for those companies who don’t have their own site promote residents to continue shopping locally.
“Our local retailers, service providers, and restaurants need our support to survive,” the website’s mission statement reads. “The sharp decline in sales resulting from responsible ‘social distancing’ can be catastrophic for small businesses running on tight margins. You can make a difference.”
Other students feel that these efforts are important and have looked to contribute as well.
“I could participate by helping raise money for those who can’t provide for themselves at this time,” Samir Mott ’22 said. “The people who are [helping] are doing a major service to the rest of the country and to the healthcare workers.”