Krystal Hall, along with her 12-year-old daughter, Nyckole, and 12-year-old stepdaughter, Alyssa, were cleaning out their pantry at the start of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order to keep themselves busy.
That’s when they came up with an idea.
“We were going through it and when we had everything organized, we realized we had more quantity of items then we needed,” Krystal said. “We thought, why not donate? But looking at how our grocery stores are looking right now and how difficult it is to find these items we had, the girls thought of putting a table out front of our home with the extra food and a sign that says ‘take what you need and leave what you don’t’ so people do not have to suffer. They have access to it if they really need it.”
They then took to social media sites like Facebook and community groups like NextDoor to advertise the table.
“Then our neighbors saw what we were doing and donated themselves,” the girls said. “People have been taking items as well, which means our mission is working.”
“People have been driving and stopping by,” Krystal said. “Word has spread and it has been so beautiful to watch. We had to get a bigger table to support all the food that others have contributed to our good cause.
“Our girls have washed their hands 20 seconds before and after every time they handle the food so we can make sure there is no spread of this horrible virus,” she said. “It has been such an amazing experience to watch this community come together for one another.”
The girls said that’s why they wanted to do it — to improve their community.
“We wanted people to feel like other people care about them and so we can have a better community,” they said. “We can show that even in hard times, there are acts of kindness. We want no one to suffer and go without essentials for their families and themselves.”
The girls spend a lot of time outside their home on Peach Blossom Court and Morning Glory in Murrieta, tending to the table themselves, making sure all the items are organized.
They said they are learning valuable lessons along the way and listed a few.
“Be kind to others, don’t take more than you need,” the girls said. “Be selfless, help others, there can be good in bad situations, inspire others, hard work pays off, do what you can to help. We are in this together. You can brighten someone’s day with just a little gesture. Help others without benefits. Lessons can be learned from all.”
Krystal is, of course, proud of the girls.
“Words can’t describe how proud I am,” she said. “We try to raise our kids the best we can and teach them what is right and wrong. They have really taught us a lesson and are determined to help others in need in these tragic times. Some seniors have not been able to even leave their homes or can’t so they have helped them in a way as well.
“To watch what they created grow and inspire others to join has been truly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life. Our neighbors have left notes and messaged us to thank us. They have mentioned some might be embarrassed to ask for things they might really need so this helps as well. It takes a lot of courage and they have shown their love for our community.”
Jeff Pack can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.