© Iakov Filimonov/Dreamstime.com
© Iakov Filimonov/Dreamstime.com
© 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo Courtesy Duke Regional Hospital
Habitat for Humanity of Durham donated a box of face masks to Duke Regional Hospital in Durham, North Carolina.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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%.
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.
Photo Courtesy The Field Museum
The penguins at the Shedd Aquarium aren’t the only animals roaming their closed facilities. SUE, the Chicago Field Museum's favorite dinosaur, decided to go on a stroll around the museum to see the best exhibits in the house. Many musuems and landmarks are currently offering free online virtual tours that people can do from the comfort of their own homes.
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