As the year of Covid’s rampage comes to an end and vaccines begin to get distributed, we straddle a tender time. We realize that the severity of loss will continue; we know to remain vigilant and to heighten our caution. Though hope looms on the horizon, we are not yet out of the woods.
Many of our wonderful friends in food industries and other local businesses have suffered greatly. Perhaps you can help by joining fellow Kansas Citians in an effort led by northlander Kevin O’Rourke to support small business owners as they try to hold things together until life returns to a manageable level. We are grateful to these local stalwarts who are foundational to our city and have often donated to the Catholic Church and other not-for-profit institutes for holy day celebrations or fundraising efforts. Restaurants like Anthony’s, Garozzo’s, O’Neill’s and Cascone’s are at the forefront to readily assist parishes, neighborhoods, and communities with generous contributions. Grocery Stores like Cosentino’s, bakeries like Scola’s, food services like Grandma’s Catering and Brancato’s, and bars from The Sandtrap in the south to The Hideout in the north and The Quaff in between are always on call to support people, families, and faith communities in celebrating life events.
Like George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life these hard workers instinctively supported others through the years without giving it a second thought—so much so that we often took them for granted. Like George, through no fault of their own, they find themselves in dire straits. I am reminded of George’s angel, Clarence, who said: “No man is a failure who has friends.” These business owners are our dear friends and foundations of our community. As we prepare to bury the Covid-19 virus and the Year-2020, we would do well to make a year-end effort to bolster and encourage them, like the citizens of Bedford Falls did, as they weather the storm and survive this pandemic. Like Mr. Potter, the coronavirus doesn’t care who it destroys. But like those who were made better by the kindness of The Bailey Building & Loan in Bedford Falls and the mom-and-pop shops run by friends in Kansas City, we might help an angel earn his wings by aiding their rescue.
Consider joining the movement, #FRIENDSSUPPORTINGFRIENDSKC to lift up those who have buoyed us in times past. You can join in on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can purchase holiday gift cards and/or gift baskets from your favorite restaurants and businesses. You can leave generous tips for workers. You can create gift baskets filled with local products. You can be one of Santa’s elves and provide carry out or catering for your staff, family, or neighbors. There are various and numerous possibilities as we reach out to our good friends and remind them, in this holy season, that, for them, too, it’s a wonderful life.