‘Corona Kindness’ Spreading Throughout Community

Jetta (left) and her bother Jax pose for a picture with all of the “Corona Kindness” packages they doc rated and filled as a way to spread a random act of kindness to friends, families and teachers around the St. Marys community.
Managing Editor

In a time of distress and despair, all we need is a few acts of kindness to bring happiness back into a community. 

Jetta Van Gundy has done just that.

The 14-year-old, with the help of her brother Jax, made 27 “Corona Kindness” packages and left the mon porches and hung on front doors of various friends, families and teachers throughout the St. Marys community. The packages were her way to give back to the community during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has forced school closures and a stay-at-home order from both the state and federal level. 

“We don’t sew so I couldn’t make masks for health professionals,” she said. “I came up with an idea for RAKs (Random Acts of Kindness) for others and my parents thought it was a great idea and supported it.  “Corona Kindness” sounded like a good name for spreading kindness to others so I went with it.”

Each package is filled with a roll of toilet paper, microwaveable popcorn, chocolate, suckers and bubbles for kids. Also in the package is a note, which reads, “You’ve caught a case of ‘Corona Kindness!’ We challenge you to do a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) for three or more people/families and pass this challenge along to them. Make someone smile today by spreading kindness, not the coronavirus.”

At the end of the note is Gov. Mike DeWine’s hashtags, #InThisTogetherOhio, #StayHomeOhio, #FlattenTheCurve and #StrongerTogetherBut6FeetAart.

Van Gundy said the bags only took two hours to decorate and fill. 

“If everyone continues the challenge, we could have over 6,500 RAKs after five cycles and over 1.5 million after 10,” she added. “It doesn’t have to be a gift bag of items, it could be a drawing or a story, anything to make someone’s day during this difficult time in our world.  

“A lot of families we know have continued the “Corona Kindness” and even made up fun challenges of their own.

And there’s a number of families who have caught that kindness spreading it -- hopefully faster than the actual virus.

Families have been posting their challenges via videos to other families on Facebook since Van Gundy delivered her packages, including the Schlosser, Reams, Huston, Keller, Bambauer, Mele, Plattner, Kill, Dieringer, Grothause, Rammel, Burke, Ibrahim, Huber, Krugh, Fischbach, Ruane, McCollough, Fulmer and Caywood families. The “Corona Family Dance Challenge” includes the song “Blinding Lights,” the latest single from the singer The Weeknd, and the videos last about 10 seconds and involve all family members dancing to the sound of the song. 

“Lots of laughs and smiles happened when we made our dance and watched other families dance too,” Van Gundy added.

Van Gundy said families have also made goodie packages, such as the Reams family making letters for service workers and others have pledged to do additional RAKs. Van Gundy added she is looking forward to more bags next week when orders from Amazon come in.

“The ultimate goal of this “Corona Kindness” challenge is to spread kindness and make people happy,” she concluded. “We’re in this together and sometimes it’s just nice to show your appreciation to others.”