Pink neon sign hanging on wall reading good vibes only

COVID-19: Look for the Helpers

Need a break from all the frightening news lately? Read about these heartwarming acts of love, bravery, and kindness in the midst of the COVID-10 outbreak.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” — Fred Rogers

As we finish off another week of social distancing, everyone’s emotions are starting to get frayed by the sea of online information and discouraging reports about the pandemic’s progression. Though things may seem endlessly bleak right now, there are still blips of kindness and generosity on our radar. Check out these positive stories in the news; they’re sure to put a smile back on your face.

Big businesses are stepping up to the plate

After news broke of critical shortages of ventilators for COVID-19 patients, Formula One engine manufacturer Mercedes has teamed up with clinicians and university engineers in London to design a breathing aid that can be quickly mass-produced. To take the story from admirable to amazing, the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device developed by F1 was re-engineered from an existing machine in fewer than 100 hours.

Image courtesy of CNN

Small businesses are also stepping up

At 29 years old, Seni Felic came to America in 1994 as a refugee from the war in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. After building a life for himself in the states, he now owns a restaurant in San Francisco called Bistro SF Grill. Having tackled immense challenges in his own life, Seni wanted to give back to his community in these trying times. To get the word out, he posted this on Nextdoor: “We are inviting all to stop by Bistro SF Grill at 1305 Castro St. to grab a lunch or dinner prepackaged box beginning Tuesday, March 17, beginning at noon and every day after. Price is only $5.50 and it covers our expenses.”

He spoke to Reader’s Digest about his generosity, saying, “We’re going to pool our resources and people will pull together, and it will have a strong impact on solving any problems.” Thank you, Seni. You truly are a helper.

Individuals are making their mark

This outbreak has been a trying time for all of us, but for those who were exposed to the virus, self-isolation means no grocery runs, errands—nothin’. Cornwall resident Becky Wass saw this as an opportunity to help her neighbors, so she created a postcard stating “Hello! If you are self-isolating, I can help,” with space for people to fill out their contact details and whether they would like help with shopping, posting mail, or simply a phone call. Last Friday, Wass’s husband Jonny Green posted an image of the card on Twitter, where it quickly went viral with the hashtag #viralkindness.

Celebrities are doing their part

Rihanna is truly a queen; she donated an undisclosed supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the state of New York—the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US—and was even thanked by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Twitter. Additionally, her Clara Lionel Foundation donated $5 million to her home country of Barbados and multiple organizations currently battling the effects of COVID-19, including Partners in Health, Direct Relief, Feeding America, the International Rescue Committee, and the World Health Organization.

Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

We still don’t deserve dogs

Tonka, a Great Dane therapy dog, often visits senior citizens at the Cedar Pointe Health and Wellness Suites in Cedar Pointe, Texas, with his owner, Courtney Leigh. When the nursing home canceled all visitors in an effort to protect its residents from the coronavirus, Courtney had a great idea. She decided to continue Tonka's visits by walking the perimeter outside the nursing home's windows, holding a sign that says "We Miss You." How cute is that?!

Image courtesy of Best Life Online

People are continuing to recover—even those who weren’t expected to

An 85-year-old British woman arrived at the Medihelp Clinic in Cartagena, Colombia, after being taken off the stricken cruise liner MS Braemer last month. She tested positive for COVID-19 and was in critical condition. After weeks in the hospital, she was finally well enough to go home. As she left, the doctors, nurses, and support staff who helped her ward off the deadly virus lined the halls to applaud her. Watch the joyous video here.

Keep hope alive

We sincerely hope these stories warmed your heart and inspired you to do your part. Kindness and love are more important than ever, so reach out to your neighbors and loved ones, even just to say hello and check in!

If you’re proud of yourself (or someone else) for spreading kindness in these difficult times, tell us what you’re doing on Twitter! Do you think we can get #SpreadKindnessNotTheVirus trending or what?

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now


About Abby Curtis

Abby Curtis

Abby Curtis is a freelance writer based in the Boston area. Writing is her favorite, with reading coming in second. She loves petting dogs (and cats, horses, bearded dragons, and so on). She also cooks and bakes a lot—hope you're hungry!


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Farrah Macci

Farrah Macci

High School Class of 2016

CollegeXpress has helped me in many ways. For one, online searches are more organized and refined by filtering scholarships through by my personal and academic interests. Due to this, it has made searching for colleges and scholarships significantly less stressful. As a student, life can already get stressful pretty quickly. For me, it’s been helpful to utilize CollegeXpress since it keeps all of my searches and likes together, so I don’t have to branch out on multiple websites just to explore scholarship options.

Heather McCarty

Heather McCarty

High School Class of 2020

CollegeXpress has helped me with the college application process. The tips and tricks for important essays were so helpful. I also gained useful knowledge about college life. Even though I’m fully online, CollegeXpress has helped me develop a sense of how college is in person. The experiences from college students that were featured on their Instagram page have shown the good, the bad, and the “secret” life on campus from a reliable perspective. Not to mention, they relieved my feelings of anxiety about the workload. I can now understand how it can be stressful, but it takes self-control and willpower to get assignments completed on time and with quality.

Kory Gilbertson

Kory Gilbertson

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has helped me explore my views on college in that "why do I wanna go to a certain school" way. It’s helped me explore the best fits in all of these outstanding choices. All these college admission counselors can access my accolades showing them how I could help their college. This source of information helps me show these admission directors who I am and what I'm interested in. Thanks to this platform, my experience for education will be better than most, and I'm so grateful for all that it has provided for me.

Anthony Vidal

Anthony Vidal

High School Class of 2023

CollegeXpress has helped me in a series of different ways when it comes to finding scholarships and learning information about different universities. I actually found my dream university through CollegeXpress and am working on getting there.

Caitlin Eaton

Caitlin Eaton

$10,000 Scholarship Winner, 2021

I first discovered CollegeXpress during my sophomore year of high school while researching colleges that interested me. My SAT prep class the following year further familiarized me with the opportunities available through the organization. CX has personally helped me by exposing me to a diverse selection of schools as well as scholarships and life tips that have provided valuable guidance in my college search.

This scholarship will help me adjust to college life without worrying as much about tuition. This gives me more room to truly explore and benefit from all aspects of higher education. I plan to study Conservation Biology and work protecting species/ecosystems. I’m looking forward to getting field experience and seeing firsthand the problems research is solving.

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

University of Rochester

Rochester, NY

Miami University

Oxford, OH

Assumption University

Worcester, MA