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Photos: Providing isolation relief

By Daniel Mueller

For the Austin Daily Herald

With closures to schools, nursing homes and orders for people to stay home to keep the COVID-19 virus from spreading through the community, isolation is the greatest threat to the overall health of the community. That reality spurred the idea to connect groups that are isolated to bless each other, for children to give hope and love to elderly residents of our local nursing homes through making cards.

This started by involving children from our local immigrant and refugee communities, but as I posted online, more families wanted to get involved and the number of cards started to pile up in my office. Families were making them together while they watched church on their TVs at home; siblings turned off the TV or took time away from playing on their devices and each designed and created something of care to bless another.

The cards came in from children as young as eight-months old to adults and even families who made very professional cards.

Parents remarked of how it changed the atmosphere in their houses for a period of time and how they enjoyed the opportunity to give back to others. The project blessed the givers as much as it later blessed those who received them.

In the end, almost 200 cards came in from Latino, African, Asian, Pacific-Islander and caucasian families alike as well as from across many different churches. One of the principles that amazes me, but tends to ring true across our country, is that in times of need people come together around serving others. Collecting cards is just one idea, and as this pandemic continues there will be many more needs that may come about, but there is great hope, just like these cards delivered to The Cedars and ComforCare. We will get through this time as many elderly know from experience because we are helping each other and we may end up stronger in the end.

If your family would like to be involved in making cards for the nursing homes, I have been providing paper and crayons as needed, or you can use your own supplies. You can email me with questions at multiculturalaustin@outlook.com and cards can be mailed or dropped off in the mailbox at Bethlehem Church 1500 Fourth Ave. SE, Austin, MN 55912. Thank you for all that you are doing to bless others and to spend quality time with your family during this time of uncertainty and change. God bless you!