Tough Times, A Tougher Community: Acts of Kindness and Solidarity During COVID-19
By Ellie Hensley, Midtown Alliance
While our team remains on the job to support essential city services like public safety, maintenance and infrastructure, we are excited to look up from our work lately and see acts of kindness and solidarity happening all around Midtown and our City. Here are a few:
Several restaurants across the district have stepped up to provide food for their fellow service industry workers, many of whom have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. One extraordinary example is Cafe Intermezzo, which on April 10 and 11 partnered with U.S. Foods, WestRock, NCR and several other companies to give out 2,800 grocery boxes with enough food to feed up to 10 people each.
When Alliance Theatre temporarily suspended its productions, its costume shop employees began sewing masks from home for Emory Healthcare workers. Its 19 employees sew about 300 masks per day, and they recently received a $25,000 grant from the Georgia Power Foundation to create even more.
It’s not easy to adjust to a take-out and delivery-only business model in a matter of days, but more than 60 Midtown restaurants have proven they are up to the challenge. Check out this list of who is offering takeout/delivery and show your support.
Lutheran Church of the Redeemer has provided meals for those experiencing homelessness since 1982, and it hasn’t let coronavirus get in its way of serving the community. It has pivoted to serving meals to-go and is now serving about 225 people a day, up from about 90 before the pandemic. Earlier this week, Mercy Care offered COVID-19 testing in the church’s parking lot.
Since late March, Midtown residents have cheered on frontline and essential workers from their balconies nightly at 8 p.m. Now buildings in the district including The Fox Theatre, Colony Square, Coda and others have joined a worldwide movement called #LightItBlue, turning their signage, rooftops and facades blue every Thursday evening to express support and gratitude for those working to keep us all safe.
Peachtree Street is uncharacteristically quiet right now while those of us who can are staying at home to flatten the curve. But if you look closely, work continues on the ground even while most of us are away. Our Midtown Blue and Midtown Green teams are still on the streets every day making sure the district is clean and safe. So much of their hard work takes place behind the scenes, but it is truly among the most important parts of our mission.
We are at work implementing public improvement projects for people to use and enjoy when they return to the district. Recently our team converted 13th Street between Piedmont Avenue and Juniper Street from one-way to two-way operation, and work is underway to convert portions of 4th Street to two-way.
Now more than ever, we need to pull together and look out for one another. Our staff is working daily with our partners to stay updated on the latest need-to-know info, which we’ve pulled together on our website here. Please keep it as a handy resource for everything from community giving programs to takeout options, telework guidance, virtual offerings from Midtown arts and cultural partners and resources for working from home.