I’ve lived in New York City for 11 years now. Actually born in NYC, Queens to be exact, but raised in NYC suburbia. I experienced community, helping each other out. Small towns mostly, think Stars Hallow from Gilmore Girls.
My dad was raised in NYC and always hated when people talked negatively about NYC, how there was no community when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. In Spanish, we say “El Barrio”. The neighborhood. That’s a close knit group of people who know each other and look out for one another. A family.
I didn’t really understand this in NYC until moving to Kensington two years ago where I live now. I’ve always seen things, clothing, shoes, food, left on a shelf in my lobby. I took it for granted because I didn’t need anything.
During the pandemic, I’ve noticed it. Not because I needed something, but because I truly understood that there are people that can’t collect unemployment for instance. Or even if they could, it’s not enough to sustain a large family which I see now, there are many in my building.
I’ve seen so many move out and a few leaving in body bags.
I remember in the early fall seeing kosher food on the shelf as I was leaving for just 10 minutes or so, and seeing the shelf empty when I came back.
This was an offering to those who needed it more and the thought was both heart breaking and so beautiful.
I recently ordered new Christmas decorations like so many, just needed to fill my apartment with twinkling lights and a full tree. Had a grand old time playing classic Christmas music and decorating today.
But, what about those families who can’t afford to?
So sad! I remembered I had a table top tree fully decorated from years past in my closet.
What better place to put it than on the giving shelf for someone else to enjoy. Threw in some candle moments as well and some dried beans that I know I’m not going to make.
I’m not saying this for any accolades, but to suggest you too, leave something in your lobby or curb for someone else to enjoy this holiday season.