Did the Pandemic Shrink Our Sphere

Did the Pandemic Shrink Our Sphere

Did the Pandemic Shrink Our Sphere

LIGHTFEST Reignited November 7, 2020

Written by Sharon Cecil

When we aren’t facing a pandemic, We Survive normally holds a kickoff in Louisville for the LIGHTFEST Reignited global event the first Saturday of November.  http://lightfestreignited.info/

Despite COVID, we took advantage of the many ways you can reach out to others and share hope because We Survive’s LIGHTFEST Reignited believes #HopeHasNotBeenCancelled.

We Survive learned that we could keep LIGHTFEST alive inviting people to complete acts of kindness through service and symbolism all day.  Utilizing VolunteerMatch, we garnered volunteers to help by promoting on social media accounts for several months before the event which was held on November 7, 2020.

In Louisville, there usually is an in-person event with activity stations where participants are offered  instructions on how to make items along with healthful education presentations.  You can view LIGHTFEST 2019 at the following link:  https://wesurvive.org/finding-light-in-the-shadow-of-poverty-hunger-and-homelessness/nggallery/thumbnails

Olivia Bohler, a senior in high school, took up the initiative to make sure the 2020 LIGHTFEST Re-Ignited event happened.  She had planned to work one-on-one with the women from a local homeless shelter to teach sustainable skills such as jewelry making and arm-knitting that could help them to turn it into a way to raise money through a learn and earn process.  

In 2020, this was no longer viable amid the pandemic. There was no way to ensure safe conditions that followed the guidelines within the city of Louisville.  A virtual option was not available for instruction for the women on Google Meets or Zoom due to the lack of computer access within the homeless shelters. 

In order to fulfill her goal, Olivia created “Hope Toolboxes” for members of the homeless community of Louisville where she collected items donated by different groups in Louisville that would have a substantial impact.  Resource material was included in the Hope Toolbox such as job attire and hygiene items so they work to get out of their situation. Adding on, in the Hope Toolbox, were resource pamphlets that detail job tips such as where to find jobs in the area, what to wear to the interview, interview practice questions, language to use, and an overall idea of what to expect. There are plans for this project to remain sustainable.

To see Olivia’s How to for the Hope Toolboxes, click here.

For her efforts, Olivia was named We Survive’s 2020 Youth Ambassador.

Thank you to all who made LIGHTFEST 2020 possible.