Though the lockdown in the city has been particularly challenging to navigate, a renewed sense of community has sprung up within the compounds where many of our Concordia community members reside.
Weeks ago, Green Court 1(GC1) in Pudong's Green City, was closed due to COVID safety precautions, like so many other neighborhoods around Shanghai. It soon became apparent that the compound’s service staff, including guards, ayis, and cleaners would not be able to return to their places of residence.
While the trusted service staff carried on their duties with continued positivity, gratitude, and resilience, GC1 residents swung into action to ensure they would not go hungry while away from their homes!
Led by Janice Yeo, Elly Tanadi and Christine Bennett, who have been serving as compound volunteers during the lockdown, over 70 inhabitants—many of whom are Concordia faculty and community members—came together to provide daily meals, snacks and water to the GC 1 service employees.
“The staff are stuck here in our compound and have not seen their families apart from video calls on the phone. I’d like to make it possible for them to feel that as a community we appreciate them and we care for them. That way the separation won’t be too hard on each of them,” says one volunteer.
Another says, “While the primary goal of our service is to ensure provision, care and comfort during this stressful season, the opportunity to provide meals, water or clothes, brings our family immense joy amidst the uncertainty of lockdown.”
Since this grassroots initiative began, our faculty and Concordia community members have not only been experimenting with new recipes but also forging new relationships and sharing their gifts and talents in a spirit of collective service.
Here's what some of the participants in this effort from the Concordia community have to say:
“During this difficult time, one of the ways we can demonstrate love to our neighbors (including ayis and guards) is to help provide a meal. We’re happy to give back what we’re fortunate and blessed enough to have.” --Ms. Janet Chowning, director of admissions at Concordia.
“I am especially touched to have the opportunity to be able to thank our guards, ayis, and service staff in a tangible way. For however long this lockdown lasts, our family in tandem with so many others, will continue to serve and look after the needs of our larger Green Court 1 family. It is the right thing to do, and we are honored to take part!” --Ms. Dagne Furth, Concordia high school teacher
“Our guards and cleaners are giving up so much to stay at their jobs. It's the least we can do to make sure they have good homemade food in this difficult time,” --Ms. Miller, wife of a Concordia faculty member.
“By helping the people who work here, they can know that we value all of their contributions.” --Ms. Annie Hall-Paulson, wife of a Concordia faculty member
In short, while the immediate future may present a few more challenges, Concordia faculty, staff and community members are committed to serving their fellow GC neighbors and beyond. We thrive better when we come together.