One Year Later: A Community of Giving
Lately, the news has been filled with COVID anniversary stories. One year with this pandemic. The ways it has impacted our society: the lives it has changed and those it has taken, feels unimaginable, even though we’ve lived it. Just over a year ago, COVID would have read like cheap science fiction, and yet, here we are. The one-year anniversary of living with this virus.
It’s sobering, and it has us thinking nostalgically for the pre-COVID days: for the chance to gather, to sit near strangers in a restaurant, to hear someone sneeze in line and think “bless you” instead of “oh no.”
But we realize, when we think of these things, what we are really thinking about is community, and this has us hopeful.
If there’s one thing this pandemic has made abundantly clear, it really is the importance of community, and we continue to be heartened by ours.
Despite so many things being closed and cancelled, despite lives being upended and kids being trapped indoors, away from friends and clubs at school, our clients have continued to celebrate love. Nuptials have continued to happen. Weddings went forward, even if they were different than anyone had imagined. Couples continued to get engaged.
And so, as we look back on a year of COVID, we want to say thank you for letting us be part of your community, and to tell you just some of the ways we continue to support the Twin Cities that we all love.
Just over a year ago, on March 20th of 2020, Wedding Day Diamonds, like so many other businesses, closed its doors to in-person shopping. We had no idea when we’d be able to reopen. The majority of our staff was furloughed. That was, perhaps, the hardest day in all of Wedding Day Diamonds history.
Wedding Day Diamonds isn’t like the big national chains. We’re local, through and through. Our owners and their families are based right here, in the same neighborhoods as our employees and our clients. We saw the lives we were impacting when we had to close.
Thankfully, just under two months later, on May 18th, we were allowed to reopen with advanced safety protocols in place. Our protocols went beyond enhanced cleaning measures; we pioneered a new, contact-free way to shop for diamonds. In fact, we may have been the first jewelry store in the nation to give clients complete access to inventory, without requiring that they have any interactions with staff. This took a lot of imagination to get right, but in the end, it allowed complete protection of our clients, and our employees. And thanks to the commitment of the community we’re in, it worked!
On May 25th, tragedy struck again when George Floyd died at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Four days later, to support our community in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, we once again closed all eight locations.
Since that day, we have been open, and doing all we can to help our employees, our clients, and our community, heal from the tragedies of 2020. Here are some of the ways we’ve been busy giving back.
We have long been supporters of multiple charities including:
MMAF offers grants to Minnesota service members who have served in a combat zone since September 11, 2001. In just this past year, MMAF has awarded $827,000 to over 700 Minnesota service members and their families.
Folds of Honor provides scholarships to children and spouses of fallen or disabled American service members.
Over 22 million American kids rely on school lunch. For many, it is their only meal of the day. Life Time Foundation aims to make sure that meal is healthy, fresh, and free from processed foods so that every American child has the energy and nutrition to thrive.
Band of Brothers helps veterans and active-duty members reclaim outdoor activities to promote recreational therapy. From kayaking to mushrooming, Band of Brothers helps our service members to heal in the great outdoors.
This local foundation funds research and patient services for people battling brain tumors. Though Humor to Fight the Tumor is lead entirely by volunteers, through partnerships like ours, they have raised over $4.6 million dollars in the fight against brain tumors.
And, most recently, to help combat food insecurity brought on by the COVID health crises, we have partnered with Every Meal.
We’re especially proud of this partnership because Every Meal is a Minnesota-based organization that is providing meals to families in need right here in our community.
Our partnership with Every Meal has helped over 250 local families stay fed throughout this pandemic.
So, to the community that all of us at Wedding Day Diamonds call home, we see you; we love you; and every day, we feel humbled and grateful for the opportunity to be part of your lives.