Good People Doing Good Things — In Times Of Trouble

Wow … I have been writing a lot lately about the dark side of human behaviour in this time of pandemic crisis, but tonight when I pulled up my first resource in search of good people, I realized there is a whole ‘nother side!  Many, many people are doing things to help one another these days.  Some famous people, such as the heads of companies like Lowes and Carnival, and entertainers like Rihanna have done some wonderful things to help others, but for this post I am going only with the everyday people who have stepped up to the plate to help their fellow humans.  I find that I can relate more to the ones who don’t have anything more than you and I, who aren’t billionaires or millionaires, but just people with good hearts.  Now, grab your box of tissues and read on …


Helping seniors ‘stay in touch’ …

Most nursing homes in countries all ‘round the globe have banned visitors, fearing they could bring in the coronavirus and wipe out the entire population of oldsters within a week.  Understandable, but still … imagine you are 80 years old, stuck in a nursing home and nobody comes to visit.  For some, they will not live to see their families ever again. Jill-SarahEnter Jill Ashworth Valadao and Sarah Otis Firth, two young women in Massachusetts who saw a need, rolled up their sleeves and got to work.  Firth was browsing Facebook when she came across a heartbreaking picture of an adult daughter standing outside the window of her mother’s room at a nursing home, holding a white board as her only means of communication.

“I thought these poor people in the nursing homes; they’re so scared and isolated. I wish I could get a bunch of iPads to give to them.”

She talked to her friend Jill about starting a fundraiser together to buy iPads for nursing homes so the residents could use FaceTime to chat with family and friends, and they agreed to see what they could do.  They created the Facebook fundraiser page “FaceTime for Nana” on March 17 with a goal of $300, enough to purchase one iPad.

Four days later, Firth and Valadao had raised nearly $5,000, enough for 16 iPads!  The first three iPads were carefully delivered by Firth and Valadao Friday morning to Autumn Glen’s memory unit in Dartmouth and Alden Court Nursing Care and Royal of Fairhaven Nursing Center in Fairhaven, Massachusetts.Sarah-ipadLater that day Firth got a message from Alden Court activity director Sharon Jensen thanking them on behalf of the residents and staff for the new iPad.

The message read:

“During such a difficult time, these sweet gestures literally make the residents days. Yesterday more than 75 face time calls were made to families at Alden. This process has kept our families connected and reassured that their loved one is safe and content. The residents get a kick out of the technology and share a few laughs/smiles when they see their loved one on the ipad.

Our goal is to find positive things to keep the resident spirits up and this is one of the many good things happening. Today, the residents and the staff will be receiving performances from local young performers donating their time and their talents to present mini concerts for the residents VIA FACE TIME. The Ipad gift was a blessing today. So thank you Sarah for thinking of Alden Court.”

Valadao said she loves to see the positive come out of a negative situation.

“I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Our society needed to slow down and be reminded of what matters. So when you’re feeling angry with the situation stop and look for the good that is coming out of all of this. There’s a lot of good.”

And I think that is a piece of advice that we should all listen to, myself included.


Awesome boss!

Bryan Morin owns a small pizzeria, Federico’s Pizza & Restaurant, in New Jersey.  He does a decent business, but like most small business owners, he isn’t made of money.  When New Jersey governor Phil Murphy ordered that restaurants close their dining rooms, Bryan headed straight to the bank and took out a $50,000 loan.  No, not to tide him over and not to take a vacation …

Bryan wasn’t even thinking of his own lost revenue, but when he returned to the restaurant, Morin announced to his 20 employees that, at least for the next two months, they would receive their regular paychecks.  Morin says he is hoping that by summer, the bans will be lifted and tourists will return to the Jersey shore, but meanwhile, he’s taking care of his employees. Bryan-Morin

“My father told us a long time ago: You’ve got to take care of your employees first, because without those employees, you don’t have a business at all. I definitely owe them a debt — even if it means I might go into debt.”


Awesome landlord!

Nathan Nichols, of South Portland, Maine, owns a couple of rental properties.  Both properties are rented by hourly and service workers who are currently laid off due to the pandemic crisis.  He posted on Facebook about two weeks ago …

“Because I have the good fortune and of being able to afford it and the privilege of being in the owner class, I just let them know I would not be collecting rent in April. I ask any other landlords out there to take a serious look at your own situation and consider giving your tenants some rent relief as well.”

At least one other landlord has committed to doing the same …

Sarah-Chittick

However, he made a follow-up post a few days later to clarify …

“Every so often, however, there is a comment from a landlord who would like to help their tenants, but simply can’t, or from a tenant who wishes their landlord would help them, but doubts they will. To these people, I say: I don’t know your situation and I don’t want to imply that a landlord who isn’t forgoing rent is somehow a bad person.”


Little Free Libraries … housing toilet paper???

Do you guys remember in October 2018 when I wrote about the death of Todd Bol, the man who created Little Free Libraries?  Yeah, I know … I can’t remember yesterday, either.  Anyway, Mr. Bol created a system of tiny little wooden structures where people can exchange books.  It caught on, and now there are some 75,000 Little Free Libraries in all 50 states and 88 countries! Todd BolWell, now with many people struggling to pay the rent and buy food, let alone able to find a roll of toilet paper to buy, some of the Little Free Libraries are being partly converted to Little Free Pantries!  Pantries from Vancouver, Canada to Arlington, Massachusetts are now filled with toilet paper, canned goods, books, hand sanitizer, and toiletries.  Said one lady from Minnesota …

“My kids have invested a lot of time into just making sure there’s stuff up there. The experience for them being able to be a part of something that gives back. That’s really cool.”

And lest you are concerned about germs and safety, local pantry caretakers are reminding visitors to wash their hands and sanitize the pantry door handles before handling its contents.

Little-free-pantry-1little-free-pantry-2Little-free-pantry-3Little-free-pantry-4


Well, folks, I came across many stories like these.  They balance out the ones we’ve been hearing about hoarders, and people stealing others’ packages off their doorsteps. I was lucky last week when on two occasions an opportunity to be a good people, albeit in a very small way presented itself, and I have to tell you, it felt good, made me want to find another such opportunity.  How ‘bout we all try to find just one such in the coming week … help someone load their groceries, offer to pick up a few things at the store for a neighbor, even just a kind smile and a “how are you?” to people you pass in the grocery store.  “Social distancing” doesn’t mean we can’t help one another in some small ways.

49 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things — In Times Of Trouble

  1. I’ve been out of the loop for the early part of 2020, busy with other ventures. Now that I’m self isolated (not because I’m sick but because I’m immuno-compromised), I’m back on WordPress. Once again, your Wednesday posts are my favourite. I’ve shared this on Facebook for others to see. Thank you!

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  2. You most likely will not be surprised that I already heard about Sarah and Jill. My Son lived in Fairhaven prior to purchasing a home in another town near there. You also know how much I love the late Todd Bol’s Little Free Libraries. I had read about the clever adaptation to Little Free Pantries in their newsletter. I love reading about the everyday “regular” good folks doing good things more than those people of great wealth. Not to disparage what some of the wealthy have and are doing, it is indeed commendable. To me though, if one has the wealth to give and still have an abundant wealth remain it should be a no brainer for them to give during times such as these. That said, please forgive the divergence from the point of my comment, it always brightens the day to read your weekly posts about the often unnoticed generosity and actions of people seeing a need and creatively meeting it. “Don’t be content in your life just to do no wrong, be prepared every day to try and do some good.” – Sir Nicholas Winton. Thank-you!

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  3. I love these, especially the little free pantries. So easy for everyone to participate…
    The Government in UK has received 405,000 sign ups in its call for volunteers to deliver food parcels to those who are in quarantine and have no one to get food for them.
    I think, despite criticism about our government, the British people usually rally around the Government when critical things like this happen. Thank God we still have all this decency in the world.
    I have connected my own family through group WhatsApp communications and we check in each day to let each other know that we are all doing OK. I also post a funny video each morning… Just to give people a smile to start each isolated day. I spend time checking in with isolates friends who live alone too (every day). I have asked a couple for next of kin details in case they get sick and I can not longer reach them. You would be amazed at the number of people who really have no one looking out for them. People can get forgotten in a crisis. I am doing my best to spend half my day just chatting with people who are alone and liable to feel depression very quickly. I find it tiring, but if it makes someone else’s day better, then that makes it all good.

    This is why you haven’t seen me here commenting so much Jill… I am spreading myself a bit thin sometimes. 🤗

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    • Hmmmm … I wonder what that means? 🙄 Seems the more they have, the less willing they are to share. I’ve heard it whispered that it will be illegal to evict anyone for non-payment of rent … in some states, anyway. But … that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t still owe a bundle at the end of the day. We live in townhouse apartments … a complex of some 400 … and our landlord has not mentioned anything, either. Luckily, my daughter is a Nurse-manager, so her job is safe for the moment, plus we have my social security, but our neighborhood is not comprised of wealthy people, and I know some must be struggling.

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    • Wouldn’t it be nice if people put others before themselves on a regular basis, realized that we’re all in this together and set aside their differences and prejudices to help in times of trouble? But alas … sigh. Still, we can all work at being better people. I try, and I know you do.
      Cwtch

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  4. We are lucky to be at the receiving end of Kindness currently: my husband’s supervisor has offered to do our shopping so we don’t have to go and his ex as well. May they be blessed. I try my bit with leaving nice messages on social media and letting the nurses and phone operators know that we appreciate their work. Please stay safe and thanks for those lovely stories 🙋‍♀️🐝

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  5. Pingback: Wednesday Wisdom – Heroism in Times of Trouble – Frank Parker's author site

    • Indeed so … sadly, the media largely ignores the everyday good people. Oh sure, they’ll occasionally do a story about Bill Gates or Warren Buffett donating millions of dollars to help people, and that is great, but the everyday people just doing small things to help people, you never hear much about … there’s a saying in the news business: “If it bleeds, it leads”. People seem to thrive on the bad news. You take care too … don’t go stir crazy at home!

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  6. Despite all the crap that is going on in our country because of Trump, the Republicans, Trumpsters and Fox News, Breibart etc spew? There are a whole lot more good people in the United States than there are them.

    I’ve witnessd incredible acts of good from one person to others. People in my area? Help each other. We even instituted a local community program for the elderly where? They call the number and tell the person what they need? Shopping for food? Check. Getting your medications? Check. Need to go see a doctor? Check.

    The local good community church? Brought in two full trucks of food for people to get should our store shelves remain empty. (We live in a very small town, about 60 miles from the nearest even medium town. We are basically on the end of the supply chain and it is getting difficult for us to get our stores restocked right now.

    Everyone here? Is joining together. I’m an atheist and I got Christians who know it? Wanting to help me if I need any help and I? Will do the same for them.

    Actually? In the last four days? I have had 7 homeless vets living with me free of charge. And they can stay? As long as they have to and my sister who rents this place to me? Is perfectly ok with it.

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    • There are indeed many more good ones than the other kind. Thing is, they quietly go about the business of helping others and are largely ignored by the media because bad news sells far better than good, and the media are, after all, in it to make money. Money seems to matter more than people to some. Thumbs up to you for helping the 7 homeless vets! You, too, are a ‘good people’!

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    • Thank you!!! Yes, there are so many good people out there … I do these posts every Wednesday, and I’m amazed at the kindness of people. I wish we saw as many of them in the media as we do the other kind, but bad news sells much better than good. Sigh. And welcome, by the way!

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  7. Jill, thanks for sharing all of these stories. It makes your heart sing. My mother died in a memory unit of a long term care facility as her memory faded with Alzheimers. She died when an influenza epidemic went through the facility. They were quarantined and helped, but with her fading abilities, she did not stay hydrated or nourished enough and passed away. I can only think of how this coronavirus would scare me even more if she was still alive.

    Thanks again for sharing. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I tried yesterday to imagine what it would be like to be confined in a nursing home, not knowing when you’d next see your kids or spouse or grandkids, not knowing even IF you’d ever see them again. I understand the rationale, but … I wish there were a way they could compromise to let family visit. I believe that when this is over, we’re going to see a suicide rate such as we haven’t seen in decades. I’m so sorry about your mother … I can’t imagine … 😥

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    • Exactly! It’s easy to completely lose faith in the human species if we only look at those stockpiling food and guns, but it helps when we see people like these, looking out for others. What I’m hearing from your neck o’ the woods is very concerning! Keep well, dear friend.

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    • Many thanks for the re-blog, Hugh! Yeah, I think we do need to remind ourselves … it’s easy to forget in these days when some people are willing to practically kill over a pack of toilet paper or chicken.

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