By Carrie Wenninger | CNA Media Team
Gail Levine answered her phone in Austin, having left her Portland home in mid-March to quarantine with her husband in Texas. Her Concordia house is currently occupied by an OHSU pediatric nurse.
They have never met in person but, when she saw this frontline worker’s plea for a place to live that would keep him safely distanced from his family during the COVID-19 emergency, she offered the empty abode without hesitation.
“It just felt like the right thing to do,” she shared. “And it’s working out wonderfully.”
It will come as no surprise, then, to learn that Gail is one of the core group of individuals who formed Positive Charge! PDX, a four-year-old volunteer group open to everyone and dedicated to doing good things and sharing good news.
The group hopes others will follow the example of, as the website states, “Acting locally to amplify loving kindness on a collective scale.”
The organization hosts a wide range of activities on a variety of issues for seniors, hospitalized children, the homeless, foster children, abused women and more.
The largest event to date was the free, citywide Amplify Kindness! PDX gathering in October that featured keynote speaker state Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward.
The focus was on creating tokens of kindness to take home and give away, and Hayward departed the workshop with a haul of painted kindness rocks to distribute back in Salem.
Other projects have included activities such as assembling welcome boxes for foster children through Embrace Oregon, baking and delivering cookies to emergency workers on Christmas Day and crocheting plastic yarn sleeping mats for houseless neighbors.
“People want to do something for their community but don’t know how,” Gail reported. “Positive Charge! gives them the opportunity.”
Group get-togethers and events were still on hold at CNews press time. According to Gail, opportunities still abound to help others and increase your own well-being.
Those include sewing masks, donating funds to local food pantries, painting and displaying your own kindness rocks, writing sidewalk chalk messages, and participating in the 7 p.m. shout-outs to thank essential workers.
Every small act of kindness expands and strengthens the web and makes a difference, she pointed out.
“Most people, I believe, have hearts of gold,” Gail said. “They just need to know what they can do, where to focus their attention and how to be of help.”
Plug in and get more ideas and inspiration at PositiveChargePDX.org.
Carrie Wenninger lives on 29th Avenue in Concordia. She is a freelance writer, a mom, a world traveler and a small business marketing consultant. Contact her at WurdGurl@gmail.com.