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Uplifting Stories during the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 – the pandemic that has put the world at a standstill and changed the way people live their lives, globally.

The novel Coronavirus outbreak started in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, with the first case being reported on December 31st. Since then, the virus rapidly spread from country to country and was announced a global pandemic on March 11th, 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO). Civilians are being asked to practice social distancing as it’s the best method to control the spread of the virus and protect public health. During this time, people are advised to only leave the house to buy necessities, such as food or medication.

Flights, vacations, concerts, and special occasions have had to be canceled due to COVID-19. Schools, universities, and workplaces are closed for the foreseeable future and some countries have even experienced a shortage of toilet paper! But, amongst the madness and the uncertainty of these challenging times, there have been some wonderful and compassionate acts of kindness from human to human. The pandemic has seemed to bring people closer together and create a sense of community and solicitude. Politics, wealth, age, race and religion all seem to matter far less and what triumphs and truly matters is the fact that we are all human and need to unite during times like this.

Below are some uplifting stories taken from around the globe of how people have helped one another in a thoughtful and selfless way. As you’ll see, an act of kindness doesn’t have to be a huge gesture. It’s usually the littlest things that make the biggest impact.

1. “If Money Is Short, Message Me”

Andrea Pien, a 33-year-old college counselor at a high school in San Francisco, California, believes in helping your neighbors who may not be as fortunate as you. Andrea is currently working from home and is hosting meetings with students via Google Hangouts. Andrea is a salaried worker and was fortunate to inherit a large sum of money from her late father, who worked within the biotech industry.

On Sunday, Andrea posted a message to her fellow neighbors on an app called Nextdoor. The message reads:

If money is short, message me

“Hi neighbors, if you will be missing a paycheck/contract work, or if money is tight for food and supplies, message me your Venmo @ and I will send you 20 dollars, no questions asked,” she wrote.

So far, Andrea has donated $400 to her neighbors and anticipates that this number will grow. Andrea cleverly uploaded the message with a picture of her wonderful pet dog, as this contributed towards the algorithm of the app and ensured that more people saw her post. Many of her neighbors also recognize her dog, so she knew that they would have felt more comfortable asking for help. Andrea told Readers Digest, “Part of being a good ally is supporting my neighbors who maybe don’t have the same privilege I do.”

2. Helping During the Crisis

Donnie Adison is a 47-year-old e-commerce shopper at a grocery store chain in Macon, Georgia. Donnie has taken on the kind gesture of shopping for friends and family who aren’t able to do so right now due to lack of transport, ensuring that they have food and necessities during COVID-19 emergency.

One of Donnie’s old friends recently reconnected with her in search of help. She is in an outpatient program, has a five-month-old baby, and doesn’t have any form of transport making it incredibly difficult for her to access a grocery store. Without hesitation, Donnie wrote a list of the items that she needed and once purchased, drove them to her house to drop them off. She says, “I’m just really trying to be part of the group of people that helped during the crisis, and not harmed.”

Donnie has also been picking up extra shifts at work as she isn’t financially able to take a lot of time off. Many of the staff have dropped shifts which means that the store is lacking and needs help in cleaning and stocking. Donnie says that although she’s worried about the people she comes into contact with and her own health, she wants to spread positivity during this hard time and smiles at everybody she sees. She also wants to maintain the store and ensure everyone has access to fresh produce.

3. Feeding the Hungry

On March 13th, 2020, talented chef Eric Ripert made the decision to temporarily close his Five-Star restaurant, Le Bernardin, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. When the restaurant closed, he was left with large quantities of fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, and sweets. Some of the food went to the restaurant workers to help support them, but he made the gratifying decision to donate the majority of food to the charity City Harvest.

City Harvest is NYC’s biggest food rescue organization, helping 1.2 million New Yorkers who are struggling to put meals on their tables. The charity rescues and utilizes 66 million pounds of food each year and delivers it, free of charge, to hundreds of soup kitchens, food pantries, and other community partners through the city. Ripert also sits a Vice Chairman of the organization board of directors and volunteers at its mobile markets, where those in need can go and collect fresh produce and attend cooking demonstrations on how to cook delicious, healthy meals.

The day after donating Le Bernardin’s food reserves, Ripert was at the South Bronx mobile market helping give out fresh produce to a trail of people-in-need. Ripert tells how it is very emotional to see so many people lining up to receive food and that they are always very grateful.

4. Keep Supporting Small Businesses

Sadly, small local businesses are being financially challenged during this novel pandemic. With social distancing in practice and many stores and restaurants being forced to shut by law for the foreseeable future, Joe Cain, 50, who lives in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, is trying to keep spirits high and came up with a wonderful idea on how to keep business flowing.

Joe created a post on the app Nextdoor, which was titled ‘Keep supporting small businesses’. He explained how restaurants and small businesses in the neighborhood still need customers and that a few weeks of low sales can be devastating. Payroll and bills still need to be paid regardless of the current situation and that these small businesses need the help of the community. Joe’s idea is as follows:

“Consider getting takeout (not through an app), buying a gift card, or getting an extra something to put in the freezer. Keep the cash flowing in the local economy.”

Joe has received a lot of positive feedback from his post and is continuing to spread awareness throughout the community and encourage people to buy gift cards from local businesses, whether it be for personal use or as a gift.

5. Disney Princess

It’s not only adults who are coming to terms with social distancing, not seeing friends, and completely changing their daily routine. The lives of children can also be affected, especially if the summer vacation that you had planned as a family was canceled.

Charlotte Bredael, 18, from Newcastle, northwest England, runs a small business where she attends children’s parties and events dressed as a Disney princess. Bredael saw posts on social media and online of children devastated that their summer vacation to Disneyland was canceled due to COVID-19.  Bredael decided to send these children a personal video of her dressed as a princess in hope of cheering them up.

Bredael has started creating videos for any child who is feeling upset or down. She wants to brighten their day and lift their spirits. She has received fantastic and thankful responses from parents saying that that really made their child’s day. Bredael has already filmed 20 videos and anticipates that she will film many more. She added: “It’s making the kids really happy and it’s also making the parents happy to see their kids happy.”

Eagle’s Wings Foundation Update

If you would like to help the communities and staff of the Villa Group who have been affected by the COVID-19 virus, you can do so through our non-profit sister organization: the Eagle’s Wings Foundation. Many of you are already familiar with Eagle’s Wings and its mission to provide assistance to various charitable organizations in the Villa Group and Tafer Resorts destinations.

If you would like to donate towards the cause, please visit the EWF website at www.eagles-wings-foundation.org today and click on the “Donate Now” button to help those in need. All donations that are received up until April 30th, 2020 will be earmarked as being specifically for COVID-19 relief and not for other general grant purposes. Donations will be distributed efficiently and effectively, prioritizing needs within Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Cancun, and Loreto Villa Group and Tafer staff and charities. The EWF Board of Directors is responsible for these decisions.

If you do not have a PayPal account, you can donate via post by sending a cheque to Eagle’s Wing Foundation. c/o 6850 Bermuda Road, Las Vegas, NV 89119.

We thank you in advance for offering help to the communities of our resorts who have been affected by the COVID-19 virus. We are very grateful to have your support and we hope that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.

Eagle’s Wings Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation, Tax ID# 33-0883036