As early supporters of the Hopeful campaign to help people in our community who have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, we were immediately drawn to its energy and spirit. It has been uplifting to see the broad support and financial contributions so many have made to help the many people who have lost jobs or struggled to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads. But nothing has been more inspiring — and let’s just say it, hopeful — than what we are witnessing in this generation of young people. We spend a lot of time with young people, both personally and professionally, and we are continuously encouraged and impressed by the way they see the world and their place in it.
This generation sees the world much differently than their parents do. Their world is much smaller and more connected. Their activism is more local but with a global reach. The cause may be as close as a neighbor or as far as a GoFundMe in Nepal. The causes that touch the heart and soul of our young adults are what drives them, not the large corporate charities of our youth. The internet connects them in ways that we, as parents, do not yet fully understand.
The pandemic has taken a tremendous and immeasurable toll on young people. They have lost valuable instructional time and social engagement at school and have missed out on crowning events such as graduation, prom, sports seasons, or trips abroad with classmates. It’s a lot to give up. Yet, many are looking at what is happening in their community and stepping up to help. One group of these remarkable young people are members of the Easton High School Latin Honor Society, who are producing Togathon, a live-stream event to raise money for mental health services for Talbot County students. Partnering with the Hopeful campaign, the Latin students have spent countless hours over the last few months in Zoom meetings planning the entertainment, marketing and fundraising targets and seeking sponsors who will help bring mental health care to students who will be in dire need.
As our schools start back up, mental health care will be needed at far greater levels than ever before. Services that are currently available are not nearly sufficient, and the cost of additional clinicians to meet the need will be high. The Hopeful campaign and these extraordinary young people are working to raise the money needed to get these desperately needed services into place. We hope you will join us for Togathon and make a donation to support mental health care in our schools.
The Togathon event, funded in part by the Talbot County Arts Council, takes place on February 20th and 21st, beginning at 6 p.m. with three hours of streaming content each day. To donate now go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/togathon2021.
For more information and updates, follow the Facebook page, facebook.com/Togathon2021.
Mark and Susan Langfitt