As neighbors heard about the letter, they rallied in solidarity. Slowly but surely, Black Santas began popping up, one by one, on lawns in North Little Rock, Ark.
“Who expects a teacher to give their kidney to a custodian?” said Patrick Mertens’s wife, Lynda.
“To this day, I don’t know how far behind I would have been if no one had done that,” said Ana Reyes, a partner at the law firm Williams & Connolly.
“I used to play basketball on an old hoop like that, and I know it can be tricky to get the ball through a bent rim,” said FedEx driver Aubrey Robinson.
If I could not claim close childhood friendships, at least I could boost myself up by accruing awards.
A Virginia winery owner and her mother came up with the idea to honor covid-19 victims and the medical workers trying to save them.
"Everybody is so raw right now, so even this little gesture has been interpreted as magnificent," said University of Iowa professor Liz Pearce who offered to hand-deliver warm Thanksgiving meals to 600 students.
"This just seemed like a good way to make the best of a bad situation," said Emily Bugg, who works with people with mental illness.
“Unless you’ve been hungry, you can’t imagine how I felt,” said Rob Adams, who started Thanksgiving's Heroes. “I told myself, ‘Someday, if I have money, I’m going to do this for somebody else.’ ”
“It’s been a hard year,” said Julie Zimmer, who started hanging her Christmas lights in October. “We’ll all have to do things to keep our spirits up, together.”
The unlikely friendship of Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton carries on even as they face loss from the pandemic.
Technically, I live with my cats and fish, but Anthony S. Fauci lives in my head. (I know I’m not the only one.)
“He said, ‘Great job, but I bet mine are better than yours,’ ” said Scott McKenzie, who challenged his friend to a cookie bake-off that led to a widespread volunteer effort over the past eight months.
A GoFundMe page set up for Sakina Halal Grill in D.C. has raised more than $250,000.
“I think the surge in New York City changed all of us healthcare workers and gave us an incredible feeling of being united, and because of that, being stronger together,” said Darya Haurylava, an intensive care nurse in New York City.
“I had never sewed anything in my life, but my daughter loved to sew,” said Sharon Hebert, who has made thousands of masks since her 15-year-old died in February. Hebert has donated the proceeds to a food pantry.
The packages arrive containing painted rocks, most of them intricate works of art, handmade and mailed from people all over the country.
Neighborhood barber Andre Fersa wouldn’t accept pay for waiting tables, and donated his tips from the night to bar staff.
"It seems like fate,” said John Adams, who came across the request while scrolling reddit. “Here was somebody in need, just a few hours away."
After his mom posted on Facebook, stranger after stranger pledged to send cards to Carson.