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Coronavirus stories: Kindness and joy emerge in midst of COVID-19 outbreak

Coronavirus stories: Kindness and joy emerge in midst of COVID-19 outbreak

Humanity at its best

© Iakov Filimonov/Dreamstime.com

In times of trouble, it can be more difficult than ever to stay positive. But as coronavirus sweeps through countries, people across the world are unifying to take care of one another. Funds are being raised, groceries are being delivered and, most importantly, kindness and compassion are being shown. If you’re in need of a smile — and we all are — here are a few stories that should do the trick.

A gym teacher keeps the workouts going

A gym teacher keeps the workouts going

Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune

According to the Chicago Tribune, a Downers Grove, Illinois, gym teacher is doing his best to keep his students up and active while practicing social distancing. Joe Schallmoser, the gym teacher and athletic director at Avery Coonley School, shows up to his students’ and coworkers’ home and follows a routine that includes a joke, light conversation, and quick workouts like burpees.

Unidentified customers leave a stimulus check tip

Unidentified customers leave a stimulus check tip

Colonial Steakhouse/Yelp

An Arkansas steakhouse manager was in for a surprise after discovering an unidentified couple had left their stimulus check as a tip. According to The Daily Meal, after the couple picked up their order from Colonial Steakhouse in Pine Bluff, a $1,200 tip was left in their wake.

Social media leader donates to LLC

Social media leader donates to LLC

JStone/Shutterstock

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took to his platform to announce that he would be donating $1 billion of his Square equity, approximately 28% of his wealth, to the LLC Start Small to fund global COVID-19 relief. After the pandemic has been disarmed, Dorsey announced that the funding would shift to helping girls’ health and education.

A package deliverer goes the extra mile

A package deliverer goes the extra mile

Photo Courtesy Carrie Blasi

Carrie Blasi was over the moon after a kindhearted FedEx worker took the extra step to sanitize a package delivered to her home. Blasi has an 11-year-old daughter who has Type 1 diabetes, so she posted a sign on her door that read “Someone in this house has an autoimmune disorder.” After cleaning the box, the delivery man left a note stating that the box had been sanitized and told the family to stay safe.

An organization delivers Passover meals

An organization delivers Passover meals

New York Daily News

Just in time for Passover, the organization UJA-Federation of New York — a Jewish philanthropic group that works to care for people — joined more than 75 partners and local community centers to buy, prepare and deliver meals to New York City, Westchester County, and Long Island citizens. According to the New York Daily News, approximately 8,500 meals were delivered.

Starbucks extends free coffee offer to frontline workers

Starbucks extends free coffee offer to frontline workers

Papin Lab/Shutterstock

According to The Daily Meal, Starbucks has extended its offer of free coffee for frontline workers through the month of May. Previously, the franchise had announced first responders and frontline workers would receive free drinks until May 3, but with coronavirus still in full effect, the company extended the free offer until May 31.

Lady Gaga keeps the show going, raises $35 million

Lady Gaga keeps the show going, raises $35 million

© Anita Zvonar | Dreamstime.com

Music and film star Lady Gaga has joined with Global Citizen — an advocacy group — and raised $35 million for coronavirus efforts, according to the Associated Press. And together, with other musical sensations like Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Eddie Vedder and J Balvin, Gaga will launch a live TV special.

An Iraq War veteran creates face masks with community members

An Iraq War veteran creates face masks with community members

Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune

According to the Chicago Tribune, Esteban Burgoa, an Iraq War veteran, is going the extra mile to ensure people receive an adequate number of face masks. After learning masks were running low in mid-March, Burgoa spent a night teaching himself how to sew. That same night, he created a mask. The next day he purchased the materials he would need to make hundreds more. Now, together with fellow Latino immigrants, Burgoa plans to make 1,500 masks.

New dating apps are emerging to keep people connected

New dating apps are emerging to keep people connected

Photo Courtesy Quarantine Together

The dating game has completely changed. While, previously, singles would connect on a dating app before gathering for social interaction with a potential partner, these days dates are impossible. That’s where Quarantine Together comes in. The new dating app encourages people to wash their hands and, once they confirm that they have, matches them with a date every evening at 6 p.m. Daters can also use private text links to share a video chat.

Running clubs run errands for New Yorkers

Running clubs run errands for New Yorkers

Prospect Park Track Club

Running clubs, which previously dominated New York City parks, are putting their feet to the pavement for a different reason. According to the New York Daily News, members are running errands to gather essentials for people at a high risk of catching coronavirus who can no longer leave their homes.

Seniors can dance again

Seniors can dance again

AP Photo/Federica Narancio

Elderly gym-goers used to their weekly workout class can dance again. According to the Baltimore Sun, one dance instructor is uploading dance workouts that senior center residents can follow in the comfort of their own homes to stay active and fit.

Dating apps are opening premium features to keep people connected

Dating apps are opening premium features to keep people connected

© Kaspars Grinvalds | Dreamstime.com

Tinder — the popular dating app — has made its premium Passport feature free. The Passport feature will give users anywhere around the world where the app is available the opportunity to connect while self-quarantining.

A public school district provides extra meals for students

A public school district provides extra meals for students

Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media

Hartford County Public Schools will be closed for spring break, but school staff is working to guarantee no child is left hungry during the break. According to the Baltimore Sun, an additional, refrigerable, meal bag will be available for each child at every meal site.

Teachers are reconnecting with students through stories

Teachers are reconnecting with students through stories

Courtesy of Fountain Hill Elementary

Teachers in Pennsylvania at Fountain Hill Elementary no longer have the opportunity to connect with their students in classroom quarters, so they’re doing the next best thing. According to the Morning Call, teachers are recording themselves reading popular tales like “Where the Wild Things Are” and “How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?” for their students to listen to through the day or even as a bedtime story.

Animals shelters are receiving an overflow of foster applications

Animals shelters are receiving an overflow of foster applications

Photo Courtesy One Tail at a Time

Individuals with more time at home are finding a way to not only give back to others, but to the animal community as well. One Tail at a Time, an animal shelter in Chicago, said recently it has received hundreds of foster applications for pets who need a place to call home.

A philanthropic organization raises $100,000 for nonprofits

A philanthropic organization raises $100,000 for nonprofits

© Rido | Dreamstime.com

Four Howard County, Maryland, philanthropic organizations, known collectively as HoCoRespond, have raised $100,000 in emergency funding for local nonprofits, according to the Baltimore Sun.

One hospital helps another

One hospital helps another

© Erik Lattwein | Dreamstime.com

With COVID-19 affecting older patients more than children, Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago decided to loan resources to a nearby hospital. According to the Chicago Tribune, the children’s hospital donated 10 ventilators to Northwestern Memorial.

A high school junior uses resources to make face masks

A high school junior uses resources to make face masks

Contributed Photo/David Sabol

Andrew Sabol, a junior at Salisbury High School in Pennsylvania, noticed a shortage of medical equipment needed by first responders, so he used a 3D printer to create his own prototype of face masks. According to the Morning Call, the high schooler has already created six masks and 12 filter devices with more products on the way.

A father serenades a living facility on lockdown

A father serenades a living facility on lockdown

Photo Courtesy Jenny DeLoach

After her grandmother's living facility went on lockdown, Jenny DeLoach went to drop off goods. When she arrived, she was treated to a beautiful sight: her father, David DeLoach, was already there, serenading her grandmother and friends with tunes on his guitar.

Roanoke civilians leave free goods

Roanoke civilians leave free goods

Photo Courtesy David DeGuzman

Knowing that there might be others in need who can’t make their way to their local grocery store, people in Roanoke, Virginia, are leaving non-perishables and water bottles in little free libraries.

A family celebrates grandmother’s birthday in style

A family celebrates their grandmother’s birthday in style

Photo Courtesy Sara Byrne

This family couldn’t overlook their grandmother’s 95th birthday. Although they kept their distance, the family (and their dog) arrived with signs and balloons as the grandmother watched safely from her porch.

Amazon aims to hire 100,000 workers

Amazon aims to hire 100,000 workers

Halfpoint/Shutterstock

According to a recent report, Amazon announced that it will hire 100,000 people across the U.S. to fulfill the influx of delivery orders. As more people are asked to shelter in place and practice social distancing, this increase in jobs will help people receive the goods they need.

A Florida foundation raises nearly $700,000

A Florida foundation raises nearly $700,000

Community Foundation/Courtesy

This special report from the Orlando Sun-Sentinel highlights how one organization in Florida is doing its best to provide for its community. The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties raised nearly $700,000 in the first 72 hours of its campaign to help residents affected by COVID-19.

Musicians in Connecticut host live music series

Musicians in Connecticut host live music series

Nataly Mayak/Dreamstime.com

Musicians in Connecticut are bringing the music to their fans. According to the Hartford Courant, musicians in the community are hosting live streams during which they perform hit songs for fans to enjoy from home. Names of the live streams range from “The Quarantined Series” to “Work from Home.”

A business mogul donates 500,000 kits to US

A business mogul donates 500,000 kits to US

PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP via Getty Images

The New York Daily News recently reported that Jack Ma, the co-founder of Alibaba Group — a Chinese e-commerce group — and China's richest man, will be donating 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and 1 million masks to the U.S. to assist in relief efforts.

Retailers create early hours

Retailers create early hours

Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune

Retailers have established early hours in efforts to protect the elderly and civilians at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. According to the Chicago Tribune, Jewel-Osco, Whole Foods and Dollar General are a few stores in the Chicago area that have implemented the policy.

A catering company feeds the homeless

A catering company feeds the homeless

CONTRIBUTED/MATT BUBBENMOYER

Roots Catering, a food establishment in Pennsylvania, planned to unveil its new kitchen trailer this March, according to The Morning Call. But after a Lehigh Valley Wine Trail event was canceled amid the coronavirus outbreak, the company had nowhere to distribute the food. So Roots did the next best thing and served free lunch and dinner at the Safe Harbor homeless shelter in Easton. Korean barbecue tacos and loaded baked potatoes were only a few things on the menu for those in the homeless shelter.

A Chicago high school student creates a campaign to feed classmates

A Chicago high school student creates a campaign to feed classmates

Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune

A student at Chicago’s Lincoln Park High School is doing what it takes to help her classmates who might not have food to eat. According to the Chicago Tribune, junior Jessica Tansey has launched A Meal Today, A Meal Tomorrow — a campaign that partners with local restaurants to provide food for those in need.

 

A Chicago non-profit raises $8 million

A Chicago non-profit raises $8 million

Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago — a non-profit organization — launched the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund to provide food, housing, health care, child care and other essentials to those in need. According to the Chicago Tribune, the organization raised $8 million for the hardest-hit residents in one day.

A landlord lends a helping hand to a tenant

A landlord leads a helping hand to a tenant

Photo Courtesy Amy Gledhill

Comedian Amy Gledhill received a message from her landlord letting her know that, should her financial circumstances change, they can, together, figure out the best way her rent should be paid. Gledhill challenged all landlords to act similarly and encouraged everyone to help one another.

Adorable penguins roam the Shedd Aquarium

Adorable penguins roam the Shedd Aquarium

Photo Courtesy Shedd Aquarium

Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is closed to visitors because of COVID-19, but a few waddling guests are still touring the facility. Penguins are freely roaming through the Shedd, exploring exhibits and being as adorable as penguins can be.

Josh Gad reads a story live

Josh Gad reads a story live

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images Entertainment

When your children begin feeling antsy after being indoors for a few days, Josh Gad has you covered. Gad, known for voicing the character Olaf from the hit film “Frozen,” read "Olivia Goes to Venice" live for parents to play for their children.

John Legend performs free, live concert for fans at home

John Legend performs free, live concert for fans at home

Sarah Morris/ Getty Images Entertainment

EGOT award-winning artist John Legend joined Coldplay frontman Chris Martin in an effort to provide live music for those practicing social distancing. Both artists performed live, free concerts from the comfort of their own homes for others to watch and enjoy at home.

Students go on break with books thanks to librarian

Students go on break with books thanks to librarian

Photo Courtesy Tom Bober

Tom Bober, a librarian, expanded the number of books students could check out from their library while away from school. Students took home armloads of books.

First graders write the cutest letters to assisted living residents

First graders write the cutest letters to assisted living residents

Julie Chalberg/Chicago Tribune

A first grade class at Eugene Field Elementary School in Park Ridge, Illinois, spent a day writing letters to residents at Summit of Uptown, a senior living facility, in hopes of brightening their day. According to the Chicago Tribune, one student penned a letter hoping that the reader’s “glasses will work.”

A famous designer switches from producing stylish dresses to preventive face masks

A famous designer switches from producing stylish dresses to preventive face masks

ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Christian Siriano, the famed designer known for creating evening gowns and party dresses, announced through his Twitter account that he will repurpose his sewing team to create protective face masks. According to a story reported by the New York Daily News, Sirano has been in contact with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and has been given the green light to proceed.

Colorado mother has fun with friends while social distancing

Colorado mother has fun with friends while social distancing

Photo Courtesy Heraa Hashmi

This mother in Colorado is social distancing in style. She recently sent a photo to her daughter showing how she and her neighbors are remaining 6 feet apart but still keeping in touch with one another.

A Maryland resident donates 14,000 masks

A Maryland resident donates 14,000 masks

Paul W. Gillespie/Capital Gazette

Rick Levin, the co-owner of Pasadena Boat Works, has been storing N95 respirators for four years and donating them to children going through chemotherapy for cancer. Now, according to the Capital Gazette, Levin, a Maryland resident, is donating 14,000 masks to the state health department.

Grandparents receive a helpful note from a tiny neighbor

Grandparents receive a helpful note from a tiny neighbor

Photo Courtesy Isabella Cosh

A young woman's grandparents received a note in the mail from a tiny neighbor. Evie, age 6, listed her parents’ contact information in case they were in need of food, medicine or just a chat while self-isolating.

The Staples Center donates 7,000 pounds of food

The Staples Center donates 7,000 pounds of food

Photo Courtesy Staples Center

The Los Angeles Staples Center donated 7,000 pounds of food to The Midnight Mission and the Los Angeles Mission, homeless shelters and rehabilitation program centers in California.  The food was delivered with the help of Levy Restaurants, a hospitality company, and its team of chefs.

DJ D-Nice hosts #ClubQuarantine

DJ D-Nice hosts #ClubQuarantine

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images Entertainment

D-Nice, a DJ who began his career in the 1980s with the hip-hop group Boogie Down Productions, has been hosting virtual dance parties on Instagram Live. Dubbed #ClubQuarantine, the event has attracted more than 100,000 viewers, including Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and supermodel Naomi Campbell.

A kind resident offers to supply goods for neighbors

A kind resident offers to supply goods for neighbors

Photo Courtesy Dustin Ellenberger

While riding an elevator in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle, a young man noticed a note of kindness posted on the wall. A resident in his building named Kinzie offered to supply food, groceries and essentials to anyone unable to leave their home.

Starbucks steps up for first responders

Starbucks steps up for first responders

Photo Courtesy Starbucks

Starbucks announced in a press release that it will be providing free coffee to all first responders who stop by until May 3. And, according to The Daily Meal, that’s not all. The famous coffee chain is also donating $500,000 to U.S. frontline responders. Half of the lump sum will assist in the distribution of 50,000 care packages to healthcare workers, and the other half will be used to purchase personal protective equipment and essential medical items.

Shondaland donates to real-life heroes

Shondaland donates to real-life heroes

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images Entertainment

Shondaland, the storytelling company behind major TV hits like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder”, donated N95 masks from the set of "Station 19" — a show about firefighters — to the real-life heroes. The Ontario Fire Department will use the masks to protect themselves during the COVID-19 response.

A financial company donates supplies to local EMS

A financial company donates supplies to local EMS

Photo Courtesy Mecklenburg EMS

Mecklenburg Emergency Medical Services Agency in Charlotte, North Carolina, received a donation of hand sanitizer and bleach wipes from Sunlight Financial, a nearby company that has employees working remotely.

A Yale junior gathers 1,300 volunteers to deliver supplies

A Yale junior gathers 1,300 volunteers to deliver supplies

Jessie Wardarski/AP

Liam Elkind, a junior at Yale University, and his friend, Simone Policano, gathered 1,300 volunteers in 72 hours to deliver necessities, like groceries and medicine, to older New Yorkers and others who might be at risk of contracting coronavirus. According to the Associated Press, their organization, Invisible Hands, aims to target low-risk volunteers to deliver goods across the city. Volunteers from major metropolitan areas like Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and London are all hoping to bring the program to their city.

A non-profit donates face masks

A non-profit donates face masks

Photo Courtesy Duke Regional Hospital

Habitat for Humanity of Durham donated a box of face masks to Duke Regional Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. 

A theatre production manager donates props

A theatre production manager donates props

John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune

Performances at Goodman Theatre in Chicago are suspended but that hasn’t stopped Scott Conn, the theatre’s production manager, from making a difference. According to the Chicago Tribune, Conn collected as many as 200 N95 respirator masks, originally to be used as props, for local healthcare workers. Conn also included medical gloves and goggles in his donation of supplies.

Volunteers sew masks for medical staff

Volunteers sew masks for medical staff

Photo Courtesy Dima Ali

Volunteers are pulling out their sewing machines and fabrics to create face masks for Chicagoland doctors and nurses facing a shortage, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Picking up the coffee tab for Connecticut first responders

Picking up the coffee tab for Connecticut first responders

Melissa Machado/Hartford Courant

According to the Hartford Courant, Paul Critchley, a resident of Ellington, Connecticut, partnered with his local Dunkin’ to pick up the tab for any first responder who makes a stop at the shop on Wednesday, March 25.

A Lehigh Valley group fires up their sewing machines

A Lehigh Valley group fires up their sewing machines

Amy Shortell/The Morning Call

Ruth Dennison, a retired 30-year oncology nurse at Lehigh Valley Health Network, posted on her Facebook page asking if individuals she once worked with needed face masks sewn to wear while working. Her Facebook group, “Masks for the Lehigh Valley” attracted more than 700 people and volunteers willing to sew masks. According to The Morning Call, Dennison and five other organizers — now dubbed Mask Force 2020 — will aim to produce more than 3,000 masks.

Baltimore chefs are creating video cooking tutorials

Baltimore chefs are creating video cooking tutorials

Ulysses Muñoz/Baltimore Sun

Cooking just got a whole lot easier. According to the Baltimore Sun, for the next few months, local Baltimore-area chefs will be leading at-home tutorials to show you how to take even the simplest dishes to the next level.

A sportswear manufacturer uses baseball gear to produce gowns and masks

A sportswear manufacturer uses baseball gear to produce gowns and masks

Photo Courtesy Fanatics

Fanatics — a licensed sportswear company — has teamed with Major League Baseball to produce masks and gowns for first responders. According to The Morning Call, the manufacturing company plans to produce up to 1 million masks and gowns. The first fabric to be used will be taken from New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies jerseys.

A 5-year-old boy donates to his favorite group

A 5-year-old boy donates to his favorite group

Photo Courtest Slate Belt Regional Police

The Slate Belt Regional Police Force in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, posted to its Facebook page asking for any and all donations of disinfecting wipes. Locals reacted swiftly, including 5-year-old Ethan Bond. According to The Morning Call, Ethan is a police and fire department fan who wanted to do his part.

Brooklyn resident rounds up Metro cards

Brooklyn resident rounds up Metro cards

Photo Courtesy Elizabeth Adams

According to the New York Daily News, Elizabeth Adams, a Brooklyn resident, is hoping to make a difference in the lives of essential workers. Using a Google spreadsheet, she connects people across the city with unused Metro cards to essential workers who still have to travel to work.

Connecticut responds to official’s call for donations

Connecticut responds to official’s call for donations

Brad Horrigan/Hartford Courant

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and the state’s hospitals put out a call to the public asking for protective equipment for health care providers, and citizens answered. Public schools, dental clinics and casinos are just some of the organizations lending a helping hand, according to the Hartford Courant.

New York businesses give first responders free food

New York businesses give first responders free food

Photo Courtesy Cole Riley

Over 50 New York City businesses are coming together to give doctors and nurses free food and drinks as they work tirelessly at local hospitals. According to the New York Daily News, through #FoundersGive — the name of the group — more than 20,000 products have already been donated.

Baltimore artists keep the show going

Baltimore artists keep the show going

Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun

Artists in Baltimore are bringing new meaning to the saying “the show must go on.” According to the Baltimore Sun, from live streaming concerts to providing virtual art tours to singing (from a distance) outside homes, artists in Baltimore are finding new and creative ways to bring the stage right to your living room.

Popeyes works with nonprofit to provide meals to children

Popeyes works with nonprofit to provide meals to children

ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Popeyes is doing more than frying up crispy chicken. According to The Daily Meal, the chicken chain is partnering with No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit working to end childhood hunger in America. No Kid Hungry estimates that children in need will miss out on more than 101 million meals per week due to school closures. People who order from Popeyes will have the option to include a donation to the nonprofit, and Popeyes will match the donation 100%.

A Chicagoan proposes to his bride-to-be in style

A Chicagoan proposes to his bride-to-be in style

Photo Courtesy Peter Gubernat

Although Matt Gorski’s plan to propose to his future wife amongst family and friends was canceled due to the virus, he still made the most of the proposal. According to the Chicago Tribune, Gorski went on a jog with his fiance-to-be along the lakefront before he went down on bended knee and popped the question. Family and friends joined later with recorded videos congratulating the happy couple.

SUE the dinosaur explores the Field Museum

SUE the dinosaur explores the Field Museum

Photo Courtesy The Field Museum