Reaching Out to Provide Comfort in a Pandemic

Just about everything we see on the news these days is negative. Especially when it’s connected to COVID-19.

The statistics regarding confirmed cases and deaths are staggering. Many of the predictions for the future of this virus are frightening.

It can be difficult to stay positive when bad news just keeps coming. Day after day and week after week.

But there are some people who refuse to let this pandemic get them down. Instead, they look for ways to turn a negative into a positive. Today I’d like to tell you about six of those people.

Art Kits for Kids

Some kids just “get it.” Despite their age, they understand that life is bigger than them. And that what they do for others is more important than what they do for themselves.

Fifth grader Chelsea Phaire from Danbury, Connecticut is one of those children. For her birthday last year, she requested art supplies.

Nothing unusual about that for a kid who enjoys art. But Chelsea’s request was for the purpose of building art kits for children affected by school shootings.

After the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Chelsea shifted gears. Now the 10-year-old arranges for these kits to be sent to children in homeless facilities and in foster care.

Teach Your Children Well

“It means a lot because of the coronavirus,” Chelsea told Fox News. “It’s just really nice to know kids are helping kids during this really stressful time. It really makes me feel happy.”

There’s a back story to Chelsea’s concern and generosity. She turned to art after losing her swim coach to gun violence several years ago.

Thanks to donations, she’s assembled and mailed more than 2,500 art kits. They feature items such as markers and crayons. Plus colored pencils, sketch pads and coloring books.

Prior to the pandemic, Chelsea and her mom traveled as far as Oklahoma to deliver kits. Chelsea’s parents serve in their community and church. They’ve obviously taught their daughter well.

A Heart for the Lonely

Everyone knows who the real heroes are since the coronavirus pandemic started destroying lives.

Many first responders and healthcare providers put their lives on the line every day. Treating coronavirus patients – sometimes without the best personal protective equipment – is a dangerous proposition.

But some of these heroes take it a step farther. Michaelle Vaughan is one of them.

The nurse in Richmond, Virginia has a heart for those separated from their families by the coronavirus.

Be There Bears

She and some of her fellow nurses at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital stuffed bears for those patients. Each “Be There Bear” includes a 20-second audio message from family members.

“We saw this need and the hospital just took it and, you know, here we are,” Vaughan said.

“It’s such an incredible experience to see that we’re touching lives with these little bears.”

NASCAR honored Vaughan and other COVID-19 first responders. Those individuals gave the starting command at the recent Cup Series race in Darlington, South Carolina.

Breakfast for Heroes

Speaking of healthcare workers, some have enjoyed delicious breakfasts recently. Thanks to George Zakhary, who runs the Breakfast for Our Heroes campaign.

Zakhary, whose sister is a healthcare worker, has arranged for breakfast deliveries at more than 20 hospitals. As well as radiology and urgent care centers.

He launched a GoFundMe effort in April as a tribute to essential workers. On the webpage he wrote, “Let’s give back to those that are risking their lives for us.”

Zakhary was acknowledged by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. His tweet included the hashtag #NJThanksYou!”

108-Year-Old Beats COVID-19

She lived through the Spanish Flu. But would she live through COVID-19? It wasn’t looking good after 108-year-old Sylvia Goldsholl was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

But the resident of Allendale Community for Senior Living in New Jersey recovered. Less than a week after testing positive.

She is believed to be the oldest coronavirus survivor in the U.S. She credited her “determination to survive.”

Sylvia spoke of her relatives unable to visit in the hospital. “They knew that I was a wonder,” she said. “I met their expectations.”

Now, That’s a Tip!

Among those affected by the pandemic are hair stylists. Ilisia Novotny is one of them.

On the first day the shop at which she worked in Denver was allowed to reopen, she picked up a shift. And she’s glad she did.

An anonymous customer left her a $2,500 tip on his $27 haircut. He also left $3,300 to be divided among other staff members.

Novotny, a single mom, said this. “After not being able to work for the past few months, I can’t even tell you how much this means to us all.”

Prom-Less No More

North Carolina high school student Rachel Chapman was disappointed when her prom was cancelled. Like countless other students.

But a 7-year-old boy for whom she babysits wasn’t going to let his friend stay sad. So, he threw her a private, socially distant, backyard prom.

They both dressed up for the occasion and sat at opposite ends of a folding table. Complete with food, beverages and flowers.

The boy described Chapman as “one of the best people I’ve known.” “He had all my favorite foods,” Rachel said. “I could tell he put a lot of thought into it.”

We can all learn something from these stories. Yes, things are bad right now. But with a little thought, maybe we can make someone’s day a little brighter.  

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