Do you know what’s annoyingly contagious? Coronavirus. Do you know what’s delightfully contagious? Kindness.
I’m going to shift this column for a while so that instead of sharing general kindness stories, we can all celebrate the kindness that is happening specifically during this time of crisis.
I’ll need your help. I know you are seeing and doing acts of kindness in your neighborhoods and communities. Would you please send them to me? My email is email@example.com. That’s the best way to reach me right now.
Kindness is happening all around us. This week, I drove around town and left boxes of sidewalk chalk in people’s driveways. Since it was sunny, lots of people were outside. When they heard me yell “Sidewalk chalk delivery!” you’d think I’d yelled “Free toilet paper lined in gold!” Let’s just say people were pretty delighted, which increased my fun ten-fold (or two-ply, if you’re still thinking of toilet paper).
More amazing and serious things are happening to make life better for people right now. Teresa Stitt, from Oakmont, Pa., shared how her favorite child care center is spreading kindness to its families and its employees.
“I’ve been president of the board of directors for more than 20 years of a nonprofit child care center where my kids once attended. Our center was forced to close on March 13 and continues to be closed during this pandemic.
“I spent the first two weeks figuring out how to keep our nearly 40 employees on payroll and benefits through this unending crisis. My executive director and I, along with many other employees and board members, have researched and applied for every ounce of funding available. As of right now we have committed to pay our employees (part time and full time) through April 10.
“We are trying to take this two weeks at a time, but our hope is we will continue to pay them through this whole crisis. We also offered our families a two-week credit for the child care they had already paid for in March. Many have offered to donate the money back to the center. Some families even offered to continue to pay their tuition to keep our employees paid!
“Our executive director said it best: ‘Our building is nothing without our employees.’
“I have spearheaded two construction and expansion projects at this center and I couldn’t be more proud of my board of directors in seeing the importance of keeping employees whole during this crisis.”
There are so many people who are creating bright lights of hope during this outbreak. Let’s work together to remind people of the goodness happening.
Please send me your stories. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.