Unexpected Generosity in Uncertain Times

by Nancy Wright, CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana

Today, my goal is to fill your hearts with hope and inspiration.

The COVID-19 pandemic has toyed with our emotions for two months. It has been a social-emotional roller coaster, at times filling us with profound grief, uncertainty and anxiety about the health of our loved ones and concerns about the state of our global economy. 

Yet, just as spring pushes forward despite the darkness of the winter months, humanity’s optimism is emerging to showcase unexpected generosity.

Good news can, indeed, be found around us, hiding in plain sight.

As Girl Scouts rushed to do a “good turn daily,” like sewing masks and delivering cookies to essential workers, so, too, have thousands of others. Their stories touch our hearts, and spark even more acts of generosity.

Actor John Krasinski launched Some Good News to recognize acts of kindness across the globe, attracting millions of viewers hungry for light in the darkness. He most recently matched four remarkable teens with Oprah Winfrey, Malala Yousafzai, Steven Spielberg, and Jon Stewart for commencement conversations, showcasing the brilliance of young people whose drive and resiliency will guide us into a changed world.

Creative artists have filled our screens with their voices, images, and music to inspire us. Everyday citizens are finding ways to express their gratitude to their neighbors, teachers, parents, and first responders. Nonprofits, municipalities and funders are partnering to explore innovative ways to address education equity and access issues, as demonstrated by a recent announcement by WTTW, the City of Chicago, and Citadel.

Signs of unexpected generosity emerging from the depths of this pandemic are everywhere.

Last week, after we made the painful decision to cancel our full portfolio of in-person programming for the summer, including day and resident camp, an unexpected heartening trend emerged with more than 250 people to date donating more than $13,000, primarily by designating a portion of their prepaid fees, and in a few cases, the entire amount, to help close our funding gap. Others shared words of encouragement, applauding our ability to pivot and provide virtual experiences almost immediately.

That spirit of generosity is at the heart of today’s national Giving Tuesday Now campaign

This campaign matches the need of overflowing hearts searching for ways to help others. We hope that you will consider supporting our girls in any way you are able at Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, as well as other organizations that bring light to the darkness and good news to your life.

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