A Force For Helping And Healing


Kevin Roberson—Chef, Shalonda Hawkins—Kitchen Helper First United Methodist Church

A Super Chef's Highest Good Unfolding


BATON ROUGE, La — When the COVID19 stay at home order was given, I work at an Early Learning Center that has remained open to provide childcare for essential employees in the city. However, we are a non-profit organization and could not receive any unemployment benefits offered by the state. Part-time employees were told to stay home through during this time; and they would not be paid, as the church had no means to do so. The action caused me to think about how serious of an impact such a decision would have on his helper, who is/was a part-time employee. Chef Kevin quickly began to ponder; how he could be of help to in offer some assistance to his kitchen helper? He wanted so much to help her to continue to have some income during this unexpected and devastating time period. It was only through Chef Kevin’s powerful spiritual connection that he had the desire to uplift, to bless and to help heal the needs of another person.

Now, he desperately pondered and wanted his helper to have some kind income to help her out throughout this ordeal. A time of Chef Kevin’s highest good began to unfold once he decided to use his Paid Time Off (PTO) to allow his helper to work a few days of each week to have some income to assist with her immediate and urgent needs. With this act of kindness on behalf of another, during the Governor’s unspecified stay at home order, the helper could work a few days out of each week and make some money to help provide with both immediate and urgent needs.

How could I help her with to have some income throughout this ordeal? I decided to go in and use my paid time off (P.T.O.) so, she could work a few days out of each week, and make some money. Otherwise, she would be stuck with no income at all, for however long the lockdown will last. Chef Kevin displays an unselfish and profound example of an action intended to uplift, to heal and to bless the well-being of another in need of assistance. So, here is where Chef Kevin starts on the first week of the shutdown, where he works two days one week and three day the next week using is his paid time-off. Now, his helper could work when he is off and receive a paycheck; as well. Chef Kevin knows that sharing is caring; and his act of kindness he states, “it only cost me the hours I had accumulated over time to take off; so, now we both can get a paycheck.”

Unfortunately, he states that there is a deep concern in not knowing if they would be open or closed when the regular payroll may not be paid. He gave up time for those days. Then, on April 13, the employees were informed that restrictions on workers receiving unemployment benefits had been suspended because of the national pandemic virus. It was this information that confirmed that the helper would be able to stay home and receive payments – a true blessing. Also, now I would be able to work without using any more P.T.O. This action would then help with our social distancing and stay-at-home order from the Governor.

It was following the action by the Governor that the workers were informed that they would be given paid sick hours due to COVID19; and this action would allow for no loss of accumulated P.T.O. hours. Lastly, Chef Kevin can continue to work without having to use any P.T.O. that would then be available to Chef Kevin whenever needed for a later date. He states, “I chose to use my time before the Governor’s decisions were made. I had already decided to help my helper; and I want to do this because I felt that sharing some of my P.T.O. time would be a way I could help someone in need; and then I should. This idea of sharing my time with someone in need was an opportunity that just came up when the kitchen helper began to be overly stressed about the pending situation. She was deeply worried about how she was going to pay rent and monthly bills without any income. As the spread of pandemic health and death issues spread across the country, so did the people’s intentions and actions to protect themselves both healthy-wise and financially.

Many individuals were either laid-off or work hours cut by the employers; to protect their businesses. Lastly, it such abrupt layoff actions that left the employees to have no idea how they would make it through both these freighting experiences and the rebound afterwards. It is in times such as these that we need to increase our awareness about the needs of others less fortunate. Make such decisions to help others in your lives knowing that such actions are the right things to do. Helping others to start the healing process to begin when there is a genuine need is one of the most valuable things one can do – to reach and to help someone who was in need; a real live a position that I along with many others have found themselves during both these horrific and uncertain times. Let us all just both be reminded and to remember that God is still in charge and all things are possible to all believers; especially if you are gathered in His name; He is there with you at all times and through all things; Matthew 18:20.

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