PEOPLE Readers on the Loved Ones Who've Helped Them Get Through the Pandemic, One Year Later

Susan Whittier

“I work in a New York City microbiology lab and since 3/15/2020 we have been testing more than 1000 samples per day. Last spring I was was of the unfortunates that ran out of toilet paper because I couldn’t get to a store. One night when the kids and I ordered a pizza I jokingly asked if they would sell me a roll and they actually delivered 6 rolls with our pizza. That act of kindness brought me to tears.”

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Latonya Ray

“The standout acts of kindness that brighten my day are me getting up in the morning writing songs for my music career and recording music.”

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Kris Iversen

“My fur baby @jasmineflashdivine”

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Judy Rosen

“That moment in early May when on a whim I posted a drawing I had done and an idea to attempt to say thank you to frontline workers. As a lawyer and mom to two young children, the stress from the pandemic left me sleepless most nights, so I began to draw when I couldn’t sleep. I posted one of my drawings on my social media network and the idea for a yard sign to say ‘thank you’ with a portion of the proceeds going to help combat food insecurity. Within hours of the post, I had requests from friends for over 100 signs, and three days later we had sold over 500 signs, most to people I didn’t even know. On that first night after the post, YardPeeps was started and my husband quickly set up a website to take orders. By the end of May, my thank you sign had reached all 50 states. YardPeeps has gifted signs to various fire and police stations, given to both USPS and delivery men/women, as well as been picked up by various media outlets. I had never publicly shared any of my artwork prior, and now when I drive around Houston I see signs all over, I receive photos of signs in yards and get tagged on social media by friends of friends of see my sign posted. Besides allowing me share my passion for drawing and to say thank you to all the unsung heroes of the pandemic, through YardPeeps I have been able to donate over $18,000 to various food banks across the U.S. — providing over 50,000 meals to hungry children.”

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Jilly Sinise

“This wreath (shown) is here at The Dream Farm in Warrenton, Missouri. It is on every night. It is here on our private resort (where our mission is to promote love and kindness and help people in our community to feel loved in many different ways). The wreath reminds us all of the light we have within ourselves to be kind everyday. And to remind us of the light that we all have in common, within each of our hearts. And it’s up to us to find that light in each other. All people have light within themselves to show kindness through thick and thin. The wreath honors all essential workers who got us through this, to remember them forever.”

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Jeanette Shipp

“At a Galesburg, Illinois, COVID vaccine clinic, we’re getting healthcare workers and the elderly immunized to fight against COVID.”

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Janice Viscardi

“Addison Viscardi of Oradell, New Jersey, painted hundreds of inspirational rocks and left them all over her town for residents to find. She wanted to inspire hope and kindness.”

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Violet Seiwert

“My residence is on a cul-de-sac, and two neighbors stopped at my house to see if I needed anything. One called to see if I was ok. Since I live alone, have no family in this city and will be 96 yrs old next month, it made me feel really good and safer to know that someone was caring about my welfare and making me feel less lonely.”

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Teresa Peters

“My son Greg is a first-year Emergency Medicine resident at Massachusetts General Hospital. From his teenage years in the Bronx, where he was an EMT and a volunteer firefighter, he has devoted his life to helping people with health emergencies. I am so proud to be his mom!”

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Shelly Tygielski

“I founded an organization called Pandemic of Love. We run a national mutual aid foundation that works by connecting donors directly to recipients forcing them to ‘connect’ directly in order to transact. The stories that have come out of these connections are filled with uplift and hope and compassion. We have connected more than 1.5 million people since last March.”

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