These Are the People in Boston Giving Us Hope This Week

There is so much good out there right now.

Boston City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George works on creating masks at Stitch House in Dorchester, Massachusetts on March 22, 2020. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

It goes without saying that we owe an enormous and un-payable debt to everyone who is still reporting to work right now. That is especially true for all the doctors, nurses, and other health care staff, not to mention grocery store employees, who are putting themselves in considerable danger for the rest of us. But because this is all overwhelming and insane, and we need to hear some uplifting news right now, we thought now would be a good time to take a step back and recognize some of the other good people who have really been doing their part this week. So let’s follow the famous Mr. Rogers advice and keep all these folks in mind while we ride this thing out. (And if you can think of anyone worthy of a shoutout, let me know).

The Supply Donors

There are too many to list here, but if you’re a company that had a stockpile of personal protective equipment and answered the call from hospitals by donating it this week, we salute you.

The Supply Makers

A Charlestown manufacturer churning out face shields, distilleries and cannabis companies and other facilities using their equipment to make hand sanitizer, and the local medical device manufacturers ramping up production to meet demand are all rising to the occasion.

The Homemade Supply Makers

It turns out this state does not waste a sudden spasm of endless idle time at home, and a growing community of crafty and home-bound people have been putting their knitting skills to use making thousands of homemade masks.

The Boston Resiliency Fund Donors

So far it’s collected well over its goal of $20 million, and has already helped thousands of Boston students get Chromebooks to keep up with work while school is out. Soon it will distribute millions in grants to local organizations. More info on how you can give here.

The Essential Personnel Thankers

Shoutout to everyone who’s going out of their way to thank them, like this guy with his inflatable flailing arm display in his front yard.

These Berklee Kids

Hard to heap enough praise on the scores of music students who cobbled together this video rendition of “What the World Needs Now” while self-isolating.

The Musicians We Already Know and Love

I’ll be honest, I wanted to be too cool for the Neil Diamond “Sweet Caroline” video about washing your hands and practicing social distancing, but it was sweet, and so we thank him for his contribution. James Taylor also really stepped up to the plate this week, pledging $1 million to Mass General. Thanks, guys.

Club Passim

Club Passim’s creative thinking has yielded big results. The legendary Cambridge venue has been hosting a virtual “Keep Your Distance Fest” and soliciting donations from its community of fans to the Passim Emergency Artist Relief Fund. So far it’s brought in at least $55,000 that will support local performers who are now out of work for who knows how long.

Mutual Aid Groups

Proving that even during a widespread self-quarantine there are those in Boston who are dedicated to making sure no one is truly alone, mutual aid groups have been sprouting up around the city to help people with everything from getting groceries to getting online to look for work.

The Restaurants

Eateries big and small have been finding ways to give back, even at a time when they’re getting absolutely slammed by this crisis and have had to completely retool their businesses to go takeout- and delivery-only. Some standouts: Boloco founder John Pepper and his $25,000 fundraiser to help provide meals for hospital workers, Tavern in the Square and its care packages for needy families, and Crush Pizza’s new “free slice to anyone that is hungry and has fallen on hard times” policy. Also, Boston chefs have united behind a new initiative called Off Their Plate, which is also keeping essential employees fed.

Marcus Smart

You really do have to hand it to the COVID-positive Celtic, who has used his diagnosis to spread the word about how the virus can spread even if carriers don’t know they have it, and to really drive the point home about why people need to stay home. He has a platform and he’s been using the hell out of it.

Needham’s Mystery Flower Man

Honestly, just read this.