No matter the circumstances, it’s always a good time to focus on good deeds.

“Little candles throwing their beams.” That’s how William Shakespeare defined good deeds.

We’re all walking through a pretty dark time right now, and we need those candles more than ever. Thankfully, they’re burning brilliantly.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rattle the globe, everyday heroes are emerging from the shadows. Instead of capes, they’re wearing scrubs. Instead of shields, they’re carrying bags of food, medicine, and paper products for their neighbors. They’re fighting despair with hope and delivering joy where it’s desperately needed the most.

Today, we’re taking a look at some of the most inspiring acts of kindness and bravery to emerge over the last few weeks, proving just how brightly humanity can shine.

Restaurant Owners Feeding Schoolchildren

The crisis has forced millions of children across the United States to stay home from school. While the move is necessary, it can be devastating for students who rely on cafeterias as their only reliable meal source.

In response, many school districts have put plans in place to continue providing those students in need with access to food; however, it doesn’t stop there.

Seeing a need, many local restaurant owners are also stepping up and opening their doors. As national mandates restrict how they can serve customers, they’re turning their business models upside down and giving food away instead.

Take NY Deli and Catering in nearby Tannersville, for instance, or Corona Cafe in Scotrun. Then, there’s Pizzaro’s Pizzeria and Vinny D’s Deli in East Stroudsburg.

All of these restaurants have made public announcements on their social media pages, urging families with children to contact them if they need food assistance. At a time when few have much to give, they’re using their resources for good and making a major difference.

Patrons Tipping Servers Above and Beyond

As restaurants, bars, and stores shut down across the nation, hourly workers are some of the hardest hit. With many forced to stay home indefinitely without access to sick days and salaries, the financial impact is significant. To help them weather the storm, some generous patrons are reaching deep into their pockets.

In Ohio, just hours before Gov. Mike DeWine announced that all dining establishments would be closed to dine-in patrons, one patron at Columbus’ Coaches Bar & Grill decided to take advantage of his time left in the booth. On top of a $29.75 tab, he left a staggering $2,500 tip, along with a note. The money was to be split equally between the five staff members employed at the restaurant to help ease the strain of the next few weeks.

This incredible act of generosity comes on the heels of similar stories popping up around the country, including one couple who left a $9,400 tip on a $90.12 bill at Irma’s Southwest in Houston.

Football Star Opening Hotel to NHS Staff

Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville co-owns two hotels in Manchester, England: Hotel Football and The Stock Exchange. In the wake of the pandemic, Neville closed their doors but not for the reason you might think.

He made them available for free to any National Health Service (NHS) workers who may need to be separated from their families while they fight on the front lines of this health crisis. Now, all 176 beds in the two hotels are occupied by NHS staff and other local medical workers.

Neville also vowed to ensure that all hotel staff members would be able to keep their positions, along with their incomes, over the next few months.

“Caremongering” Taking Over the Internet

When Darrell Blakeley passed away on March 13 after coronavirus complications, his family didn’t want flowers. Instead, they set up a Wall of Kindness in Blakeley’s honor.

The Facebook page is designed to be a catch-all space for people around the world to share the ways they’re helping their communities during this time. Family members urged web visitors to go shopping for their elderly neighbors, call someone who’s struggling, send a card, or perform any other kind of good deeds possible.

This online space joins thousands of other similar ones set up to bring neighborhoods together. Around the world, people are creating Facebook pages designed to serve as community forums, where residents can share uplifting stories, post identified needs, explain what they’re doing for others, or request assistance themselves.

Known as “caremongering,” the organized movement started in Canada and has quickly spread, with most users relying on hashtags to organize their efforts.

Curb Service Offering Hope to Grocery Shoppers

One of the most talked about acts of kindness recently has been Twitter user Rebecca Mehra’s offer to go grocery shopping for an elderly couple who was afraid to enter the store in Bend, Oregon.

In the tweet, which has been seen by more than 11 million web visitors, Mehra reveals that the couple was nearly in tears asking for help and had been waiting for nearly 45 minutes before she arrived. She did their shopping and thought the good deed was over, but its impact would continue to echo.

In response to her story, people all over the country are paying it forward, one grocery trip at a time. One pre-med student at the University of Nevada, Reno even created a local volunteer network of “Shopping Angels” that’s now spread into a national movement.

Celebrate these good deeds and smile!

There’s plenty of negativity everywhere we look lately.

It can be easy to shrink into the darkness, overwhelmed at what lies ahead. However, these good deeds prove that it’s far more productive and fulfilling to step up and give back, even (especially) when chaos swirls all around.

As we move forward into our new normal, may we all look for new and creative ways to join forces with these superheroes. A candle can shine on its own, but we’re far more radiant when we light up the ones around us.

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