Lending a Helping Hand During Difficult Times

By Betsy Henao, Strategic Partner

When we began to live our lives from home the week of March 16, 2020, no one imagined we’d still be dealing with this four months down the line.

At the beginning, our perspective was “this will be an adventure.” We started online searches for home cooked meals, “spring cleaning” home projects and of course with teenagers the best FYP TikTok videos. I created charts of household chores for all of us to pitch in and keep my sanity. As June approached, the reality of missing out on the celebration of all my children’s milestones truly sank in; Gaby’s 8th grade graduation, Sara’s quinceañera cruise, Robert’s high school volleyball season, just to name a few. The sense of sadness and defeat was running deep and I had to snap out of it.

Then a 10-year-old girl made an indelible impact through an NBC “Helping Hands” segment by Stephanie Bertini. Her words were impactful. “We are not actually poor, but we are struggling a lot right now,” she said. She continued, “I want new shoes, but my mom doesn’t have money to buy me, my shoes are dirty and old.”

I have two teenagers that have plenty of “stuff” and to think that this very well-spoken, 10-year-old knew that her mother was struggling and couldn’t afford the only thing she wanted— a new pair of sneakers—hit me at my core. I shared the news story with my family and focused on how we could help this young girl.

Earlier this week, we got to meet her and bring a little bit of the happiness she had been looking for. We brought her a new pair of sneakers, slides, and even rain boots. We couldn’t leave out her favorite snacks; mint chocolate chip ice cream, Takis and fruit snacks. To see the love and kindness my children showed this girl was my reward and blessing.

Dealing with this isolation from family and friends in order to mitigate any potential spread of this virus has been stressful and difficult. Being able to lend a hand to this young girl and her mom made our family appreciate more what we have. We’re all blessed and it is important to focus on the little things that we may take for granted.

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