We're all in this together....coping with the COVID-19 pandemic

I was extremely lucky; when the lockdown was announced in New Delhi I was one of the lucky travelers to have a ticket on the second-to-last plane out of India into the US.

I have never been so scared to travel. Having taken more flights that I could ever count, I never thought there would be a time when I would be weary of flying. The day I left the whole airport in new Delhi was in a frenzie: people scrambling to purchase the last tickets available to any destination, wearing their masks and fretting to leave the country. I wouldn't be truthful if I said I wasn't worried about catching the virus!

Upon arriving to my final destination, Kansas City, I self quarantined to protect myself and everyone around me. Then it hit me: what are my artisan/partners going to do? How could they ever go into quaratine? If every country was shutting down, our artisans would be out of a job. How would they survive? How would they buy food, pay for rent and utilities? How can they self isolate in poverty?

This thought haunted me for a couple of days, until I called Santosh Didi and Mr. Maneesh, the two main people I work with. We sent up a fundraiser and  contacted a handful of long-time customers that work with our artisan/partners. We all pitched in.

It was wonderful, everyone gave a little and together it became a lot. Today we are happy to say that Mr. Maneesh was able to arrange for the local consortium in Loni, Ghaziabad, to purchase and distribute 1300 lbs of rice, 1300 lbs of flour, and 400 lbs of lentils.One person was contacted for each household, and the food was distributed in the village, following the social distancing practices, of course!Thank you. Thank you to all our loyal customers. This has been possible also because of you!

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