Giving Back During a Pandemic: The Huffman Family
By Maddie Spencer, Marketing Intern
Volunteering during a pandemic comes with many challenges, but over the past few months, Melissa Huffman and her daughter Chloe, a Trinity fourth-grader, have continued to volunteer in every way they can.
For their family, this included donating extra clothes, food, and other items they had at home, as well as handing out bags of necessities to the homeless.
“We realized that we have more than enough to share, whether its clothes, toys, books or household items, packaged food and dog treats. Rather than listing things on a swap or consign for a few dollars per item, we would rather give those things away,” Melissa said. “I think that now, more than ever, people need help with the little things. While people struggle to pay rent and buy food, the cost of clothes, toys, books and household items really add up.”
Even though volunteering looked and felt different for the Huffmans, they did what they could while remaining safe and going at their own pace. Another thing Melissa found worked well for them during this time was coloring pictures for the elderly living in nursing homes.
“It was a joyful and calming activity Chloe and I could do together. We ordered coloring books with inspiring pictures and quotes to uplift the recipients. We envisioned an elderly person, perhaps with decreased vision, being able to see and enjoy a brightly-colored picture with larger print, rather than a hand-written letter. Maybe they posted the picture where they could enjoy it all the time,” she said.
To Melissa and Chloe, the best part of volunteering is knowing that in some small way they made a difference and helped someone, or at least let someone know that there are people out there thinking of them. She hopes to teach her daughter that “her deeds do not have to be monumental to make a difference.”
Faith and Service are core values at Trinity and by teaching our students the importance of serving others, we grow closer together and stronger in our faith. But with the added challenge of staying physically distanced, sometimes it is hard for students to fully understand the weight and effects of their volunteer work.
“We may not be able to deliver things to people in-person and have the gratification of seeing their smiles, but we don't need that,” Melissa said. “For children, their contribution can be an abstract thought without seeing how they impact someone.”
Melissa believes that even with all of the pain COVID has caused, we should try to find as much good as we can in our situations and think positively about the future.
“I think we will come back stronger and hopefully, all having changed for the better. I hope that we have learned to have more empathy, patience, tolerance and kindness for one another. I hope that we have found new, meaningful ways to connect with our children and the ones we love. Most of all, I hope that we have found more gratitude than what we had before 2020 began.”