by Mike Vulpo | Fri., Apr. 3, 2020 6:00 AM
Never underestimate the power of a good neighbor.
As the Coronavirus continues to keep families at home, many residents are practicing social distancing while also spreading some much-needed kindness.
No matter the state, zip code or community, kids and adults are getting creative and bringing smiles to friends and strangers alike thanks to their simple yet powerful deeds.
For some, it's as simple as putting up Christmas lights in the middle of April. Others are pulling out teddy bears to inspire adventure. Whatever the case may be, the ideas are making a difference and bringing communities closer together.
"If there is anything my students take away from being in my classroom, it's the importance of being kind. As we have moved into a Remote Learning environment, these values certainly do not change. In fact, if there is a time for kindness and compassion, it's now," Hawthorn Elementary School North teacher Allison Wengerhoff shared with E! News from Vernon Hills, Illinois. "I continue to encourage my students to spread positivity by performing acts of kindness at home and in their communities. It is my hope to empower my students so that, even during a time of so much uncertainty, they can continue to support one another and make a difference, because at the end of the day, that's what is going to get us through."
With the weekend quickly approaching, we wanted to spotlight some ideas that many of you can do as soon as today.
As a wise one once said: A small act of kindness can make a big difference in a person's day. Get inspired in our gallery below.
letsplaybooks via Twitter
If you have a pop-up library in your neighborhood, consider dropping off both books and home necessities like canned goods and toilet paper to create a mini food pantry. "Bookshop's Little Free Library is now a Book & Blessing Box thanks to our youngest bookseller - @EmmausMainSt1," Play Books, an independent bookstore in Emmaus, Pennsylvania shared on Twitter.
To show support for health care workers, consider putting a heart in your window and posting on social media with #HangAHeart. "Both of my kids wanted to show everyone in health care that we love them and care about their health. My son, Auron, truly wanted health care workers' children to know that we are thinking about them while their parents are working and we love them," Gambrills, Maryland resident Ally Cuza shared with E! News. "Auron felt compassion for the children since he remembered when his dad left for deployments. His dad was in the army so we created hearts to hang around the house for them!"
No matter where you live, chances are you can find some rocks in your backyard or at a nearby trail. For one of Allison Wengerhoff's third grade students at Hawthorn Elementary School North in Vernon Hills, Illinois, she decided to paint several rocks and spread them around the neighborhood. "A sunny day calls for taking a walk to spread 'kindness rocks' around your neighborhood," Allison shared on Twitter.
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If you find yourself doing much more online shopping for groceries, household items and other items, you aren't alone. But as delivery men and women travel across town delivering more packages then ever before, some Americans are leaving food, drinks and thank you notes for the special helpers. "I deliver to so many types of places everyday. Businesses, houses, apartments, hospitals, you name it, I'll deliver. This house I just left had this box on the porch. So thoughtful. So caring," one Glendale, Arizona courier wrote on Instagram. "In a time when people are panicking and hoarding everything for no really good reason, these people are willingly giving it away. We need waaaaay more of this. Everyone needs to see this.... PS, I didn't need anything, so I didn't take anything. That's how we also need to be."
As Americans enjoy more walks in their neighborhoods, kids of all ages have started writing inspiring messages on sidewalks with chalk. "I did the chalk artwork because I wanted to see smiles when people walked by my house and I love when I see smiles," Brentwood, California resident Luna Soltani shared with E! News. "It gives me a good feeling that everything is going to be okay."
Oklahoma resident Jason Sterling received a pleasant surprise near his doorstep when music filled the air. "Today a neighbor arranged a delivery of strolling musicians! It was really cool to be able to gather on our porches and watch them go by," he shared on Twitter. "They were good too."
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Kids around the world are on the hunt for teddy bears in neighborhood windows. The "Bear Hunt" movement has spread in multiple countries with homeowners leaving beanie babies, stuffed animals and teddy bears in various windows. Soon after, kids can walk around their neighborhood and try to spy all the animals. Canada resident Ray Vautier participated with his grandson and documented the fun on Twitter. "Poppys boy with his teddy bear in the window in Corner Brook," he wrote.
When the sun comes down, many cities are scheduling times for neighbors to come together and clap in support for all the health care workers. In addition to using their hands, some Americans have gone all out with speakers, noise makers and other household items. "Thankful for all of our essential workers!! #ClapBecauseWeCare @FraserSchools #fraserfamily," Michigan teacher Whitney Saoud wrote on Twitter when participating.
With Easter quickly approaching, many neighborhoods are trying to still celebrate with a creative point of view. Many are printing their own Easter eggs and decorating them at home. Soon after, they post them around the neighborhood for people on walks. Others like Pennsylvania mom Dina Clearly plan to use her family's creations for "social distance egg hunts."
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@hcj_home, Heather Johnson
Many Americans are spreading Christmas cheer in the middle of springtime by putting up lights on their house. "I saw something posted on this topic and I couldn't stop thinking about how something so small like Christmas lights can lift people's spirits during such a difficult time," Raleigh, North Carolina resident Heather Johnson told E! News. "It's something easy (and pretty) homes can do to display hope for each other... for our world, really!"
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