There’s a saying that only in times of crisis do you see people’s true nature, and we’re definitely facing a pandemic right now with COVID-19. But people’s true nature isn’t always bad. While the media loves to report on people exhibiting selfish behavior, there’s plenty more stories of people doing great things to help others in need during this time, and I thought it’d be nice to compile an article with some of these examples.
We put out this simple request:
What’s the best example you’ve seen of someone being compassionate and lending a helping hand during this pandemic? Personal stories welcome.
What follows are the submissions we received. If you have a story to add, please leave a comment below. 🙂
I was traveling and my wife and kids were at home when things escalated. One of my neighbors was kind enough to send some food and hygiene products to my family amid coronavirus as my wife was unable to leave the house with little kids. I was deeply touched by this gesture and it restored my faith in humanity.
--William Taylor, VelvetJobs
Social media has been often called the worst part of the internet and it’s surprising to me when I hear or see an overwhelming amount of positivity on social media. The pandemic has brought out the worst in us, but it has also shown that there’s hope in the world. Now that people see that the virus doesn’t attack one race, one gender, or one social class helps people see that at the end of the day we’re only human and that we’re all equal and vulnerable. I now see people from different parts of the world wishing each other well. In a way, this pandemic has brought the world together.
--Mike Richards, Golf Einstein
Here are some examples of what is happening for the past few weeks:
1. One person creates and donates home-sewn reusable and washable cotton masks for healthcare workers and grocery/drug store employees
2. A group has started doing Neighborhood Window Walk, and they have a theme every 3 days so that kids who walk around the neighborhood will get entertained
3. Some people, while currently in a store (e.g., Walmart), have been actively posting in the neighborhood Facebook group about asking those who couldn't go out and offers to buy grocery items for them and delivers through porch drop off.
I have a few inspiring stories to share!
1. Yes, toilet paper is a necessity, yet who ever thought that people would actually feel the need to HOARD IT??? I live in a remote community at least 40 minutes from the nearest town, and need to plan my trips and visit several stores to find groceries I need. Pre-pandemic times, you could find most items at one store. After weeks of finding toilet paper and other paper products completely cleaned off shelves even in a major city like Tucson, the nearest city, an hour drive away, I finally scored! I approached a staff person at a Dollar General in our community, and she reached below her counter and surprisingly handed me a 12 pack of the coveted TP! That deserves a golden elbow bump in my book!
Personal story of paying it forward:
2. I have been a professional pantomime since the mid-eighties, and have performed in libraries, schools, senior care facilities, and the list goes on. I especially enjoy performing live shows in front of audiences, and the interaction with my audience. Seeing their smiling faces, brings joy to my heart and the feeling of communicating without saying a word is beyond description. Recently, I met a ventriloquist who attended one of my library shows, and we are now collaborating on videos for children that are educating about c-virus, and fun for them to watch. Sam, my ventriloquist partner, approached me about doing these videos and has recently rewritten the script to entertain senior citizens who are isolated in nursing homes, not by their own choice. If we can't physically do live shows as we'd prefer, we can at least reach out with these videos to entertain and engage the nursing home residents during the quarantine.
--Donna Brown, FB Author page - Write On Donna
Seamstresses across America, Africa, and South America are gathering to sew washable fabric face masks for areas that are bereft of supplies. Others are mobilizing community soap-making operations, or finding ways to make alcohol-based hand sanitizer to distribute to hospitals whose shelves are empty. One applicant is training disabled adults to make gloves for healthcare workers.
- Community volunteers are organizing education for the deaf, illiterate, and those without access to internet. They are building handwashing stations in densely packed urban slums, planting micro-gardens in anticipation of the coming food shortages, and organizing delivery of groceries and medication to the frail and elderly.
--Lauren Terry, The Pollination Project
I have a small environmental pest control company in Tennessee. My community was ravished by tornadoes on March 3rd and business were shut down shortly after because of the COVID19. In order to help keep many of the restaurants and family owned business, we doubled as a delivery company to those who were affected by the tornadoes and are shut in because of the virus.
We have been delivering meals from out restaurant customers who are cooking the food vs. throwing it out to those who are still without electricity. For our shut in residential customers, we are running errands while we are out on routes like picking up medicine and getting much needed supplies like toilet paper and groceries. For our elderly veterans, we have provided our heroes with masks from our supplies so their grandchildren can see them for short visits. we have also cooked meals for our fire fighters of Engine 32 who have been fighting not only fires but the aftermath of the tornadoes and the panic being created by the virus. These are small gestures than we are doing to make a difference. It goes to show that you do not have to be a giant corporation to make a difference in the community.
--Genma Holmes, genmaholmes.com
Our community has been amazing in terms of sharing resources and helping one another in this time. Here are some examples of what our extraordinary community members are doing:
Creating a COVID-19 mask list serve whereby “all things mask related” are discussed - from donating masks we find in stores to local hospitals, to sewing masks and delivering them to anyone who requests one (e.g. nursing homes and group homes). Other neighbors donate sewing materials, loan sewing machines, and patterns.
Delivering “Christmas in March” to a local refugee family – toys for the children and cleaning supplies (including toilet paper!) and fresh fruits and vegetables for the whole family.
Making sandwiches for kids living in shelters who may not have access to transportation to get to their schools for free meals (neighborhood kids decorated the bags)
Collecting money on multiple neighborhood list serves to give to our local hospitals (Sibley, Suburban, CNMC) to purchase food and meals for staff and administration.
Hosting canned food and supply drives for shelters and organizations handing out food to families (National Center for Children and Families (Greentree Shelter, The Neediest Kids), Martha's Table, Manna, Stepping Stones Shelter).
Offering yoga and sound therapy online free classes.
Raising money to donate 7 dinners to the local shelter.
Driving hundreds of miles to pick up donated food from kind providers to deliver to local communities in need of fruits and vegetables (So What Else, Manna Food, JCA).
Hosting online “tech time” by neighborhood tech specialists to help other neighbors with their technology.
Sharing free online courses and podcasts – e.g. - Yale’s most popular course - The Science of Well Being – is being offered through Coursera and Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience #HopeGoesGlobal. Reaching out to juvenile detention centers to see if they need anything for the youth and sending games and playing cards.
Reading poetry by incarcerated individuals and offering literary suggestions (Incarcerated Free Minds).
Placing rainbows and teddy bears in windows so that kids walking in the neighborhood can go on a rainbow and teddy bear exercise hunt to see how many they can find.
Making and selling potholders and ginger snaps to donate the money to local organizations in need of additional resources.
Arriving early at stores when we hear they have masks, or other supplies needed by first responders, to purchase and donate them.
Picking up groceries and delivering them for friends, family and neighbors who are compromised or older.
This current pandemic has really impacted my business negatively. Being less than a year old, I have already used up my cash reserves and credit and have been struggling to grow. My long term clients are very aware of how tough the current situation has been and they have been so kind to me. Yesterday i opened my shop for one of my clients who is a first responder and is required to maintain short hair and a clean face. He was so grateful that I opened up for him and tipped me 100% of the service cost. Additionally, others have purchased items from my online shop as well as gift cards, to try to help us out while we struggle to stay afloat.
On the other hand, I have tried to do what I can to share the love by providing hair cuts to those who can’t afford them right now but are required to maintain appearance standard for work requirement. I have initiated an IOU system so that they can pay for their services when they are financially able. While it seems like a risky move, you would be surprised at how people are inherently good and will make good on their obligations when the situation allows. I have been fortunate to have wonderful clientele who are very supportive and honest.
--Heather Manto, Independence barber co.
I have about 150 clients and I reached out to all of them over age 60 and those with elderly parents living with them. I told them if the Coronavirus got worse and they felt jittery about going to the grocery store, I'd go for them and leave their groceries on their front porch. The response was wonderful. So many were filled with gratitude, because of the sheer thought and offer.
--James Russell Lingerfelt, JamesRussell.org
The deadly virus, Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread in an unprecedented manner throughout the world. The impact is not only felt throughout various sectors but most importantly, the general public. Many positive incidences have come out of this situation. A charity organization based in the UK, Beauty Banks is supplying poor people with essential toiletries and launched an emergency virus-related appeal. Local citizens are recruiting volunteers to help local residents with groceries and basic needs, who are elderly, vulnerable or stuck at home without any family or friends nearby. The UK also launched a Postcard Campaign that is aimed at helping people look out for their neighbors. The postcard can be printed at home which allows the neighbors to offer the delivery of shopping supplies like urgent supplies. They also can talk on the phone and gives the recipients their names and phone number to contact.
--Jennifer Willy, Etia
I like to share the best example during COVID-19 pandemic.
Distributing FREE FOOD to poor families.
There are many people in the city living their lifestyle on daily wages and struggling to put food on the tables. They have families who are now suffering more due to the outbreak of the virus. A non-profit organization named WHO IS HUSSAIN is preparing and distributing meals and also asking people to donate food to encourage kindness. They are also educating everyone on how to care for themselves and anyone residing near while staying home.
--Syed AliHasan, FIlm Jackets
I have a couple of examples:
1) A neighbour posted on our Facebook community site. She is a senior nurse in an end-of-life care home. The home had done an on-line order for food shopping. The large-supermarket refused to fulfil the quota of 9 loaves of bread for the nursing home and would only provide 2 loaves. As a result, the local community forfeited their loaves to provide the care home with this basic necessity.
2) We have seen multiple social media posts offering support and help. My elderly parents received a letter through their door with a name and number, offering to pick up food and medical supplies. This was particularly important as many senior members of the population do not use social media.
The community spirit is in full force at the moment and it is fabulous to see, long may it continue!
--Tracey Evans, Tracey Evans Writing Services
Our local foodbank organization put a notice on Facebook saying that they were running low on donations. This was a difficult problem to solve. Their usual collection points have been reduced to try and contain the spread, while fewer people are willing to drop off any goods themselves.
However, one follower offered to collect food from other followers' houses to donate to the foodbank. Not only are they constantly driving back and forth every day, but they've also turned it into a challenge to get 5000 items donated before Easter - and are well on course to achieve it. I thought this was such a great gesture in difficult times!
--Adam Lumb, Cashcow Ltd
*One thing I'm seeing a lot of is people taking care of the elderly*. Since coronavirus can be potentially life-threatening to older people, most of us have recognized the elderly in our lives need help during this time. I've personally witnessed many people (even strangers) doing really great things for elderly folks like going grocery shopping for them, buying them supplies, and going out of their way to make sure they are safe, secure, and comfortable during this time. I love seeing our society value and take care of the elderly population, and it's been a very positive, heart-warming thing to see.
--Chane Steiner, Crediful
Best examples of generosity and humanity during the coronavirus pandemic: The best example I know of is someone I'm connected with on LinkedIn.
He's one of those serial entrepreneur types who is involved in a ton of different businesses. During the virus, he's pretty much completely shut down his normal business activities to help fight the virus.
He's working long days every day to find affordable medical equipment like masks, and get them into the hands of medical professionals who need them. And he's giving it to them at COST.
This man is losing god knows how much money by doing this, but to him it was an easy decision.
--Max Kimmel, One Shot Finance