At first, it was seen as something off in the distance still an arm’s length away. But as the month of March rolled on, what had become known as the COVID-19 pandemic was now a daily reality for every citizen of the globe. As positive cases spread from one country to the next, reaching closer to everybody’s home, an understandable fear set in. There seemed to be no clear direction from the world’s leaders, the panic buying set in and it seemed that total chaos was to follow. But in every city and town, across every continent, people began to take charge and in Australia, one Melbourne suburb (Prahran) was greeted by a generous surprise.
This is Prahran’s Story of Gratitude.
In fact, most people who have benefited from this particular act of kindness still don’t know who the local resident behind it is. This generous citizen had a simple solution that united their local community at a time when they were most in need. With the support of a small local signage business, they built a community pantry, which was then mounted to a council-owned curbside fence. This particular location was one that couldn’t be missed by the many locals who would pass it daily, to and from the nearby corner store.
They then went ahead and stocked the pantry with a few highly sort-after goods. In the panic, toilet paper, hand sanitiser and basic food items had flown off the supermarket shelves and many had missed out altogether. But under the community pantry, a sign had been placed, “Community Pantry and Library – take what you need, bring what you can”. On the first day the pantry remained untouched, curious locals unsure of what to make of it, some perhaps too self-conscious to accept the generosity, others worried about the attention it might attract.
The next day came and new items appeared in the pantry, then some items were taken and more came to replace what had been used. Over the next few days, the stockpile of essential items grew, regenerating faster than things could be removed. The organic nature of the process took over and locals began exchanging everything ranging from food, toilet paper, books, children’s toys, educational material, fresh ground coffee, and much much more.
Over three months later and the pantry continues to operate as strongly as ever, uniting the suburbs community, building friendships during a time of social isolation, and ensuring everyone had all that they needed. The objective had been achieved; the generous individual never sought out recognition for their actions nor gratitude for their deeds. They took the initiative to plant a seed of compassion, they created and donated, and a grateful community has done the rest.
This is Prahran’s Story of Gratitude. We understand that the pantry was put together by one of the residents of Prahran, and if anyone knows more please contact us here as the Share Gratitude community would like to thank those involved and look to support this initiative. We encourage you to follow us for more Stories of Gratitude and invite you to share your story – or send a simple message of Gratitude to those behind this initiative, please visit sharegratitude.com/