As the world faces anxiety and uncertainty in the midst of this crisis, these acts of kindness are warming our hearts.

By Maressa Brown
April 06, 2020
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Credit: Evan Kissner/Evan's Studio/Getty Images

All over the globe, people are grappling with a slew of health, wellness, and economic challenges stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. With no clear endpoint in sight, it can be tough to stay positive. Yet, this dark moment has inspired people to come together to support one another in unprecedented, heartwarming ways and to say "thank you" to helpers championing coronavirus-related causes.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all of us, at different levels," observes Tim Cadogan, GoFundMe CEO and a father of three, who says that the world's largest, free social fundraising platform has seen a "massive outpouring of support for others." "Whether it’s communities coming together and starting fundraisers to support hospitals and medical staff, to provide meals to kids out of school or donating money to prevent their favorite local stores and restaurants from shuttering, people want to help each other out," says Cadogan. "We are able to see the best of humanity in the face of this crisis, with people rallying together to support one another."

Here, eight times our faith in humanity has been bolstered since the pandemic began.

1. A Small Bookstore Raised Almost $10K

Like so many small businesses everywhere, a small Boston bookstore called I AM Books closed to ensure their staff, community, and customers stayed safe as the coronavirus pandemic put everyone at risk. Reaching out to their community and the internet for support, so they can pay a month's rent and guarantee pay to their employees, I AM Books has nearly doubled their original $5K goal, raising almost $9K since their GoFundMe page went live on March 12. Donate here

2. 12-Year-Old Got a Math Lesson Through Her Window

Kids and teachers are having to adapt to distanced learning, but a 12-year-old in South Dakota got a special one-on-one lesson from her math teacher. According to the Daily Mail, Rylee Anderson's middle school teacher Chris Waba came over to her house and held a whiteboard, annotated with equations, outside of her home. The pair had been working on the lesson via Zoom and email, but Waba ultimately decided to offer extra support (socially distanced) in person.

3. Funds Are Being Raised for Artists

A GoFundMe was set up to help people in the greater Seattle arts community who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19. The priority is to give to artists from communities that have been historically and systemically economically disadvantaged: BIPOC artists, transgender, non-binary artists, and disabled artists, but ultimately, the fund aim to support as many Seattle-based artists in need as possible. So far, the fund founders have raised over $265K of their $1 million goal. Donate here and check out your local artists' groups to see if they're fundraising as well

4. Teen Dressed Up as Belle to Entertain Neighborhood Kids

A 16-year-old from British Columbia, Canada named Alora Killam had played Belle two years ago in a local play and still had the costume in her closet. After her mother Irwin Killam connected with a local mom who concerned about her young daughter missing out on a social birthday celebration, Alora was inspired to put on her yellow dress and drop by for a visit.

“We posted on the local Facebook page that we would be on that street at 12:30 p.m. for a visit and we were amazed to find so many little kids on their lawns and looking through windows waiting for Belle (the daughter of an inventor in Beauty and the Beast who yearns to abandon her predictable village life in return for adventure) to arrive," Irwin told the Lake Cowichan Gazette. Not only did she make the birthday girl's day, but she thrilled a bevy of local children—who all managed to keep "a minimum of 12 feet away."

5. 11-Year-Old Spreads Heartwarming Messages on Painted Rocks

A tween boy from Quebec has been painting rocks with positive messages and images and leaving them across his community on his family's daily walks. Eli MacInnis Polson told CBC News, "I like to paint, it's fun. And I like to go on walks." He has painted everything from trees to an alien to houses on the rocks.

Now, Eli's family is encouraging their neighbors to get in on the fun. Eli's mom Shawna MacInnis posted on Facebook asking people who came across painted rocks to take a selfie with them and share on social media. And a community member named Berlinda Wabegijig did just that, telling CBC, "It's important because with self-isolation and social distancing, it shows another avenue of interacting—that one can bring a smile to someone from afar. And smiling is important during these times, because it reminds us that we are not alone, that others are thinking of us and miss our smiles."

6. Colorado Woman Is Surprising Loved Ones with Delivered Meals

A librarian from Loveland, Colorado figured since she is saving money on gas by working from home, she should put those funds to helping others. "I am ordering one meal a week from a locally owned restaurant and having it delivered to a friend," Resa Mai told news outlet KDVR. "This way we can keep our local restaurants in business, we can keep our Uber Eats and Grub Hub drivers busy and we can keep our neighbors' bellies full. I hope people know we’re still connected and we’re still thinking about each other!"

7. Disney Parks Donated Valuable PPE to Medical Professionals

Amid an ongoing shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical professionals, Disney Parks donated 150,000 rain ponchos to MedShare, a humanitarian aid organization, for distribution to hospitals in need. According to the Disney Parks Blog, the idea was inspired by nurses across the country who found that rain ponchos can protect their clothing and prolong the use of PPE while also freeing up gowns when needed.

8. First Grader Is Leading a Grassroots Movement to Get Supplies to People in Need

Cavanaugh Bell is a first grader from Maryland who is mobilizing a grassroots community outreach movement called Love is Greater Than COVID-19. It all began when he put his $600 life savings toward care packs and hot meals for senior citizens who are particularly vulnerable during this challenging time.

On the LOVE > COVID-19 Community Pantry GoFundMe page, Cavanaugh explained, "I wanted to give back even more, so I went to social media and asked for donations." The next step was food donations for underprivileged students affected by the lack of public school-provided meals. Then, the 7-year-old hosted a pantry to help senior citizens and families in need. Now, he's focused on raising an additional $25,000 to establish other kid-led care pack distribution sites in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta.

To support the ​Love is Greater than COVID-19​ Community Pantry or to learn more about Cavanaugh's mission to spread positivity, visit the site for his 501(c)(3) organization​ www.coolanddope.com​.

Credit: Courtesy of Cool & Dope

Although the world may seem dark right now, these humanitarian acts highlight the power of community and the fact that our resistance will be most effective when we stand together.

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