What. A. Year! I think that is a sentiment shared by countless people around the world. From a global shutdown to one of the most contentious presidential elections in history, 2020 will definitely be one for the books.
The majority of this year has been focused on COVID-19, and for good reason. It has changed our current ways of life in almost every way it seems. In some form or fashion, people have struggled this year. Countless folks have lost loved ones, lost their jobs, and even lost their sense of purpose as a result of the virus and its subsequent responses. Needless to say, there has been a sense of “doom and gloom” surrounding 2020.
So, let’s find the positive! You may have heard of the web show “Some Good News” by John Krasinski that started this year and highlights the – surprise! – good news happening in the world. We thought we’d take a page out of that book and share some of the good things that have happened in our communities.
On our very own office building, internationally-recognized artist DAAS painted a beautiful mural portraying three children planting flowers. Various other murals by other artists have been completed or are in the works across Johnson City, including one at the Johnson City Mall.
In April, the Northeast Tennessee Chapter of the Federal Bar Association donated $4,000 to Meals on Wheels to help provide meals to individuals in need of a helping hand and a warm meal, a need that was only heightened by the pandemic.
Despite the closure of a local favorite, The Willow Tree, downtown Johnson City has seen the opening of Little Animals Brewery and Watauga Brewing Company, and a new ‘50s-style diner, Cravings Café & Catering, is slated to open soon.
Main Street Jonesborough and the Jonesborough Area Merchants and Service Association raised over $10,000 to pour back into the historic town and help offset the impact of the shutdowns on small businesses.
With schools implementing remote learning and more employers transitioning jobs into remote positions, families have had the chance to spend more time together. While parents may be wanting to pull their hair out from the challenges this has presented, it has also provided unique opportunities.
These aren’t the only heartwarming stories that have come about this year. A quick online search of “good news” pulls up several websites dedicated solely to inspiring stories from across the globe. Despite the challenges this year has presented, let’s carry a sense of hope as we jump into 2021. “Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, we press on….” (Philippians 3:13.) Stay safe, and happy New Year!