(The following is part of an ongoing series of inspirational stories and acts of kindness in the GLOW region. If you have any ideas for this series, contact Scott DeSmit at desmitmail@yahoo.com)


Nancy Okoniewski, an aide at Jackson School, Batavia, has been sewing children and adult masks for hospitals. She emailed staff at school asking for elastic, got kits from Joanne Fabrics and had made more than four dozen masks. She sent some to her daughter for an elder care home in Massachusetts that was hard hit by virus, and others to United Memorial Medical Center, Batavia, and Strong Hospital, Rochester. She has a box on her front porch if anyone wishes to donate elastic and fabric. email her at nokoniewski@bataviacsd.org.

Another Batavia City School District employee, Danielle Dwyer who works at the high school has been “giving gifts to anyone I feel could use a smile.”

She has been laminating children’s pictures and creating refrigerator magnets and putting them in a bag along with a roll of toilet paper, giving them to older people at places such as 400 Towers.

“It’s not a lot but I could tell they were lonely and it was something to brighten their day,” she said.

She also does a virtual art class on Thursdays. For more information on that, or to donate supplies you can email her at daniellerenea9@gmail.com.


At least one local family has donated their RV to a health care worker.

Steve and Kathy Harling of Barre donated their RV to a nurse at Highland Hospital after reading about the program on Facebook.

“We have an RV sitting idle most of the time,” Kathy Harling told WGRZ-TV in Buffalo. “I’m so glad that someone came up with the idea. I just think that it’s a fantastic idea and I think it’s really taken off.”

The Facebook group matches health care workers and first responders with owners of RVs.

The effort began March 24 by a family in Texas for health care workers who feared bringing the virus home to their families. Nearly 2,000 people have offered to donated RVs.

For more information, visit RVs for MDs on Facebook.


Lori Laine has been dropping off hundreds of rock-painting kits on porches in the area. The kits include stones, paint and brushes, all sprayed with Lysol.

“Thank you to everyone who has donated to Albion NY Rocks,” Laine wrote on her Facebook page. “We have more paint kits being put together today. If you would like to get a rock kit and live in the Albion NY area, send us a message with your address and how many kids. If there are more than two kids in the family we are asking that you share as we are giving two kits per family but will add extra rocks!

These kits are free and brought to you by the generous rock stars who support Albion New York rocks!”


Bonnie Monnier of Warsaw is part of the Warsaw chapter of MOPS, Mothers of Preschoolers.

Without her knowledge, other members planned a drive-by birthday for her son, Emerson, who turned 5 on Monday.

“He was so excited to have all the cars and his friends drive by honking and waving,” Emerson’s dad, Tom Monnier, said. “Definitely an act of kindness during this time of social distancing.”


When a crisis occurs, it is vital that communities collaborate.

Last week, the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership made a significant donation to both the Genesee and Livingston Emergency Management County Systems. These donations amounted to thousands of Personal Protective Equipment including gloves, disposable gowns, hand sanitizer, surgical masks, N95 respirator masks, blood pressure cuffs and alcohol prep pads. While schools are closed, these items will be benefit local communities in the fight against COVID-19.

Matt DellaPenna, director of safety and security for GVEP, shared the importance of this donation: “Our nation is facing a pandemic that we have never encountered before,” he said. “These supplies will help to protect the brave first responders and healthcare workers who are on the frontlines of this COVID-19 outbreak.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1