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Sandy Journal

Sandy residents share what keeps them hopeful and positive at the beginning of a new year

Jan 18, 2021 03:16PM ● By Heather Lawrence

Lisa Reid is a lifelong Sandy resident, mom and dance teacher at Bliss Academy. She loves how people helped each other and got creative about moving on with life. (Heather Lawrence/City Journals)

By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]

There’s an array of products for sale right now—mugs, T-shirts, masks—with a graphic that reads “2020” and then below that one star out of five is filled in. Some have comments that look like a rating system for a movie or restaurant: “Very bad. Would not recommend.” 

At the end of a difficult year, the Sandy Journal asked people who live and work here what they see in their world, community or faith that gives them a reason to be positive and have hope. Here are their answers. And here’s to the five-star 2021 that we all deserve. 

Brooke Broadhead Christensen, Sandy City Councilmember

“I am hopeful because I still see people serving one another and being neighborly. I love that neighbors are offering to pick up groceries for shut-ins and elderly neighbors. I see almost every week someone offering to pick up groceries or take people to doctor’s appointments and help their neighbors do something they can’t do. 

“I also love how hard our teachers are working. They’re willingly putting themselves in harm’s way so our kids can continue to have those social and education opportunities. And they do it with such enthusiasm and energy.”

Seth Krinke, Worship Pastor, Mountain View Christian Assembly 

“In the church environment, we see what hope can do. No matter our circumstances, we have hope and know our God can take care of this. In the Bible, one of the most often repeated phrases is ‘do not fear,’ and ‘do not be afraid.’ We encourage people to their faith and hope in God and keep their eyes focused there. 

“If you’re not religious, put your eyes on the good around you. It’s hard to do when you’re right in the middle of something bad. But read throughout history—you’ll see that people who believe the best and keep their eyes on what can be, usually come out on top.”

The Ainsworth family  

“In December we had a new baby. She keeps me hopeful, and I feel positive thinking that I get to show her this beautiful world,” said mom Carly Ainsworth.

“Lots of family time makes me feel positive,” Bo Elyse Ainsworth, age 4, said.

“School at Sprucewood Elementary keeps me positive. I love seeing my friends and learning from my teachers,” Birdie Ainsworth, age 10, said.

“Playing basketball makes me feel positive,” Blake Ainsworth, age 8, said. 

Shelly Davis, Principal of Grace Lutheran School

“Being a principal, it’s about the kids. Things like the pandemic can’t be helped, but to guide kids through difficult things always brings me joy. Everything is a teaching moment. And kids adapt very well; they are very resilient.

“As far as my faith, my hope is always in Jesus, no matter where the world is taking us. Whether it’s earthquakes or pandemics or staying at home for weeks on end—none of that matters in the end. All hope, all peace, all joy can be seen in the Bible. It puts aside everything that’s going on in the world. It’s not that God will take away the pandemic—he could, but he may not—but it doesn’t matter. Whatever’s in the news, God is still God.”

José Enriquez, founder of Latinos in Action

“Connectivity to those you serve is a place where I found that people are most joyous. In December, a young man who is now a student at the U reached out to thank me for the LIA program. He took the time to say, ‘I’m here today because people helped me get here.’ People find happiness in gratitude, and the giver and receiver are both edified. 

“I’ve seen that over and over with young people—the more they serve and connect, the happier they are. It gets them out of their rut. We all need networks, now more than ever. The more places you find that connectivity, the better you are. LIA provides that. All the students need is a place where they can talk to people who are going through what they’re going through. That’s what makes people happy now.”

Lisa Reid, mom and dance teacher

“I’ve loved seeing people get creative about helping each other and make the best of things. Early on when it was hard to get groceries, my neighbor heard me say that I couldn’t find milk, and he brought our family some milk. 

“Our neighborhood got creative about how to keep kids (and parents) happy. Moms called each other and swapped tips and frustrations. We had a neighborhood Easter egg hunt where we put up pictures of eggs in our windows. Neighbors met outside to spend time together. My family does a weekly game night on Zoom. 

“Yes, some people whine and complain and focus on conspiracy theories, but most people I see are being creative about making the best of this situation.”  

Imam Shuaib, Utah Islamic Center

“I see this global pandemic as a fork in the road: it gives us two options in how we move forward. Either we can get back to our lives exactly as they were, or we can continue to work together and realize how closely we are connected. 

“Across the world, millions were affected, especially the elderly. We need their wisdom and their blessings. Everything is not normal, and we mourn their loss. But the greater loss would be that we go back to our lives not having learned anything from all of this. 

“We need to take life more seriously instead of just amassing ‘toys’ and thinking this world is all about having fun. We need to try our best to make this world a better place.”

Don Stirling, Executive Director Miller Family Office, LHM Philanthropy 

“There’s always a tremendous amount of need in our community, and 2020 expanded that need. We see physical and economic challenges with COVID, and anxiety related to a national election. And hopefully all of us saw and recognized that we need to do better with social justice when it comes to our Black and Brown brothers and sisters.  

“The great thing about Utah is that we are not a people who shy away from tough situations. We rise up and do our best to help each other.

“We tried to do something this holiday season that would benefit the whole community. We decorated the Vivint Arena so families would have a place to safely gather, and we gave away movie tickets when people donated to the Food Bank or Toys for Tots. We are inspired by the way our community continues to give.”

Justin Ables, RN in Alta View Hospital’s ICU

“I am trying to see 2020 from my kids’ point of view. They are 3 and 6 years old. It’s my greatest hope, and I suspect, that they’ll look back and remember 2020 as an amazing year. We spent a ton of time together as a family. 

“We tried new things, things that they’ll take with them their whole lives. We biked and camped and did home improvements. We put our phones down and played games together. We gave out quarantine awards.  

“Going into 2021, our family will be better for having gone through this. We’ll carry with us that investment of time and attention and focus and creativity. We’ll remember learning to do those things we’d never done before. I think we’re all a little bit stronger and better because of 2020. We’re all a little more resilient.”

Pastor Jeff Tally, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

“Our joy is not based on happy circumstances, but on a relationship that is selfless and wonderful. One of the things we can do to initiate relationships and spread joy is the same thing we find Jesus doing for us. He showed us his love and kindness with no strings attached. 

“We find joy in doing acts of loving kindness with no strings attached, in the hope that we can be like the one who is perfect at it. We love him because he first loved us. 

“In these weird times it can be especially hard to overcome sadness or fear and show love with no strings attached. But when you do you bring a little bit of connection and joy into the world that wasn't there before. A little light in a dark place can make all the difference.”