If you have stories of
positive acts people/organizations are taking in the midst of our
pandemic and you would like to share them, please email them to me at
College Student Sews Face Masks for Communicating with the Hearing-Impaired
21-year-old college student Ashley Lawrence quickly realized that face masks might prevent people who are deaf or hard of hearing from communicating. Because those with hearing disabilities often rely heavily on lip-reading (even if sign language is in use), a mask would almost entirely obscure a verbal message to a hearing-impaired person. With the existing shortage of N95 face masks, Lawrence decided to make her own face masks for sign language speakers during her free time. The face masks, which Lawrence and her mother are making by hand, are made out of fabric with a plastic window over the mouth so that ASL (American Sign Language) speakers could still use lip-reading in their communication. Over the past few weeks, Lawrence has been shipping the masks to deaf individuals and hospitals for free. What started as an effort to make masks for the deaf people in her Kentucky community has now turned into a larger “DHH Mask Project” with a Facebook page to meet the demand for these masks on a national scale. She has started a GoFundMe campaign to cover the cost of shipping, handling, and materials for the masks and reached her goal of $3,300 in only two days.
Man Uses Personal Savings to Buy Gas for Healthcare Workers
Allen Marshall of Detroit, Michigan stood in front of an Exxon gas station last week holding a sign that read: “Free Gas for Nurses.” The gas station was in close proximity to the Detroit Medical Center, and Marshall ended up filling the tanks of between 50 to 80 vehicles that belonged to medical workers at the hospital, spending $900 of his own money. Marshall was inspired to give something back to the local hospital workers after dropping his wife off at her shift at Blue Cross. After Marshall had ran out of money that he had set aside for a new knife-sharpening tool, he continued to stand in front of the gas station with a new sign that read: “Thank You for All You Do!.” Although Marshall’s money ran out, his act of kindness sparked the idea in others to do the same. After hearing this story, a woman contributed another $200 of her own money to Marshall’s cause to keep the positivity going.
NYC Opens Special Centers for Children of Healthcare and Other Essential Workers
The rapid spread of COVID-19 led to the closing of public schools across the country, and now 1.1 million public school students in New York City alone are no longer attending in-person classes. For those who have parents who work in an essential position and are required to work, this leaves them with little place to go, especially if they are too young or facing particular circumstances that make them unable to be alone. Now, children with parents in the medical field, utility departments, postal services, grocery stores, and other essential positions have a place to go during the day while their parents are working on the coronavirus frontlines. 8,000 public school kids in New York City now attend these “regional enrichment centers” that allow them to do their school work in a safe space, eat three meals a day, and learn how to protect themselves from COVID-19 while their parents are at work.
New Jersey Teens Help First Responders and Small Businesses
In New Jersey, 16-year old Drew and 13-year old Heather Paglia created a GoFundMe campaign called “Heroes on the Front Lines” to help small businesses, first responders, senior citizens, and healthcare workers by purchasing food and gift cards from small restaurants to deliver food to people impacted the most by the crisis. They are having local businesses deliver food purchased from their restaurant to those in need. 100% of their funds raised will go to support local businesses. One of their local hospitals asked for gift cards that they could provide to patients being released from the hospital to provide food for them and prevent them from going out in public to buy food. Since launching the GoFundMe page, the siblings have managed to raise more than $2,250, but hope to get more donations to meet their $20,000 goal to support as many small businesses, restaurants, and healthcare workers as possible.
Mystery Maryland Mom is Leaving Free Bagged Lunches for Anyone in Need
In the wake of all of the coronavirus shutdowns, an anonymous Maryland mother has been leaving out hundreds of bagged lunches for her community. The healthy sack lunch meals have been left on a tent-sheltered table at a busy intersection. Hanging from the table is a sign that reads: “For anyone who needs it… I will be leaving some healthy sack lunches on this table for you if you are hungry and need to eat. Made with love by a neighborhood mom in a clean and sanitized kitchen.” The table has been fully stocked with free lunches between 11am and 1:30pm every day for several weeks now. Many community members who are struggling have been grateful to have at least one meal a day guaranteed for themselves and their children when they are unable to work.
Café Owner Gives AUD 10,000 Cash Away to Unemployed Strangers
Café owner Pete Darmos has been forced to close his restaurant in Melbourne, Australia amidst the COVID-19 outbreaks, but he felt inspired to share financial resources with his community last week after being disheartened by the news. After seeing the news, Darmos went to the bank and withdrew $10,000 Australian dollars (AUD) in cash and handed out $100 bills to people standing in line for the social security offices. The 62-year-old has been nicknamed “Generous Pete” for his acts of kindness. Although he initially wanted to keep his identity anonymous, Darmos now hopes that news of his good deed will spread and inspire other people to show compassion to their neighbors, too, in this difficult time for everyone.
Anonymous Donor Pays Fortville, Indiana, Water and Sewage Bills
The Facebook page for the Town of Fortville, Indiana had a new post on Friday which announced that everyone in the community had received a donation in this time of financial uncertainty for many. The donor is paying water and sewer bills for April, and for May if residents had already paid their April bill. The anonymous donor said in a statement that, “The gift was made by local businesses as an encouragement that we all might look out for one another, find the needs of our neighbors, neighborhoods, and do our part in helping them through this uncertain and unprecedented time... and the good times will soon follow.”