Issue 4: Small Acts of Kindness

Editor’s Note – This is our first special topic issue. Thanks to everyone who contributed. Want to tell your story next week? Email it to Here’s more about why we’re doing this.

A woman on my block found out that her regular FedEx driver wasn’t given protective gear by her employer, so she insisted that the driver take a bottle of bleach. She taught the driver how to make a sanitizing spray so she could protect herself. – C.S.

As a health care worker, I’ve been so lucky to see many acts of kindness during this pandemic. Several companies (Jimmy’s Famous seafood and the Lunchbox Lady to name two) have donated food for those of us working at Johns Hopkins Hospital. A local mom’s group raised money to buy dinner for our unit l. On top of that, my brother drove from Virginia to Baltimore to drop off N95 masks and hand sanitizer for us, knowing we were low. My roommate and mom have both made cloth masks for me to wear when I’m not taking care of patients. Shotti’s Point gave a discount on Wednesday to all healthcare workers. Even though there is a lot of negativity out there that has made me (and others) question people’s empathy, there has been just as many, if not more, positive forces coming together during this time. I’m really lucky to be surrounded by such wonderful people. – Katie C.

It was an honor to host a pop-up soup kitchen at TinyBrickOven on Easter Sunday for those in need. I made Turmeric Ginger cabbage soup. We served 6 gallons of soup, 26 lbs. of chili beans, a full steam pan of brown rice, 40 plates of oatmeal apple cinnamon raisin cookies, and half a bushel each of apples and oranges to maybe 50 people. All very healthy and delicious. I needed a way to keep the food warm, and with a simple Facebook post our generous neighbors supplied an army of slow cookers, pans, and aluminum foil. And a few people even volunteered to hand out the food. It was a beautiful day filled with smiles and gratitude. We are planning an even larger event next year when we can all be together again! – Will Fagg

A dear friend sent me a letter with an unusual request. He will soon have his 75th birthday and, knowing that he will not be able to have a party, he wanted to do one special thing. He sent each of us guests a $75 check to be cashed and passed forward to someone in need. We are each to write about it on a little card with a self-addressed envelope to be read at his Zoom party. What a way to be grateful for one’s 75 years of life and reap the benefits of spreading around the bounty!

Here is what I did. I found my favorite homeless man on one of the Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. intersections: off drugs, very open and polite, giving his name, asking for the name of the person who rolls down the window or, in my case, stops on a bike. I gave him a bag with a box of granola bars and some juice, then asked what he would do if someone gave him $20. He said, “Oh, there’s so much I need. I would go to the Dollar Store to get food and socks.” I slipped him the $20 and told him how it came to me. He was a bit overwhelmed with my forward-passed gift.

Here’s the other thing I did. Just yesterday, I saw the garbage truck pull up. I grabbed three $20 bills and dashed downstairs. I approached each of the two collectors and thanked them for their ongoing, hard work. I also gave a $20 to the driver. In hindsight, I think my sincere thank-you may have mattered as much as the money. I have not once seen garbage collectors on a list of those to whom we are grateful during this pandemic, but they sure are on my list.

And it all started with my friend’s random act of kindness and then it multiplied. – Uta Allers

I shared a wave with an older woman waiting on her stoop across the street. As I walked by, she tugged at the white mask covering her face and said, “I have a smile for you inside the mask.” – S.C.

The seriously overgrown rose bushes in Riverside Park was the first thing she tackled. No small task in that sprawling green space. The roses will undoubtedly bring much needed color and beauty to our late spring and summer. (Do we dare hope for our spectacular Riverside Summer Concerts this year?) Then she took her green thumb over to Saint Mary’s Star of the Sea to tidy up and bring that beautiful pocket garden back to life. Thank you, Riverside Green Thumb neighbor! – J.S.

After watching several free “living room” concerts on Facebook Live from some of my favorite musicians from Baltimore and New Orleans, I joined PayPal just to pitch into the “virtual tip jars” for these musicians. We gotta keep the music alive, folks. – S.C.

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