Things have been quiet around Patchwork for the last two months, but the building has not been empty.
John and I have been here daily to keep the organization running and organized, doing everything from picking up the mail, getting bills paid, and processing donations to feeding the fish, watering the plants, and taking weeds out of the garden.
Patchwork’s green spaces continue to see increased traffic as people find refuge in their beauty. Groups have held impromptu meetings here. Neighbor children have played.
Our food pantry has been open two days a week to provide food to those who need it. Our guests can get a full food order every 30 days, but they are welcome to stop by any time we’re open to pick up the extra fruit and vegetables that they can use. They can also request pet food if they need it. Many familiar faces have stopped by for food from our pantry, and it has been good to be able to catch up with them again. There have been some new faces, too. Business has been steady, but not overwhelming.
Meanwhile, our Arts & Smarts Children’s Program staff have begun to envision a summer children’s program in the midst of a pandemic. They’re sifting through recommendations from the State of Indiana and the CDC, and they’re getting creative. We’re still not sure exactly what we will offer, but we do know it will be an opportunity for us to experiment with new formats in order to provide learning and enrichment for children in our community. Stay tuned!
We’re also working on ideas for how our Sozo Health Ministry, Neighborhood Hospitality, and Bike Shop can adapt and continue to provide valuable services. We value the safety of our staff, volunteers, and guests, so we will need to change our services to allow for good social distancing and for proper cleaning. While services like showers will not be possible for a while, we think that there will be opportunities for us to find new ways to help in the coming months.
And every Sunday evening, the Patchwork Worship Community gathers at 5:15, like they have for 43 years. Now the gathering is on Facebook Live instead of in person. The worship services are all broadcast from Patchwork, so we are all still present in this place.
One afternoon earlier this week, I was working on a grant application at my desk and I heard a knock at Patchwork’s side door. It was one of our neighbors who needed someone to talk to, so he’d decided to stop by to find me. He knew: Patchwork was not empty. We chatted for a little bit, then I needed to get back to work. He left, feeling better.