WEST DECATUR — When you are five years old, it’s sometimes difficult to understand adult situations — but you are never too young to help others.
Last weekend, Abram Bloom of West Decatur, a preschool student, worked with his family to set up a table full of items they believed could help their neighbors.
Abram’s action came after his mother, Krystal Bloom, said she had a discussion with him early in the week about COVID-19 coronavirus and the importance of practicing good hygiene.
“I talked with him about the virus. He understands germs. What was challenging was explaining to him why people are panicked and why some people weren’t able to get the food and other items they need. He didn’t understand why everyone was rushing to the grocery store and buying up things,” Bloom said.
Bloom said she did the best she could but wasn’t really sure what she said made an impression on him.
On March 19, Abram pitched an idea he thought might help relieve some stress.
“He said ‘Mummy I have a good idea. I’ll have an ice cream stand and give ice cream away to the people who don’t have any food,” she said. Bloom said she had to carefully suppress his idea, saying offering ice cream had the potential to pass along germs and the ice cream might melt.
She said she thought more about about it and the posed an idea to Abram.
“I thought maybe I could make a little lesson out of this. So I suggested we give away some free things. Abram understands the concept that some people don’t have things and he wants to help them.”
She said they placed rolls of toilet paper in ziplock bags and got into a stash of party favors they had tucked away from previous birthday parties and took out some toy cars and other items for kids.
“I asked Abram to go through the favors and pick out some things he thought other kids might like. It was hard for him, but he did it,” Bloom said, saying she also tries to teach her children, including Abram’s brother Jude, 2, selflessness.
The family added some canned food and put out a container of hand sanitizer so people could clean their hands before they looked through the items on the table.
“I also placed a note on the hand sanitizer asking people not to take it because it was all I had,” Bloom said.
She said Abram took the idea very seriously.
“He kept calling the people who came to the table, ‘his customers.’”
Bloom said the family got lots of good feedback from those who visited their table.
“We practiced social distancing and talked with them from the porch,” she explained.
Bloom said the family had some items left over. They placed them into a box that they plan to donate once the precautions for the virus have been lifted.