Our superheroes during the coronavirus epidemic don’t wear capes, but they are performing superhuman acts of compassion and courage.
Doitall for Newark
For decades, Dupreé “Doitall” Kelly volunteered in his native Newark, New Jersey. As one-third of the hip hop group, The Lords of the Underground, he ran for a council seat in Newark, New Jersey in 2018. Although he did not win, he amplified his community work with youth. Now in the coronavirus health crisis, he’s taken on the role of delivering food and essential supplies to senior citizens.
With 10 percent of Newark composed of residents who are over 65-years-old, Kelly has been dashing from the Central ward to the West ward, making meal deliveries. Because there has been an increase in need, his work extends to the whole community. “We want to . . . make sure people eat,” said Kelly who emphasized that he had to deliver dinners before the 8 p.m. curfew in Newark.
Currently, New Jersey reports the second highest confirmed cases of Covid-19. Now at 11,124 of those who contracted the virus, last week, Governor Phil Murphy said that 2,500 were reported in one day. The state has been under a stay-at-home order since March 21.
In Newark, poverty is a huge issue. The median household is $37,642, compared to Essex County, the county where Newark is located, the average is $63,368. Newark’s mayor, Ras Baraka, has launched a series of initiatives to curve the impact of how shuttering the city will have on small business, artists and homeless residents.
“This City, its small businesses, and non-profits are experiencing one of the greatest challenges in our history,” Mayor Baraka said. “Small businesses and non-profits are often the heart of our neighborhoods and, equally, are an important piece of our economy. We can’t stand by and wait for help from other sources. Here in Newark, we must solve our own problems.”
To help Kelly, you can find his daily updates on his Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/doitalldu/
Beauty is skin deep
Shirley Raines in the downtown Los Angeles, delivering packages to homeless with her street team. Courtesy of Raines’ Instagram page.
Hair stylist, Shirley Raines, who is the founder of Beauty 2 the Streetz, set out on a mission years ago to offer beauty services to homeless Angelenos. Since Los Angeles has shut down and services are dire, she turned her efforts into providing bags of essential items. Partnering with a number of local to-the-streets organizations, nowadays, she passes out hand sanitizers and bags of snacks.
During the health pandemic, the city of Los Angeles works to provide temporary shelters, but the 60,000 who are currently without homes is a challenging task. The city lacks the personnel and housing to do so. Additionally, it must address the vulnerable position the population is in with the spread of coronavirus infections. While the city council and its mayor, Eric Garcetti, figure it out, Raines continues to do what she can. To keep Raines snack and hygiene packs filled, go to her nonprofit site, Beauty 2 the Streetz, and see how you can donate.
Thicker than blood
George Michalopoulos and Mykos Jopkin crew. Courtesy of Mykos Joplin’s Facebook page.
George Michalopoulos, the proprietor of family-owned restaurants, Mythos Joplin and Social BTB, in Joplin, Missouri, could not bear to see what would happen to families who lost their income during the coronavirus crisis. So he made the following commitment:
After seeing what COVID-19 has caused communities to do and ways to deal with it, my heart and feelings are running crazy. I can’t promise how long I can do this for, but I will do everything I can, while I can. During the quarantine period, if you truly can not afford to feed your children and yourself, and we can keep our doors open during upcoming events . . . we give one meal per two dollars spent to families that can’t afford to eat and provide for their families day or night . . . NO QUESTIONS ASKED.
Days later, the restaurants are keeping Michalopoulos’ commitment. If you’d like to keep this initiative going then purchase a meal or gift card from either, Mythos Joplin and Social BTB, to pay it forward.
*Ark Republic wants to capture all heroes, good folk and those carrying out magnificent deeds during this global health and economic crisis. From the front lines to the back streets, if you have a story, organization or person we need to feature? Please send information to [email protected] or [email protected]
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