You can’t turn on the TV, open a newspaper, or check social media without getting a flood of updates and speculations about COVID-19. While it’s important to be informed and to adhere to the preventative measures put in place, all of that fear and negativity can feel overwhelming. However, no matter how dark or dire the situation, there will always be people who go above and beyond to spread love and generosity. Here are a few stories of communities banding together (albeit at a safe social distance, of course) to fight against the coronavirus!
A Cup(cake) of Kindness
A local chain of cupcake shops in Seattle, PinkaBella, has felt the effects of government mandated self-quarantine. With people going out less and less, business has dropped significantly. The shops reduced hours and laid off employees, much like other small businesses during this time. Another devestating blow happened when large gatherings were cancelled left and right, thus cancelling a lot of catering orders for the cupcake shop.
However, things have taken a turn in the last few days. PinkaBella has been getting several large orders for hospitals, firefighters, teachers, and other small businesses struggling to make it. Not only are the cupcakes themselves a small token of joy and kindness during such stressful times, but these orders have helped PinkaBella stay in business when they thought they might have to close up shop for good.
“The people that are doing these orders are keeping us alive,” said Margo Enberg, founder, and CEO of PinkaBella. “The generosity of these people has really come through.” Get more of this heart-warming story here!
Free Lunches For School Kids In Need
Washougal Times, a restaurant in Washougal, Washington, has stepped up in a huge way to meet the needs of their community. Since schools are all either cancelled or moved to online learning, those who receive free and reduced priced lunches are scrambling to find enough food for the duration of the home schooling. This restaurant has a generous solution.
In a Facebook post, the restaurant owner said, “We’re all feeling a little powerless right now. But one thing we know we can do is feed the kids who depend on free or reduced school lunches. Every Tuesday through Friday, from 11am to 3pm, we will have free grab and go lunch available for school aged children in need. Let a staff member know you’d like one, and we’ll get it packed up. No purchase necessary. It will consist of a cup of homemade soup, bread, fruit, and a non perishable snack. We may be able to accommodate dietary restrictions. We don’t know how long we’ll be able to keep it going, but we’ll keep it going as long as we possibly can. Thank you for supporting us. We’re proud to be a member of this community.” See more here!
Mass Food Donation
Today along with our friends at @LevyRestaurants we donated 2,800 pounds of food to @urbangleaners that would have otherwise gone to waste due to recently canceled events. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/OtggD7hbXM
— Moda Center (@ModaCenter) March 14, 2020
The MODA Center in Portland, Oregan, will sit vacant for weeks, which means the food inside of the stadium’s shops and stands will go to waste. That is, until The MODA Center teamed up with Levy Restaurants, a food hospitality company, to donate the 2,800 pounds of food instead of letting it rot.
Becky my wonderful wife came up with a great idea last night, and it’s already going viral. Wash your hands, print this, fill it out and pop it in your neighbour’s letterbox. Simples. #viralkindness #COVID_19uk #coronavirusuk https://t.co/wnxVhvk742 pic.twitter.com/tnVQMIiSMI
— Jonny Green (@MrJonnyGreen) March 13, 2020
Becky Wass, a woman from the UK, sparked a viral kindness card for those who are self-isolating. The idea is that you can print out the card and leave it in your neighbor’s mail box. This is a great way to reach out and let the vulnerable people in our communities know we are willing and able to help support them in their time of need.
Elderly & Disabled Community Shopping Hour
From Wednesday the first hour of trade in all Coles supermarkets will be exclusively open to the elderly & disabled. “Community Hour” will help improve access during this time of unprecedented demand. Stores will also close no later than 8pm so team members can clean & restock.
— Coles Supermarkets (@Coles) March 16, 2020
Several grocery store chains in Australia are implementing a “Community shopping hour.” For the first hour these stores are open, only elderly and disabled folks are allowed to shop, ensuring that this vulnerable population gets the supplies and food they need first. I hope this idea catches on!
The Best Way to Use a Costco Membership
Jesse Farren-James found a great way to help those in her community by organizing trips to the grocery store and offering to use her Costco membership for anyone who wants to buy in bulk. She posted in a community Facebook group about her idea, and has had several people take her up on her offer. Jesse said, “I just feel so lucky that I have so many people in my life to lean on and so heartbroken that not everyone has that.” Find out more here!