Clearly 2020 has been a year of pain and misery for many, while our community has faced the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with illness, isolation, job loss, small businesses hurting and school doors shuttered.

The impact on individuals and families has ranged from inconvenience to devastation. Those among us who are first responders or part of the medical teams testing and treating patients have experienced the strain of seemingly unending numbers of fearful and needy patients. Our homes have become our workspaces and our classrooms. Our incomes may now be uncertain, and hunger may be a new reality.

The pandemic has brought widespread upheaval and disruption, with many people hurting, while many find a real shortage of generosity, support and understanding, according to Doctor Lori Calabrese, MD. However, she notes that, despite the turmoil that surrounds you, there is still one sure way to change how you are feeling that will help you get through these trying times.

Dr. Calabrese recommends that now is the time to take control of the situation through caring and compassion. Be kind and compassionate to everyone you meet, she advises. We, in fact, gain greater control of our own lives and gain a sense of well being when we show gratitude for the little things. In fact, when you show kindness and compassion, you may find your own struggles shrinking and becoming more manageable.

The Galt Community of Character Coalition (GCCC) would like to remind everyone that Caring and Compassion is the character trait of focus for November and December. To truly live this value, we, as individuals, can monitor our everyday actions as we interact with others. Do we treat people with generosity and kindness? Do we understand and extend sympathy to those who are struggling? Are we responsive to the needs and concerns of others? Do we give of ourselves for the benefit of others? The fact is, we become caring people by doing caring things.

If we are to make our community a better place to live, we must make it our mission to keep caring and compassion alive and well.

Perhaps you know someone or an organization in our area that is a role model of caring and compassion. Or, maybe you know someone whose actions have made a huge impact on our community. The GCCC is looking for those individuals or groups who clearly demonstrate the caring and compassion value in our community.

Our community is a better place because of the many individuals and groups who continuously put the needs of others ahead of their own needs. If you know someone who is deserving of this honor, you can nominate that individual, group or organization for the 2020 Galt Caring and Compassion Award in the following way: email your nomination to Ralph Cortez at rcracing21@sbcglobal.net.

Be sure to include the name, address and phone number of your nominee and of yourself. Write a brief explanation of what this person or group has done that demonstrates caring and compassion. Deadline to submit nominations is Dec. 31, 2020.