Written by Kayleigh Dray
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.
“You showed us that, even in the darkest times, we have the power to remind someone else that there is hope, and that we will be OK,” said Meghan Markle.
Meghan Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, have been praised for stepping up to help those in need during the Covid-19 pandemic, even delivering food parcels on behalf of the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Project Angel Food to people with chronic illnesses.
The Duchess of Sussex, though, is keen that all those other “quiet heroes” of the coronavirus outbreak are celebrated, too.
And so, as part of CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute – an annual event by the US network that recognises the unsung efforts of everyday people – the royal stepped up to applaud all those who showed compassion to others during the past 12 months.
“In a year that has been universally challenging for everyone, I’m inspired by the stories of compassion in our communities,” began the Duchess of Sussex.
“Across the country, people have put their own needs aside to come together and support the collective well-being of those around them.”
Meghan continued: “Back in March, the Covid-19 crisis hit hard, and overnight everything seemed to change.
“For many families, the impact of the pandemic has been catastrophic, and far too many were faced with the heartbreaking question, ‘How am I going to put food on the table for my family?’
“But in the face of this devastating reality, we also saw the power of the human spirit and the remarkable ways that communities respond in challenging times.”
Celebrating those who stepped up to help others, Meghan said: “We saw the good in people, in our neighbours and in entire communities coming together to say they would not stand by while our neighbours went hungry.
“We saw communities standing up and taking action. When kids’ lunch programs came to a halt, we saw our neighbours make sure that those children received the nutrition they need.
“And when those who are immunocompromised or most vulnerable couldn’t leave their homes, we, as a community, showed up to deliver the food they needed to their doorsteps.”
Meghan finished powerfully: “We know the value of food; as nourishment, as a life source, and in the moments of crisis, the warmth of a meal can feel as comforting as a much-needed hug, especially in the absence of human contact due to the social distancing we’re all experiencing.
“Tonight, we are celebrating these quiet heroes, some of whom I know and others that we applaud from afar.
“These individuals stood up and made sure the most basic needs of our communities were met.
“They made sure those around them did not have to suffer in isolation. They nourished their neighbours in more ways than one.
“And they showed us, all of us, that even in the darkest times, when we come together, we have the power to remind someone else that there is hope, and that we will be OK.”
You can watch Meghan Markle’s speech in full via CNN.
And, if you can afford to make a donation of your own, then please consider The Trussell Trust, which is working to stop UK hunger and poverty via its network of foodbanks.
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