How Lakelanders are continuing to shine bright

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Major good-human points, right here | photo by @signgypsies_lakeland

If there’s one thing Lakeland knows how to do, it’s work together to spread positivity.

Abby here, and oftentimes when there’s a crisis, many of us remember that quote from beloved children’s TV personality, Mr. Rogers. His mother told him to always look for the helpers when he was afraid. And when people, businesses + organizations are met with challenges that are seemingly unbearable, we see those helpers rallying up to encourage one another that there is indeed still light to be found.

Yesterday, we came across the video below, shared by the Lakeland Economic Development Council (LEDC), showcasing the good nature of Lakelanders all around the city. Click the image below to watch + share.

Video by the LEDC

Others in our community joining the LEDC in choosing to be a light in the midst of this crisis:

  • Polk County Public Schools is asking for photo submissions to show appreciation for essential workers. They’re asking for photos of signs, art displays, or t-shirts that show a message of gratitude for the essential workers of Lakeland + Polk County. Send submissions to this email address.
  • 40,000 masks and 75,000 gloves are on their way to Lakeland, thanks to a donation from Tampa Bay Fisheries. The Tampa Bay food manufacturer gave the first round of supplies to Commissioner Scott Franklin last Friday, with the second round expected to come in the next week. The donations will be split between Lakeland Regional Health, Watson Clinic, the Lakeland Police Department + the Lakeland Fire Department. (The Ledger)
  • Highland City Elementary School teachers + staff recently paraded through the neighborhoods of their homebound students. Around two dozen of the school’s employees participated, driving through the area with cars decorated in balloons + signs. Students were greeted with waves, honks + the sounds of “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge. (The Ledger)
  • Florida Polytechnic University is using its 3D printers to produce face masks + medical gear to help with the national personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage. The university hopes to produce 4,000 face shield components by the end of April, which will then be assembled at AdventHealth’s Nicholson Center. The protective gear will then be distributed to the provider’s locations throughout Central Florida.
  • Sign Gypsies created a sign display to show appreciation for the diligence of Lakeland Regional Health (LRH) workers. Employees of LRH have been preparing for up to 1,000 COVID-19 patients, according to LRH officials. Some of these preparations include studying analytics on who could potentially need a ventilator, devising plans for staff + coordinating with other health centers for more supplies. See more uplifting displays by Sign Gypsies, here.
  • A post from Sal’s Pizzeria 2 about potentially having to close up shop went viral, and Lakelanders did what they do best, by showering the pizza restaurant with support + ordering food to triple its sales, which has allowed them to stay open. To give back to the community that supported his shop, Phillip Imperi, the owner of Sal’s Pizzeria 2, is serving 400 meals to Lakeland Regional Health’s workers. Talk about spreading the dough (and love) around.
  • Reader Jackson H. wrote in to nominate Pastor Chris Elrod for being a steady source of assistance for the homeless in LAL throughout this crisis. He supplies bottled water + various necessities to homeless camps and is always accepting donations to support his effort. Contact Pastor Chris here to contribute to meeting our community’s needs.

– LALtoday team (Abby + Kaylee)

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