Like many of you, I have been stuck in my house for the past eight weeks. Throughout this time, I have experienced a plethora of emotions – confusion, loneliness, anxiousness, boredom, concern, and disbelief. And though not exactly an emotion, the one thing that I haven’t experienced is hunger. In fact, since Mayor Cantrell’s stay-home order was issued on March 16, 2020, I have had more food in my refrigerator and pantry than I’ve had in my entire adult life. You see, more often than not, I eat on the go. I pick up breakfast at Starbucks, grab lunch somewhere in the CBD, and then pick up dinner on the way home. So for me, one of the biggest adjustments I’ve had to make is that I’ve had to cook my own food and make my own coffee. I remember actually saying that aloud to my mother at the beginning of all of this. And as soon as the words escaped my lips, I felt an immediate conviction. Here I was complaining about making coffee (although it was completely in jest) while many of my fellow brethren are not able to make their own coffee or even cook their own food.
So many folks in our city have become unemployed or underemployed due to this pandemic. And for those families who may not have lost their jobs, they are struggling to produce breakfast and lunch for their children who are now home. Children who would have ordinarily received those meals at school. Though life may start to go back to “normal” for some of us, the majority of people in our area will never see “normal” again. Some people won’t get their jobs back. Some people will never dig their way out of the hole caused by this pandemic. And though we, as lawyers, judges, and others in this profession, may experience a temporary setback, we will get through this. This thought should give all of us in the profession a little peace and comfort, knowing that our own well-being, and that of our families, is likely intact. However, it’s not enough to be concerned about self, especially when so many people around us are struggling AND we can do something about it.
A few weeks ago, the Young Lawyers Section announced a public service initiative asking NOBA members to donate non-perishable food items during this great time of need. This would be a contactless effort, meaning all you’d have to do is let us know you are willing to donate; place the donation on your porch on a designated day; and wait for a YLS member to pick it up. That’s it. If all of NOBA’s members would donate one bag of groceries, think of the impact that could have on this community.