It’s all good, Decatur – Good vibes and generosity contagious during COVID-19 pandemic
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By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor
Decatur, GA – More than a month into schooling and working from home, the Decatur area is projecting more positive vibes than a wellness coach on Instagram.
In Oakhurst, the Chicken Lady rides her bike through the streets – she has even driven by a child’s birthday celebration.
Down on East Lake Drive, a T-Rex skeleton wearing a face mask serves as a reminder to thoroughly wash your hands. Local gym owner Josh Guerrieri of FitWit hosts online fitness classes for his followers while continuing to build out a new space.
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On the education front, City Schools of Decatur is providing substitute teachers who are out of work with a one-time paycheck in an amount of approximately equal to the six pay periods from Jan. 6-March 12.
Unable to hold their annual fundraiser, Decatur Rotary dipped into reserves to award $20,000 in grants to non-profits in support of literacy and at-risk youth. Beneficiaries include the Decatur Education Foundation, Decatur Family YMCA, Decatur Housing Authority, Dekalb Library Foundation, Family Heritage Foundation, Friends of Refugees, and Project Transformation North Georgia.
Meanwhile, restaurants, utility companies, museums, and attorneys all have one common goal – to protect and serve those who protect and serve.
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Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, 1575 Church St. in greater Decatur, is offering a 20 percent discount for first responders and healthcare workers through April 30. The deal applies to take out and curbside delivery orders only.
Known for healthful smoothies and juices, Kale Me Crazy created a fundraiser to provide immunity shots of super juice to first responders and healthcare workers. In partnership with digital health company Sharecare – who promised a $10,000 contribution — Atlanta Hawks player John Collins joined the effort. Kale Me Crazy upped their goal from $10,000 to $30,000. The GoFundMe fundraiser has $15,000 to date.
Hashtag #feedthefrontlines is now viral on social media. Patrons of Universal Joint paid for 48 lunches to be delivered to Emory Midtown anesthesiologists on April 15.
Over at Kelly’s Market on Decatur Square, husband and wife team Sean Crotty and Tauna Jecmen implemented social distancing shopping with remote ordering and curbside pickup for toilet paper, paper towels, groceries, beer, and wine. On April 14, Crotty witnessed his patrons’ appreciation when he was met with cheers, signs, noisemakers, and costumes on his arrival home from work.
In Pine Lake, Eat Atlanta, run by Stephanie Morales, has served 1,500 lunches to Dekalb County sanitation workers, paramedics, ambulance drivers, and nurses — with full support of Mayor Melanie Hammett and Police Chief Sarai Y’hudah-Green. The April 16 menu includes “Social Distance Dog,” a locally smoked sausage with Vidalia onions, “Car 54 Where Are You,” barbeque chicken sliders, and “The Crowd Pleaser,” a bacon cheeseburger.
But the Decatur are isn’t just feeding locals – they’re providing lifesaving personal protective equipment as well.
The porch at Hagen Rosskopf law firm, 119 N. McDonough St., is housing a contact-free bin for volunteers to donate fabric and contribute finished masks. Working with Sewing Masks for Area Hospitals Atlanta (SMAH), 1,000 masks have been sewn, dropped off, and picked up for SMAH for sanitation and distribution in healthcare facilities.
Georgia Power Foundation provided a $25,000 donation to the Woodruff Arts Center. The Alliance Theatre’s staff is working full-time to create 1,500 masks in a week for medical personnel at Emory Healthcare’s hospitals in Decatur, Midtown Atlanta, Johns Creek, Sandy Springs, and Lithonia.
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On a larger scale, CDC Foundation established the Global Health Crisis Coordination Center in Atlanta to share resources between public health and private sectors, and philanthropic organizations. GHC3 is connecting corporate and non-profit resources with the folks who need them most – like ventilators to governors and facemasks to hospitals.
When residents just need a snuggle and a creative outlet, they can curl up with a LifeLine pup and a show.
Since April 1, LifeLine has rescued more than 80 pets in danger of being euthanized. All adoptions are only $20 through the end of the month and include the animal’s spay/neuter, vaccines, and microchip.
Get footloose and fancy-free with Oakhurst-sponsored jazz concerts every Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. through April. Tune in with Gwen Hughes Hinton on April 16, Jeremy Rhett of Tiger Kings on April 17, Matt Wauchope of Mar Tans Band on April 23, Etyan Davidson of Her Majesty’s Request on April 24 and Daniel Padron of Tito Gato on April 30. Glen Keith DeMerritt of The Pour Downs kicks off a May 1 show online. The shows benefit Oakhurst restaurant employees, a GoFundMe account is now active.
Core Dance of Decatur is presenting a free performance of “Dancing for Our Lives,” for National Water Dance an April 18 at 4 p.m. The performance will be broadcast live via the Core Dance Facebook page and on the National Water Dance site.
Perhaps some of these everyday heroes will appear on the DeKalb History Center’s collection of stories. “The Covid-19 Chronicles” is calling for photos of grocery lists, sourdough starters, virtual birthday celebrations, and more of everyday life during the pandemic. To submit photos, click here.
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