About Project Gratitude

 

Like many, maybe most of us, I was knocked back on my heels as the covid-19 virus pandemic began to spread across the country.

When social isolation began, I thought of it as a short-term inconvenience. But as the frightening details about the nature of this disease emerged, and the brutal health and economic consequences that we, not just Americans, but also the entire world population were on the cusp of, my perspective changed. There would be no getting back to normal. And what our “new normal” might be is anyone’s guess. Like living in a sci-fi movie, only real.

Being an empty nester and semi-retired already, my social isolation lifestyle was not too much different than what I had before.

Sure, I could not longer go to the gym, go out to dinner, sing in a chorus, or socialize with friends, but these amounted to small accommodations. Compared with so many others who where isolated from family, lost loved ones, lost jobs, or worked in essential jobs that allowed for folks like me to stay home and stay safe, my meager losses faded away.

With each passing day, I realized how lucky I was. This realization turned my feelings of loss, anxiety, and fear into feelings of gratitude.

This led me to want in some way to “pay it forward,” to be of use in the fight against this virus. But how?

Due to my age, 63, and my husband’s health history, any kind of public service, such as volunteering at my local food bank, was a no-go.

Donating money? Yes, did that, but it certainly didn’t feel like nearly enough.

So after a few weeks of stewing about how to make a positive impact, the seed of Project Gratitude germinated. Not only would it offer support the myriad of essential workers, but would provide the means for people like me to acknowledge and express their gratitude as well. A win-win.

Given that so many essential workers are on the low end of the wage spectrum and are predominately people of color and women, these folks, who have the most to lose, are really the unsung heroes on the front line of the fight against covid-19.

My hope is that Project Gratitude will go “viral” in the best sense of the word, and that many millions of people will participate, both online and at home.

Thanks for visiting this website and taking part of this public benefit initiative.

Now go and enlist 10 of your friends!

With gratitude,

Helene Byrne