If there is one thing that the coronavirus pandemic has taught us, it is that kindness still exists in the world.
We have published numerous stories about the young buying groceries for the elderly in their locality, about a teacher taking care of her student’s just born baby brother after it was found that the baby’s mother was infected with COVID-19, and about a man donating iPads to healthcare centers so that the elderly can keep in touch with their families during these tough times.
Here is another such story that will reinforce your belief that kindness in the world still exists.
Toshua Parker, 39, is the owner of Icy Strait Wholesale in Gustavus, a coastal community in a remote Alaskan region that borders Glacier Bay National Park. It is accessible only by boat or plane and has about 450 residents.
Toshua’s store, widely known as ToshCo in the community, is the only place for the local residents to buy their regular provisions and groceries.
Generally, Toshua ships all his supplies from the nearest Costco to his store by means of the state’s ferry system. However, unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ferry system is not functioning. To add to the woes of the residents, the city’s dock is also out of order due to the damage it faced from the severe storms.
In such a dire situation where the supplies for the entire town were quickly running out, Toshua came up with a plan to ensure that his community does not suffer.
He now makes weekly boat trips with his staff to Juneau, the capital of the state, which is about 50 miles away to bring in all the items needed by the residents of his community. Waking up before dawn to catch the early tide, he travels on a 96 feet long converted military landing craft. Would you believe that the entire journey takes an astounding 14 hours to complete!
Once he reaches Juneau, apart from the regular groceries and provisions, he picks up special request from people in his town, which include prescriptions, tools, and lumber.
He then stays overnight with all the goods and returns home on the high tide the next morning with the entire haul.
“It’s funny because for us, this doesn’t seem like a big deal,” the small business owner told CNN. “Alaskans are fiercely independent and resourceful; you really have to be to survive here. So when a problem arises, we don’t typically look to someone else for help, we just find a way to do it.”
“He’s definitely simplified life for all of us,” said Leah Okin, 51, a native of England who moved to Alaska 27 years ago and now manages the Gustavus Visitors Association. “We all look out for one another and Toshua is no exception.”
Similarly, Kelly McLaughlin, the owner of the Fireweed Gallery Coffee and Tea House, the town’s only coffee shop / art gallery / and drive-through, depends on Toshua for her supplies of milk, cream, and coffee beans.
“Tosh starts his days at my shop over a cup of coffee most mornings,” she said. “We’re all super lucky to have him and his freight service. Anything I need, he’s happy to get it for me.”
We are certain that the town residents are extremely grateful to have Toshua catering to all their needs in these tough times.
Isn’t this just wonderful? Do let us know your views on this story in the comments section below.