Micro-Stories of Light: Bank’s 170th Anniversary and the Lunar Events

Written by: Joaquin

Edited by: Nichelle

Visuals by: Tatiana

With the recent controversies surrounding the European Union turning a blind eye to China’s humanitarian crisis, and the world’s largest Covid-19 vaccine maker stalling on exports, looking through our newsfeeds can prove to be a very hard thing to do right now. However, between all this disorder and turmoil, here are some micro-stories of light to brighten your day:

  1. 170 Good Deeds to Celebrate their 170th Anniversary

While most banks take people’s money in for safekeeping, the Ulster Savings Bank in the United States is in essence giving away money, as they are doing 170 good deeds to celebrate their 170th anniversary. This bank was founded in 1851 in Kingston, New York. On April 12, 2021, the bank launched their initiative to celebrate their anniversary with their “170 acts of kindness.” The bank said that “Celebrating our 170th anniversary with just as many random acts of kindness is our way of spreading kindness and supporting our community following a challenging year.”

The bank’s CEO and President Bill Calderara also issued this statement regarding their new initiative: “As a mutual savings bank, we were created for the benefit of our customers and the community, we have no shareholders. That enables us to keep all profits local and reinvest into the community in a number of ways.”

The random acts of kindness that the bank has performed vary from taking up people’s tabs at restaurants, collecting garbage and giving out free haircuts, groceries and much more. At Kesicke Farm Market in Red Hook, New York on Saturday, May 8, the bank assisted Red Hook VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) in celebrating Mother’s Day by giving free hanging flower baskets to members and their families. Furthermore, one act that particularly stood out was one that took place during Cinco De Mayo. On Wednesday, May 5, they gave out free guacamole to the first 50 customers at a local restaurant. 

  1. Lunar Events

On May 26, Wednesday, a rare phenomenon occurred. An eclipse of the sun’s light by the Earth coincided with the moon turning it a bright red. Known as a blood moon, this was the first total lunar eclipse in over two years. Sophia, a sophomore, says that, “It was so amazing! Definitely something I am happy that I stayed up for.” Another Sophomore, Javi said that, “ Seeing the moon so red that night was an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.” Junior, Nicos said that seeing the moon, “was a nice refreshing sight after the stress of exams.”

The full moon can be referred to as the “Flower Moon” because of the quantity of flowers that are associated with spring in the Northern Hemisphere. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the full moon was at its brightest at around 7:14 a.m. EST on Wednesday morning. Additionally, NASA predicted that the moon would be full from Tuesday night to Friday morning. The Farmer’s Almanac also reports that this particular occasion is a noteworthy period on some Native American calendars because of the increasing warmth, which made it safer to produce offspring, as well as being a perfect time to produce crops and signaling the end of the winter season. If you enjoyed watching this rare phenomenon or missed it here are some other similar events to look out for:

  • June 24 – Strawberry moon
  • July 23 – Buck moon
  • August 22 – Sturgeon moon
  • September 20 – Harvest moon
  • October 20 – Hunter’s moon
  • November 19 – Beaver moon
  • December 18 – Cold moon

Through these micro-stories of light, the BT team hopes to cast some light during a time where everywhere we look, negative news seems to be the only thing that we can see. Although informing ourselves of the news happening all around the world, negative or otherwise, is justified, we must always look for these micro-stories of light to lighten up all of our days. 

Works Cited

-, Andy Corbley, et al. “The Sky Spectacle of the Year With Full Lunar Eclipse and Super Moon Coming This Week.” Good News Network, 25 May 2021, www.goodnewsnetwork.org/may-26th-full-moon-closest-full-moon-of-the-year-total-lunar-eclipse/.

“Honoring Our Anniversary with 170 Acts of Kindness.” 1851-2021 Ulster Savings Bank 170 Years, www.ulstersavings.com/170acts/.

Lewis, Sophie. “Rare ‘Super Flower Blood Moon’ Lunar Eclipse Captured in Stunning Photos from around the World.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 26 May 2021, www.cbsnews.com/news/super-flower-blood-moon-lunar-eclipse-photos/.

Strickland, Ashley. “When to See the Total Lunar Eclipse and ‘Flower’ Supermoon.” CNN, Cable News Network, 25 May 2021, http://www.cnn.com/2021/05/25/world/may-full-moon-lunar-eclipse-scn/index.html.