In April of this year, UnbridledACTS created the 2020 Assistance Fund to help people directly affected by COVID-19. We wanted to bridge the gap between fear and uncertainty for those who didn’t know how they were going to pay their bills. Families and individuals from across the country applied and were given a little extra hope. In some cases, we provide not only financial help but also human connection and conversation.
We were designed to be in community not isolated and alone. As humans, we need relationships and other people. When speaking with applicants for the Assistance Fund, we often heard stories of quarantine taking an unexpected emotional toll even though their health was in good condition. For someone who flourishes when surrounded by friends, seclusion can be a painful experience.
One particular applicant is that type of person. He is a creator and innovator who supports his friends and encourages their creativity. All the thoughts swimming around his head, particularly in the wake of COVID-19, are projects and videos that need to be shared with the world.
When Aaron reached out to us, I quickly noticed his determination and grit to continue his craft. We talked for almost an hour as he shared the struggles and emotions he faced as his world turned upside down. He was in the process of launching the first online theatre company all while continuing to create and produce videos on the history of show business.
The pain in Aaron’s voice was clear as he conveyed his sadness for the hardships his friends are encountering and his inability to help. It was difficult for him to reach out and admit his need for help. As an up and coming artist, Aaron learned that if he was to survive, he needed to make sacrifices and give up comfort to pursue his dream. Decreasing the grocery budget, limiting spending to rent and utilities only, and having minimal contact with the outside world was no longer enough. The sudden need to ask for a hand was a stretch.
Living alone with only hopes and dreams to keep him company, Aaron craved another human being speak with. Our conversation seemed to give him new life. With each story and idea he shared I could hear the wheels in his brain turning. His voice increased in excitement and I felt he was once again filled with hope and back to his old self. It’s amazing what a conversation can do for someone.
A New Perspective
The excitement and thankfulness Aaron experienced was something I saw immediately. Joy burst through the screen when I read how much the Assistance Fund would help him. When we spoke again, he was at a loss for words. There was a hint of anticipation in his voice as he drew the picture of what he wanted to continue to create. His hope was rekindled and renewed. The heart of the Assistance Fund is to be there for people when they aren’t sure where or when help will come. There are so many ways to be present in another person’s life. As a team, we thrive when given the chance to encourage and strengthen the people around us and love opportunities to walk alongside those in need.