Week 26: Altruistic stories and the 2020 pandemics

November 10, 2020

For the twenty-sixth consecutive week, the Ball State University Center for Peace & Conflict Studies (www.bsu.edu/peacecenter) has compiled a list of acts of kindness and peace, as a response to COVID-19 and the racism pandemic. Please share these stories. If you have stories of positive acts people/organizations are taking in the midst of our pandemics and you would like to share them, please email them to Brandon Miller at peacecenter@bsu.edu. All the stories starting from week 1 are available online. Additionally, you can follow the Peace Center on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) at bsu4peace.

Political Rivals in Utah Appear in Joint Ad Calling for Unity

Displays of congeniality across the political aisle have been rare lately, to say the least. Two politicians in Utah are trying to present a peaceful alternative to the polarization. The Democratic and Republican candidates for governor in Utah, Chris Peterson and Spencer Cox, appeared together in a television ad calling for unity across political divides. Alternating lines, the two read the script: “We can disagree without hating each other/ We can debate issues without degrading each other’s character/ And win or lose in Utah, we work together. / So let’s show the country there’s a better way.” “We approve this message,” they concluded in unison. In less than a day, their ad had been viewed millions of times. Peterson, the Democrat, said it had restored his faith in humanity and that “people are hungering for decency.” Cox, the Republican said, “We’re both just trying to be good guys. We’re…trying to focus on the issues, have a civil campaign…and after [the election] we move forward together.”

Source: Good News Network - https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/utah-governor-candidates-make-ad-together/

Pizza to the Polls and Actor Paul Rudd Distribute Free Food to Hungry Voters on Election Day

It is nearly a week after Election Day and we are almost done with what has been a historically contentious political season. Although the rest of the week may have brought stress as the nation awaited final election results, some voters on Election Day received a sweet and savory surprise as they waited to fulfill their civic duty. Pizza to the Polls, a volunteer-led nonprofit with the simple mission of providing sustenance to people waiting in line at the polls, distributed food voters across the country. If you voted in person and missed them, it was not for lack of effort on their part. Pizza to the Polls provided food to voting sites in 48 states! They received nearly $1.5 in donations from individual supporters that paid for the food they distributed. In total, the nonprofit distributed more than a million free pizzas, burgers, empanadas, cookies, donuts, and other snacks to hungry citizens. In a separate act of edible altruism, actor Paul Rudd personally delivered cookies to voters in NYC as they waited in the rain to cast their ballots. The actor also distributed cookies to anyone coming out of the polling place as a thank you for turning up to vote despite the pandemic and the inclement weather.

Source: Good News Network - https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/volunteers-give-1-3m-snacks-to-voters/

Source: CNN - https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/29/entertainment/paul-rudd-early-voting-cookie-trnd/index.html?

Foster Dad Adopts Five Siblings to Keep a Family United

Robert Carter, 29, spent years in the Ohio foster care system. While in that system, he was separated from and lost touch with his two younger siblings. After his traumatic experience, he decided to become a foster parent himself. During that time, he became the foster parent to three brothers whose two sisters were living with another foster family. Carter knew the emotional trauma of losing touch with siblings firsthand, so he arranged visitations between the two foster families so that the children could remain close. By the end of one visitation, though, Carter recognized how distressed the siblings were at the thought of going their separate ways, even if temporarily. Carter decided to make a big leap and adopt the children himself – all five of them – so that they could remain together. Although he is committed to providing stability and love for his chosen family, the transition has not been entirely smooth. Carter recalled that, at first, one of the daughters, Marionna, did not like him. However, her attitude toward him has warmed gradually; Carter said that, after some time together “she walked in my room…and said, ‘I just want to say thanks for taking us in and taking care of us when our real mom couldn’t.’” “I’m here for them no matter what,” Carter added.

Source: WCVB - https://www.wcvb.com/article/im-your-dad-forever-single-foster-dad-adopts-five-siblings-so-they-can-stay-together/34547372#

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