In times of crisis, we often don't hear about the many quiet, compassionate responses made in those moments.
Quietly in South Florida, a woman started an online grassroots effort originally meant to make a modest impact in her community. Now, it has raised millions of dollars for hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
Local mindfulness teacher Shelly Tygielski launched her Pandemic of Love in Fort Lauderdale after seeing people around her losing their jobs. Worried not just about money, but also their health amidst the COVID-19 crisis, her social media feeds grew abuzz with fear and anxiety—and Shelly sensed an opportunity in the difficulty.
"I wanted to turn from this environment of fear to an opportunity for us to create connection, community and strengthen the bonds of love between us," Shelly told CNN.
It all started out very simply, when Shelly posted a video on her Instagram on March 14. She announced a new program aimed at connecting those with a need due to loss of income with those who are in a position of privilege and able to be of service. When she went to bed that night, she wasn't sure how much good her efforts would do. By morning, she had received 400 requests for assistance and 500 offers of help.