Amid the stress, fear and grief brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still glimmers of good news: self-isolating Americans are rising to this unprecedented challenge to bring relief, comfort, moments of joy and glimpses of normalcy to our rapidly changing world.
Read about some of the feel-good stories that happened across the country this week.
Stop in the Name of Love - 93-Year-old Man Hitchhikes For His Love: Real estate agent Richard Farmer met 93-year-old Mike Cain last Tuesday hitchhiking on the side of the road near his retirement center in Lake San Marcos, California. It turns out, Cain was trying to go to the 99 Cents Only store, which was about 1.5 miles away from where he lived, to buy Hershey's chocolate bars for the love of his life, Do Jerman. Cain has been eating a chocolate bar with Jerman almost every night for almost 20 years and wasn't about to stop now.
Teen Scientist Named Military Child of the Year: Kainath Kamil, 16, is a junior at Mission Vista High School in Oceanside, California, who received one of Operation Homefront's seven Military Child of the Year awards. She's been working on an addiction research project with the San Diego Biomedical Research Institute. She became interested in the process of addiction while volunteering at a soup kitchen and its rehabilitation program.
Dispatcher Helps Deliver Baby Over the Phone: A baby boy was coming fast as his mom and grandmother were driving down Interstate 91 in Connecticut to get to the hospital on Monday night and a dispatcher helped talk the grandmother through the delivery. The dispatcher made sure the grandmother checked that the umbilical cord was away from the baby’s neck and he was swaddled in something warm. “Congratulations,” the dispatcher said, talking the grandmother through ways to check to make sure the baby was breathing. “Keep him nice and warm until the ambulance gets there,” the dispatcher advised. Then the baby cried. “There we go. That sounds nice and good right there,” the dispatcher said. The baby’s name is James.
Virginia Business Launches Socially Distant Mobile Drive-in Movies: One Lynchburg-area business owner is looking for a new way to entertain people while still keeping them socially distant. Josh Davies, owner of Nomad Coffee Company, decided to start Nomad Movies, his own mobile drive-in theater. “I understand why there’s a risk for movie theaters to go under during this time because most movie theaters make money with concessions and break even with ticket sales,” he said. “The licenses to show a movie are so expensive and we’re trying to be as cost-friendly as possible; but as a business in a pandemic, we’ve lost a lot of money and can’t afford to lose anymore, so we need to find a happy medium.”
Realtors Decorate Yards With Plastic Flamingos for Special Occasions: Carlsbad, California, has been tickled pink with an array of plastic flamingos in several front yards as two local Realtors have started a movement to surprise and spread some cheer to their community for special occasions. Graham and Kelly Levine are a dynamic duo in real estate but since the coronavirus pandemic has changed everyday life, the couple has decided to paint the town pink with several quirky plastic decorations. The idea came after Kelly wanted to add some social distancing-friendly flair to celebrate her loved ones’ birthdays. Not being able to partake in typical birthday festivities like hugs, sharing a cake or even spending time together, Kelly wanted to find a festive way to celebrate her loved ones. She stumbled upon a box of 50 plastic flamingos for sale on Amazon and the rest is pink-feathered history that they called the #FlockCarlsbad movement.
Showtime! NH Drive-in Theater to Host High School Graduations: Instead of preparing the Northfield Drive-In for its first movie showing of the season, Julia Wiggin and her husband, Steve, are opening up for graduation ceremonies that were initially canceled because of the coronavirus. Like most schools, Pioneer Valley Regional High School in Northfield, Massachusetts, canceled its traditional graduation ceremony. “It was heart-crushing, we looked forward to it for so long,” said Pioneer Valley Senior Sydney Unaitis. And now they still can, because on June 4, Pioneer Valley will celebrate graduation night at the 72-year-old drive-in movie theater. “We did not want to do just a virtual graduation,” said Superintendent John Scagel. “We wanted to make something much more special for them.”
Thomas Hooker Brewery Teams Up With Dog Rescue to ‘Save a Beer, Save a Dog’: Thomas Hooker Brewery in Bloomfield, Connecticut is offering draft beer at a discount and part of the proceeds help a dog rescue. “The idea is to give beer a temporary home and help give a dog a permanent home," Brewing Company President Curt Cameron said. Guida's Dairy donated gallon jugs, and the brewery took online orders for a gallon of draft beer at a cost of $10 each. A portion of the money goes to Dog Star Rescue, which has had fundraising dry up since the pandemic. The program was such a hit that the brewery has received 700 orders for more than 1,400 gallons for pickup on Saturday and has had to stop taking orders for this weekend.
Health Care Worker Creates Alley Food Pantry to Help Community: A health care worker in San Diego, California started a pantry to help her community near La Mesa. Lisa Spano works at Scripps Mercy Hospital in the emergency room department, and she's also six months pregnant. She's been incredibly busy these last few months with work, but she still wanted to find a way to help her neighbors, as well. She, along with her husband, designed an alley pantry. In addition to offering food, Spano's pantry also has clothes and toiletries. Everything is donated and it’s neighbors who are now keeping this going with donations.