It all started when Minnesotan Random Acts Regional Representative Holly Olsen saw a Facebook post on a Brooklyn Park community page asking for neighborhood people to “adopt” families in need. She reached out to the poster, Emily, and found that she was a counselor at a nearby school that works closely with homeless and highly mobile students. “A group that needs all the love and support possible to help them reach their goals of graduating high school,” Holly said.
As a teacher, Holly knew just how important school social work could be for the mental and physical well-being of her students, especially high school students, she noted, “as they are so close to adulthood, and services begin to drop off.”
When Holly was given her “adopted” family, she was surprised to discover they lived 25 minutes away from the school. Chances were, they had been in that system before they had had to move around. Luckily, she noted how the schools in Minnesota ensured that students got to school no matter what, even including taxi rides. “Stability can be expensive for the districts,” Holly admitted, “but is 100% worth it.”
With her shopping list and contact info for the family, Holly texted the family to find out when would be the best day to drop off groceries at their house and set to work making a game plan. She then donned her mask and took to the stores. At this point in mid-April’s stage of the quarantine, items like toilet paper and disinfectant wipes were cleaned out of major grocery stores, but, Holly noted, this meant she could focus more on stocking up on food for a family with teenagers.
With the funding available, Holly was able to get them a week’s worth of food, which she hoped would at least take some weight off their shoulders. She especially appreciated being able to buy the family exactly what they wanted as we all have our own tastes and preferences.
When she got to their home, she had to leave the groceries at the door, given that physical distancing measures were put in place. Even still, Holly said they got to wave at one another and exchange hellos.
“I was glad to be part of Emily’s ‘it takes a village’ campaign to unite our community in helping those who are struggling at this time,” Holly said after the act. “I’ve always been impressed by how my nearby high school has consistently worked to bring the community into the students’ education, so I’m glad I could finally directly help them out.”
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