Juneteenth – a celebration of freedom and the promise of working together
I have to confess, my knowledge of Juneteenth, celebrated June 19th was pretty slim. So I researched it to understand what is obviously a meaningful and important celebration to many. In case you may find it helpful, I’ll share the following, an excerpt from the History of Juneteenth: “Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863.”
As we are learning now every day, there are so many experiences of African Americans that most of us have not understood, from the early years of our country through now. Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom. Yet, none of us can be free when others remain at risk. Let us work together to be sure that everyone can experience the freedom we all deserve.
This year, the risks associated with Covid-19 are added to the mix of things that challenge freedoms – much more for some of us than others. We continue to monitor COVID-19 activity and repercussions. We can see the struggles as people return to work…or not. Kids unable to obtain summer jobs. Families trying to gain footing from the fall out of reduced incomes. Older people living in fear of disease, while feeling deep isolation. Mental health challenges for all ages are increasing.
CommunityCare of Lyme is here with you … during Covid-19 and always. We’ve been joined by lots of incredible volunteers to build up programs and services in the last three months, and it’s all being built to last beyond the pandemic. A couple of things to note:
Many people are participating in the Lyme Food Pantry program. Some contribute delicious loaves of homemade breads, eggs, meat, and fresh veggies. Others are the recipients, happy to have these boxes of staples to help get them through a week with no unnecessary exposure to the germs that go along with grocery stores or the stress of finding the resources. This project has been one of the most fulfilling ones offered by CCL and we are so grateful to Kathy Sherrieb for her incredible and efficient management of this program and to the immediate and generous outpouring of contributions to the Jenks Fund to support the effort.
During this time of uncertainty, we are supplementing the Lyme Organizations & Services Directory with a list of Lyme Summer Helpers, so we can connect those who may find themselves seeking some work with those who may need some help. The list will include individual workers of all ages or small businesses looking for pay and those who wish to volunteer to help in the community during the next few months. Click here to be put on the list. If you are looking for help, contact us for access to the list while it is in development. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have questions or suggestions about the directory. Please consider that your need of help or offers of help will be appreciated in all ways.
We are all wondering how to stay safe and healthy this summer, as we begin to have a little more freedom to be out and about. On Monday, June 22nd at 7pm, the Lyme Health Ministry and the Library partnered to host a Zoom gathering, Covid-19: Practical Guidance for Summer 2020. It was a recorded online panel discussion with local medical professionals, moderated by Lyme Library Director, Judy Russell. The panelists shared professional perspectives and answered community questions. A link to the recording will be coming soon.