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"A Message of Hope" written by Maggie Fronk

"A Message of Hope" written by Maggie Fronk

Below is a message of hope written by Maggie Fronk, Executive Director at Wellspring 

Remember New Year’s Day 2020… your goals, your vacation plans, that birthday celebration you were planning? Our challenges and goals in April 2020 are so different than anything we could have imagined as that ball descended on Times Square. Folks are feeling powerless because a virus they can’t see is creating havoc and fear. And they’re overwhelmed because their daily routines are complicated and unpredictable. We don’t feel prepared for things like working from home… while also teaching your kids long division (and the way they are taught is nothing like how we learned). Even going to the grocery store is a whole new experience. Will they have paper products? It’s one-way lanes today! Now we’re back to plastic, not reusable bags.

But you’ve got this. Because long division isn’t really important (sorry Mrs. Cosgrove). What matters is you are genuine, you’re present and you are trying. It OK to feel overwhelmed, unprepared, lonely, and downright tired. Our kids see that we don’t always have all the answers, but we do our best, with love. We are showing them resilience, adaptability, and persistence.

When you ‘re feeling overwhelmed look around and you’ll see hope. Every time I see a rainbow in a window, I think of the family inside that cut shapes from construction paper to bring joy to others. I hear from adults who are connecting with friends they haven’t spoken to in years. Or friends, who while miles apart are playing games on Zoom, having dance parties, or are cooking ‘together’. I see that across the world we are pausing to clap, sing and cheer on our essential services workers: doctors, police, EMTs, but also grocery store clerks, delivery and postal worker, the housekeeping staff in nursing homes, truckers bringing us products… and social services workers helping our vulnerable community members. I’m so impressed with the arts community that has been so devastated with bans on live performances; yet from their homes, performers are bringing music and art to our living rooms to help us through. The doors of our local restaurants and shops may be closed, but they’re innovating: curbside takeout, online sales, retooling their manufacturing to make masks, hand sanitizer, and yes paper products. And even though individuals have their own financial struggles and stress, so many are thinking about others and calling Wellspring to ask how can they help (supporting local businesses at the same time).

What we are really good at is humanity! It’s hard stepping out of our routines and relationships, but we’re doing it for each other. While this virus may make us feel powerless, we’re not. We can educate ourselves and take action for our well-being and for our community locally and globally. Separated from others we may feel alone, but we are in this together. I‘ve talked to so many people who are sewing masks, checking in on neighbors, and finding ways to support and assist… and helping others conquers that feeling of powerlessness.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t do a special message to anyone who may be experiencing relationship or sexual abuse. Uncertainty about health and financials, and social isolation resulting from the COVID crisis, present unique challenges for victims of abuse. People may be unable to call our phone hotline (518.584.8188) because the kids and abuser are with them 24/7. Wellspring launched a web-based chatline so you can ‘talk’ to an advocate by typing on your phone or computer (information about the chatline is on our website While life within an abusive home may be scary, it is a familiar scary; leaving abuse may not be an option because they are even more scared of the unknowns outside their home during this pandemic. You don’t need to be in crisis to contact our hotline or chatline, and you won’t be expected to leave the abusive home; we’ve here to help you explore your rights and options and provide you the support you need. If you are someone who is experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault-- or if you are concerned about someone who is-- Wellspring has free, confidential services to help you during this difficult time. You are not alone; Wellspring is here to help 24/7

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