COLORADO SPRINGS — There's no arguing that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed a massive portion of our daily lives.
In the midst of these changes, many local businesses are finding ways to overcome and adapt to keep their doors open, while at the same time, help those around them.
Similarly, businesses hit hard are reporting a tremendous outpouring of support from the community.
This outpouring reminding all of us that while this global epidemic has changed so much, it HASN'T changed people's desire for community.
This is We're Open Colorado, a segment dedicated to highlighting local businesses that are still open and finding unique ways to serve the community.
With all of this in mind, let's take a look at JL Fields, a vegan chef, cookbook author, coach, and host of the Colorado Springs Vegan Cooking Academy. She is working to provide community and cooking lessons during a time when everyone is forced apart and cooking more frequently.
When hosting cooking classes in person became no longer an option, Fields decided to take her class online and offer it to the public for free on the weekend.
"We're in my humble little kitchen," stated Fields, "and I see all the other people stirring their soup. Someone the other week, when we were doing our vegan pizza class, asked, 'Can you turn on my camera and show people my camera?'"
Expecting only a few dozen participants, Fields was surprised to find that hundreds wanted to be a part of the virtual community and socialize and learn together.
"Partly it was to learn something new but most of the stuff I'm familiar with already and I just wanted the interaction with other people right now," stated one participant.
"So at a time when people are craving community and at a time when people are suddenly back home with everybody else in their house and they're cooking far more meals and thinking this is the time to learn a hobby; I'm going to swoop in and see if I can be helpful with that," finished Fields.
She plans to continue hosting the free lessons on Sundays and hopes to make it a permanent fixture of her business.
"So the why for me is, I get as much out of doing it as I hope people get when they participate in the classes."
If you know of a business that is working to find innovative ways to keep operating while also working to help the community, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.