Shelly Tygielski is a mindfulness teacher out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. When the Pandemic hit she saw people in her community were starting to struggle so she came up with an idea; “As the pandemic started, I started to see the fear bubble up on my social media feeds and from friends,” Tygielski said. “I wanted to turn from this environment of fear to an opportunity for us to create connection, community and strengthen the bonds of love between us.”
You might even already be familiar with her idea; it’s called Pandemic of Love.
What does Pandemic of Love do? They creates a community of care by connecting people who need help with people who CAN help. Simple as that.
It began on March 14th when Shelly put out the call asking who in her community needed help and who was willing and able to give that help so she could connect them with each other. Within a day of posting a video and a couple of links she had hundreds of volunteers and hundreds of requests; she found celebrities had shared her message, and what had started as an effort to help her own community grew.
“Within the first 24 hours I received an email offering to start a Pandemic of Love community for San Francisco, and within two to three days I got messages to create communities in Portugal and Barcelona,” Tygielski said. “And now I get at least 20 emails a day from folks who want to create micro-communities from all over the world.”
Since then there have been more than 100,000 matches passing along some $13.5 million dollars from those who have, to those who need! “It is pairing up two individuals who are going to initially have a financial transaction, but also connect with one another, to be seen and heard and loved,” Tygielski said.
The whole idea that Love is as infectious as any virus, and that Love can be a cure is such a wonderful one; and your Good News Story of the Day. You can read about Pandemic of Love in full, even stories from people it has helped and who have helped others, here. And check out #PandemicOfLove online for more.
But it also shows us something important – “On a personal level, it shows me that a person can make a difference. When you aggregate this act of kindness, you know viruses can be scary things, but the word ‘viral’ does not have to be negative. A lot of positive things can go viral like hope and faith and love. And love can be the cure.” Shelly hopes the Pandemic of Love can outlast the COVID-19 Pandemic. So do we.
Story and Image from CNN.