Our entire world has been turned upside by the COVID-19 pandemic. Trips to the grocery store are now filled with anxiety and our ability to socialize with loved ones and friends has been curtailed like never before. Despite the uncertainty and fear caused by this pandemic, it has been wonderful to see the American spirit not only remain, but also thrive, especially right here in Adams and Cumberland counties. In the midst of a world that is currently facing struggle and difficulties, I wanted to take a moment to share some stories of positivity happening right here at home.
Recently, I had the pleasure of experiencing in person the quartet of boys in East Berlin who have been playing our national anthem in their driveway each day at noon. Steven, Ryan, Levi and Jack started this as a way to spread patriotism and joy to their community during this time. This simple, yet heart-warming act re-instills my faith in us all as a people.
I have been impressed by how our community has pulled together in our collective time of need. There have been numerous instances of people helping others, from volunteering at and contributing to local food banks to donating blood. Places like Mason Dixon Distillery in Gettysburg and Hook and Flask Still Works in Carlisle have begun making hand sanitizer to help keep hospital staff and other essential workers safe.
Also, in Cumberland County 10,000 medical face shields are being crafted to support hospital workers and first responders in an effort led by Dr. Debra Taylor, Meadowbrook Gourds, Beistle, the Carlisle Chamber of Commerce and many other local community members.
Countless residents have been making fabric masks to support essential workers throughout the district. Some of these residents include Susan Snyder, Fae Snyder, Hannah Leibensperger, and likely many of your friends and neighbors.
I have seen numerous occasions of neighbors helping neighbors and people providing encouragement to strangers. This crisis has forced so many of us to find creative ways to stay in contact with our friends and family.
Numerous churches hold virtual or social distancing services as a way to worship without actually being within the house of worship. Pastor Kevin Stout of St. John Lutheran Church in Boiling Springs holds virtual livestreams every Saturday night and Sunday morning, as well as continuing his weekly Thursday morning tradition of waving to passerby’s outside who drive by the church on their morning commute. Several churches in the Newville area also have begun holding weekly services at the Cumberland Drive-In, which allows people to gather for worship while remaining safely in their vehicles.
Schools throughout the district have also worked tirelessly to ensure students have lunches even though they cannot attend classes in school buildings. Teachers are navigating new and innovative ways to successfully teach students via online classes.
In times of struggle it is often said to look for the heroes. During the times we are currently living through, we are seeing heroes in almost every aspect of our lives. From our medical providers, first responders, pharmacy staffs, grocery store stockers and delivery people, I send my most sincere thanks and gratitude for all you do and in all the ways you contribute to helping our community. To everyone else who is doing their part, be it big or small, I thank you as well. We will get through this ordeal and we, including all of Pennsylvania and those of us here in the 193rd District, will come out on the other side of this stronger.
Representative Torren Ecker
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross