The coronavirus has reminded us of the value of helping others, as exemplified by two recent projects by the Elks of Concord Lodge 1944.
To show support for our essential workers, like first responders, the Elks created care packages for seven fire stations in the Concord and Clayton area. Lodge secretary Jay Shockley and trustee Susan Mah made the deliveries to honor their work in the community and to show tangible appreciation of their efforts.
The firefighters were surprised and grateful for boxes of non-perishable food and supplies, like disinfectant wipes, to provide safety and comfort in these trying times.
Meanwhile, lodge member Lynne Lathbury, who is currently in Thailand, recently spearheaded an outreach effort to help Thai children. Many of their parents have lost employment due to the virus and are struggling to feed their families.
She and her husband, Past Exulted Ruler John Lathbury, coordinated monetary donations from the Concord Elks and Alameda Elks 1015. The donations would help buy food and baby formula.
“I was on a regularly scheduled Elks Lodge meeting with my Concord Lodge 1994. I mentioned the need for food here in Koh Samui for the children of workers who have been out of work due to the virus. Within 24 hours, I received a total of $330,” she said.
The next day, Lathbury went to Macro – a Costco-type shop.
“We bought what we could there, which was rice and noodles. Then off to Big C (more like a Safeway) to buy out all of their formula, noodles and fish. We bought 115 kilos of rice, 150 packets of noodles, 100 cans fish and 11,600 ounces of baby formula.”
They got help packing up the goods from Russians, Italians and Brits, some who were also without work.
“We were breaking down the bags of rice and splitting the boxes of noodles and cans of fish,” she said. “Each family received about a kilo of rice as well as noodles, fish and oil. The baby formula went to the village chief to distribute within their communities.”