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LILAC (Long Island Laboring Against COVID-19)

ThankYou & WeCare Initiative

LILAC is an organisation founded by former Stone Soup contributor Sabrina Guo with a mission to serve the communities and workers who have been affected by the coronavirus. Alongside fundraising to provide essential PPE, LILAC also offers emotional support to workers and their patients in the form of letters, artwork, and videos from young people. While the initiative began in Long Island, in partnership with Stone Soup, we are going nation–and even worldwide! Selected works will be featured digitally on our website www.lilacovid19.org and our social media, like Instagram and YouTube! Physical submissions may be requested of you after your work has been selected to be featured digitally.

LILAC’s ThankYou & WeCare Initiative is designed to raise the spirits of all those affected by COVID-19, like medical professionals, essential workers, patients, and more by distributing encouraging letters, cards, artwork, and creative videos. LILAC provides a dedicated space where all can come to enjoy uplifting works by young people all over the world, which show solidarity, support and appreciation. Stone Soup is hosting LILAC on its Submittable site, offering a secure channel for everyone to send in their work, and giving LILAC a means of managing all the submissions that they will then pass on to workers and patients, both in-person to the Long Island community, and virtually on their website, YouTube, and Instagram.

What kind of work are we looking for?

  • ThankYou Letters should be thoughtfully written, and include personal reflections or a level of depth, and can be addressed to any of the various essential workers who are fighting during this time, whether it be healthcare workers, nursing home staff, first responders, grocery workers, home care and home health aids, etc. Feel free to talk about what you are personally grateful for during this pandemic. Please write a minimum of 100 words!
  • WeCare Cards should be creative and display a level of care and thought that went into them. We are receiving these digitally, but we also send physical submissions. Please address these to those patients who are affected by the coronavirus during this time, whether in the hospital, nursing homes, etc. If you’d like to send us an actual hand-created copy let us know on your submission form!
  • Visual Artwork is a great way to encourage nursing homes and medical facilities, as they can be framed and hung as a tangible encouragement for all to see! We are always looking for vivid and innovative drawings, photographs, paintings, collages, and prints to feature on our website and social media platforms, and for donations. All images should be complete scenes in color, filling the entire page, unless it is an intentional and striking use of black and white.
  • Multimedia / video submissions are open to various kinds of content, whether it be dances, skits, sports feats/tricks, or short films as some examples! This is a great way to be creative, so don’t feel held back!

All material should be COVID-19 inspired, though it does not necessarily need to be directly related to events. Also, in solidarity and support of the Black Lives Matter movement, especially in light of recent events in the United States, LILAC would  love to feature any submissions highlighting, encouraging, or empowering  us to continue to fight systemic racial discrimination in our country.  Please feel free to submit materials in support of Black Lives Matter as well, which LILAC will feature in a comprehensive project on our social  media and website.


Biography: All submissions should include a short bio of around 150-200 words. A video bio of less than one (1) minute is optional, but highly encouraged! It is an opportunity to reach out to those affected and show a personal connection. If you feel shy, a short video quickly introducing yourself and simply thanking and encouraging workers and patients is great! Art and video submissions should also come with an accompanying artist's statement of at least 100 words, which details your process of creating the artwork and what you’d like the audience to think about or learn when appreciating the art.

Image requirements: It is best to scan your creations, but if they do not fit on your scanner, please make sure to take a high resolution photo with good lighting and properly in frame. Please upload a high-res image or scan of at least 300 DPI—we cannot accept smaller images. There is no maximum file size, and, in fact, bigger is better in terms of quality! If you are sending in a photograph of a painting or other work, please make sure there is no glare on it. Always prioritize a clear, crisp image of the artwork over a zoomed-in view with no background; we can always crop the image but will need to ask you to resend if the initial image is of low quality.

Submitting multiple images:  We encourage you to submit multiple images at once, but ask that you please group them all in one submission; you can submit up to five files at a time. 

Video: Your video may be fiction or nonfiction films, skits, scenes, or encouraging messages. Both live action and animated videos are also accepted for online publication and for the LILAC YouTube channel. We don't have a length limit, but if you are new to making films, we suggest you keep your video under five minutes. Videos often require teamwork. Please be sure to list in the credits all the people, including adults, who worked on the video. Dances can be your own choreographing, or something that is popular and fun that is being performed on platforms like TikTok, as long as you include credit.  Sports feats or tricks can be a fun way to showcase your talent, but make sure you dedicate your feats to those workers and others affected by the coronavirus in your video!

Spoken Word: Read a poem or a story! You may send us a sound file or a video, though video is preferred. You may read your own work or anything else that might appeal to you, though we ask for something that might encourage or be appropriate for this coronavirus pandemic. If you submit your own work, please also attach a transcript of your poem, spoken word, or story. We are looking for strong presentations. As we are looking for work to publish this means that sound quality is important. A brilliant reading with poor sound will not be accepted. Please test your sound before you make your finished recording. 

If you want an idea of what others have already shared, feel free to visit our Instagram @lilacovid_19 for examples!


For more information about LILAC, here is the GoFundMe campaign and Instagram (IG@lilacovid_19). Stone Soup is proud to support this great initiative, and we hope our readers will consider doing so, as well! 

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.