Dear Friends,

Last week was a harrowing week: mounting infection and death counts, a huge spike in our country’s unemployment rate, reports of local, national and international businesses struggling. Just turning on the news or scrolling social media has become an anxiety-inducing exercise. Instead, let me share with you a few local instances which may restore your faith in the inherent goodness of people and institutions.

At both its Bettendorf and Rock Island campuses, UnityPoint Trinity, through its Robert Young Center, has been operating a weekly support group for adolescent survivors (ages 12-15 years old) of self-harm and suicide attempts for over the past year. These vulnerable young people…babies, really…are longing so much for love, support, acceptance, and connection. Coming together once a week to lift each other up and share their stories with each other and licensed mental health professionals, they are seeking growth and health. Social distancing strictures has put an end to their meetings and school closures and isolation from friends has been especially difficult for many of these very fragile young people. This week, Trinity is sponsoring a “Virtual Pizza Party” for these kids including pizza and “self-care kits” delivered to their homes before they all congregate on a dedicated Zoom call to connect and check-in with each other. Brilliant!.. and what a blessing to these teens.

This past week, a local entrepreneur was talking to an elderly client who is paralyzed by the thought of venturing from her home to go to the grocery store. Living in Silvis, this client does not drink tap water but instead relies on gallon jugs of “Spring Water” for drinking and cooking. During their conversation, she was in quite a state as her local stores had no stock of bottled water. Our entrepreneur visited three stores (all were rationing water) and bought her limit at each so that her client would have several weeks’ store of water to get her by. She then made the not inconsequential drive back and forth to Silvis to deliver the “treasure”. A small gesture, perhaps, but one which will not be forgotten. Please remember: “Love Always Wins!” and “We are Better Together!”

You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Best wishes, Heidi