Though the new coronavirus continues to spread around the state, having claimed the lives of 13 people as of Friday morning, Arizonans have continued to show kindness and compassion toward one another despite the unprecedented circumstances.
The Arizona Republic is compiling these stories, which have included people giving away hard-to-find necessities to complete strangers, helping vulnerable populations through grocery stores and paying for their items, and creating Facebook pages and groups to organize assistance for others.
Laveen community pantry overflowing with donations
A community pantry in Laveen as of Friday was overflowing with donations of canned food, water, diapers, baby wipes and other necessities. Anyone is permitted to take from the pantry if they have a need, but the public is also asked to leave something if they have enough to share.
Amy Rogers Trusler posted photos of the pantry on a Facebook group for Laveen residents and praised the generosity of the community.
“It’s been so amazing to see people in our community use it both for donating and taking things they need to make life a little easier right now,” Trusler told The Arizona Republic on Saturday.
The pantry is located at 4701 W. Dobbins and is available every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Trusler said.
Cardinals blood drive extended by two hours
The Arizona Cardinals issued a written statement on Friday announcing that it has extended a blood drive to be held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale by two hours after every appointment slot was filled in less than a day.
The blood drive, which was originally scheduled for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday will now be held between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
“In response to the overwhelming demand — and in light of the community’s dire need to replenish a depleted local blood supply — two hours have been added to the drive and additional appointment spots have been created throughout the day thanks to increased staffing and resources,” the statement detailed.
The team is partnering with Dignity Health and Cigna while coordinating with Vitalant. The team warned appointments are required and urged those interested to sign up at vitalant.org/cardinals.
Although mass gatherings are to be avoided, organizers noted that the stadium’s large space will allow people to give blood while still maintaining social distancing.
Free salads for health care workers
Salad and Go is offering free salads or burritos to those affected by the coronavirus.
On Facebook, the local chain announced it would be providing free food to everyone from nurses and first responders to those in the service industry regardless whether they are employed, working reduced hours or laid off. A different industry has been highlighted each day.
Salad and Go will recognize health care workers and first responders on Saturday and Sunday. Simply show an employee ID at the drive-thru to redeem the free salad or breakfast burrito.
Neighbors set up ‘bear hunt’ for kids on walks
Members of a north-central Phoenix community put teddy bears outside their homes to liven up outdoor walks for children in the neighborhood.
Lin Sue Cooney, a former 12 News anchor, posted about the effort on her Facebook page. She included photos showing the stuffed animals
“So sweet, I can ‘bearly’ stand it!” she wrote.
Cooney later told The Arizona Republic she thought it must be “baffling” for young children to be cooped up at their homes, without understanding why they can’t see their friends or go to preschool.
“‘Going on a bear hunt’ is a great way to feed their imaginations, strengthen the parental bond and let grown-up’s be kids again,” she wrote.
Cooney said she hopes the effort inspires others to find “creative ways to love and nurture one another right now.”
“That’s the silver lining in all this,” she said. “Maybe we’ll emerge not only stronger, but kinder.”
Nanny agency hiring teachers out of work
Trusting Connections Nanny Agency, which was named Best Nanny Agency 2020 by Arizona Foothills Magazine, is recruiting teachers who are temporarily out of work to help the company address surging demand for child care.
Hundreds of teachers have already reached out to the agency or filled out an online application, Trusting Connections co-founder Rosalind Prather said.
She said they will hire “as many teachers as demand dictates,” adding that the company is also looking for businesses that might be willing to cover the cost of a nanny service as an employee benefit during the outbreak.
Prather said she believes the outbreak has highlighted the importance of both teachers and nannies.
“For the first time, parents are being forced to homeschool and be teachers (and) I think teachers are going to be appreciated in a way they haven’t been in the past,” she said. “Teachers and nannies are similar in that they’re unsung heroes. These are the people that are raising the next generation and teaching the next generation.”
She added that her company is grateful to not only provide teachers out of work with income but also with an opportunity to do what they’re passionate about.
“Being a nanny gives them an opportunity to be with kids again,” she said. “Instead of going to get a job at Target, they’re getting an opportunity to do what speaks to them and what they love.”
The company is not providing care to families that have either been diagnosed with COVID-19 or show symptoms associated with the virus.
If a nanny shows symptoms, they must follow a 14-day quarantine before they can request to provide care again, Prather said.
The company serves families in Phoenix, Tucson and Dallas. Those interested in working for the company or receiving care are asked to go to www.trustingconnections.com.
Unlimited free car washes for health care professionals
Quick Quack Car Wash announced Tuesday that it would provide free “Best” single car washes to health care professionals.
Anyone who works at a hospital or urgent care facility is eligible to redeem unlimited free car washes until March 31, but should be prepared to show their identification badge to a team member.
The company has 10 locations throughout the Valley.
Spokesman Mike Bruce said the offer has “no strings attached.”
“We wanted to provide free washes because it’s simply the right thing to do at this time,” Bruce said.
He said that Quick Quack employees have family members and friends fighting the pandemic on the front lines, and that the company wanted to find a way to thank them even if they can’t help with masks or other medical equipment.
“A car wash is a convenience but it’s still nice to be able to go to work in a clean car and not feel stressed out about paying for a chore when heading to work,” he said.
Bruce added that the company has seen less business since the pandemic, aggravated by the service industry being “the first line of business to be affected by ‘nonessential’ rules.”
He hopes, though, that doing something to make others’ days easier, even while the company is struggling, has a large impact.
“If getting a free car wash can be that one shining glimmer of positivity or kindness in someone’s day, that’s all we can hope for.”
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