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In Praise of “the Helpers”

Article by: Quintin B. Bullock

In praise of the helpers text over ER doctors in backgroundAs each passing day brings yet more news of the rising number of COVID–19 cases, which only contributes to our sense of fear, helplessness and loss, I have once again been reminded of what a very wise man once said, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helpers.”  

When Fred Rogers first delivered these words, his intent was to help reassure preschoolers through his make-believe world of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Little did he realize that decades later, his words would often be used during times of national crisis——as they are now, to ease a country struggling to cope with an invisible enemy, intent on causing as much destruction as possible.

Fortunately, we don’t have to look far to find the helpers in society; they are everywhere. From the Italian opera singer who delivered an impassioned aria to his quarantined neighbors from his balcony, to the working mom, who, inspired by a similar movement in Canada, set up Caremongers India in order to put volunteers in touch with those in need, to the countless number of health care workers around the world who continue to make personal sacrifices to care for those with the disease, examples abound of individuals whose heroic actions are lifting the sprits of others and saving lives.

Other uplifting examples of the community coming together in the face of adversity are happening right here in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Neighbors are helping neighbors, health care workers are coming out of retirement to help those on the front lines, and donations of food, money, and other much-needed resources are on the rise. Rather than being random acts, these are purposeful acts of kindness——ones that embody compassion, generosity and empathy.

This past week, CCAC aided in these efforts by answering the call for the critical need for medical supplies in the region. Working in coordination with the County Executive’s office and other external partners, members of CCAC’s Nursing, Allied Health, Automotive and HVAC departments, in addition to the college’s Public Safety Institute, donated unused supplies, including surgical gloves, gowns, masks and protective Tyvek suits, to Allegheny County Emergency Services and Allegheny County EMS for distribution to area hospitals and other health care providers. I can’t think of a more worthy donation than one that is designed help keep our health care workers safe; I applaud all who made this donation possible.

While there are many things we don’t yet know about COVID–19 and how it will impact our lives in the future, there is one thing we know for certain. There will always be individuals who will do whatever it takes to help others in need. They are the helpers. They are the lifesavers. Please join me in seeking to become one of them.    

Be safe,

Dr. Quintin Bullock