April 15, 2020 -
That’s a picture of my sister and me having a whipped cream eating contest. I embarrass myself- and her- (sorry McKenzie) with that photo- because I am hoping to bring a smile to your face. We at Spark 101 start all our virtual meetings with silly, happy stories. With COVID-19 dominating the news cycle, we all need some good news now.
Here are a few stories that received national attention and made us smile.
Which got us thinking - how can we highlight #goodnews stories? While a face full of whipped cream isn’t exactly news, we thought we’d share some local stories of people in our Spark 101 community who are making a positive difference. We’re calling them each a #SparkSuperhero- and giving them #SparkSuperhero names also!
The Parent Trainer aka The Stress Reliever
I mentioned in my last blog that my colleague Russ was a personal superhero as I panicked about the notion of homeschooling for the year. He came through with parent-friendly, elementary-age Spark 101 lesson plans to help me populate my 2nd grader’s daily school schedule. His simple act helped me- and thousands of parents nationwide.
The STEAM Stars
A teacher at Capstone Academy in Atlanta shared the story of her students who were upset that their STEAM club could no longer meet so they created a Facebook group to share STEAM lessons with friends and fans. They are hosting a series of "How-to Classes" that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, ART and Math (STEAM) for families while they are home during the coronavirus. Their content has reached more than a thousand people in the month since it was created!
My cousin owns a gym in Baltimore, MD and she launched the Pay It Forward Challenge. This allows people to support both local businesses and COVID-19 front-line workers. They are encouraging people to honor a front-line worker by buying a gift card to a small business and publicly acknowledging the worker. Her company is offering free virtual training sessions to select nominees- helping them manage stress and support their community. (For an extra smile, her Facebook page has fun videos of workouts for kids.)
The Mask Crusaders
As in many communities, a Spark 101 team member’s local community is now requiring a face covering in public. Of course, masks can be hard to get right now. So, her neighbor’s family made masks for their neighbors and posted to Nextdoor: “If anyone does not have a mask, you are welcome to pick one up from the box in front of our house. We made them using t-shirts. They are individually packaged… and we will replenish as needed.” This kind act reminds all of us that there are ways to reach out and help our neighbors even as we keep our distance.
Nominate a #SparkSuperhero
In the next few weeks, we will be highlighting individuals and organizations that are going above and beyond to help people during this difficult time. If you have someone in mind who is a #SparkSuperhero, please submit an entry using this form. We will be sharing these inspiring stories on our social media channels and on our new Spark Voices podcast.
So, we challenge you to share your #goodnews- the people, stories and kind deeds that bring a smile to your face using the hashtag “#SparkSuperhero.” Don’t hesitate to give them their own #SparkSuperhero name.