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This year let’s lift up others, choose kindness

With the coronavirus continuing to rage in communities across the country — including Isle of Wight and Surry — it may seem that 2021 is already shaping up to be a continuation of last year. But it doesn’t have to be as gloomy.

Last week both Isle of Wight and Surry counties recorded their highest-ever 14-day average of new daily COVID-19 cases — 62 for Isle of Wight and 56 for Surry. While we all need to do our part to prevent the coronavirus from spreading — such as wearing face masks, practicing social distancing and proper hand hygiene — that doesn’t mean we can’t do other nice things to help our friends and neighbors.

That’s just what Home Sweet Home Care, with support from many generous people in this community, did recently by collecting over 400 pounds of food and hygiene items for the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. The foodbank, which is opening its first Western Tidewater pantry in Franklin, estimates that it will be able to feed 373 people with what was collected by Home Sweet Home.

Then there was Riverside Health System, which put the spotlight on several local first responders with its monthly Heart Saver Award.

Lt. Chris Smith, fire-medic Delaney Townsend, part-time medic Levario Franklin of Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue and Capt. Kaven Melton of the Carrollton Volunteer Fire Department are credited with saving the life of a 56-year-old man who was experiencing chest pain.

“We can’t do it without EMS, so we just want to recognize them for all that they do,” a Riverside spokeswoman said of the honor.

These are just a couple of examples of basic kindness. There are plenty of ways to help others. Give blood. Volunteer at a school, church or charity. Coach a youth sport. Donate nonperishables or unused gift cards to a local organization in need. Pick up litter. Hold the door or offer a compliment to someone else.

This year let’s choose to think of and lift up others in our community. Kindness doesn’t cost a thing and its rewards are immeasurable.