WINCHESTER — A local nonprofit wants to remind people that social distancing shouldn’t equate to loneliness.
“Human connection is a basic human need,” Gibbs said. “While most of us are fulfilling that need through Zoom [video-conferencing] calls and isolation with our families, it’s so important to remember that there are people out there who don’t have computers to use, loved ones to call or homes to isolate in.”
With #AloneTogether, Gibbs is encouraging people to purchase Project Space unity bracelets that will be distributed to those who have been profoundly impacted by the pandemic, including health care workers, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems and the homeless.
In partnership with the national nonprofit Spread the Love Commission of Jackson, Wyoming, each bracelet purchased on behalf of the homeless will also provide hygiene and sanitation kits, while supplies last, to people who do not have stable housing.
All of the #AloneTogether bracelets will include a note reminding recipients, “We’re in this together.”
Purchases will also help keep a roof over the heads of the people in Africa who make the bracelets for Project Space.
Gibbs said a group of volunteers in Kampala, Uganda, strings together the bracelets using beads made from recycled paper. The money they make from bracelet sales is used to operate an orphanage for vulnerable children.
The orphanage is located in a leased house owned by a person eager to sell the property, Gibbs said. The volunteers had hoped to cover the purchase price through fundraisers, but the global pandemic caused donations to dry up.
Gibbs said the owner of the house is prepared to evict the volunteers and orphans if they can’t buy the property by April 30.
“They’re our employees,” Gibbs said. “The more bracelets I sell, the more I can buy from them.”
Gibbs is optimistic the #AloneTogether campaign will generate sales of up to 100,000 bracelets to support local residents impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus and help the orphanage in Uganda.
“We’re all one big human family,” she said.
To purchase a bracelet or learn more about Project Space, visit wearespace.org.