Good Neighbors

Woman Sparks Kindness Movement During Coronavirus Crisis

She's showing the power of what just one person can do to help others - we'll tell you how you can be a good neighbor, too!

As the threat of the coronavirus continues to spread, there are those who are reaching out to make sure their homebound neighbors are taken care of.

This includes Penelope Rudder of Greenport, NY, who has come up with a way to get food to her neighbors who are isolated in their homes.

Penelope Rudder has been collecting donations for her neighbors who are isolated due to the coronavirus. Our Little Free Pantry/Facebook

When Rudder heard that one of her neighbors, Pat Mundus, was under self-quarantine last week after she returned from a trip to Italy, Rudder wanted to make sure had everything she needed.

Rudder took it upon herself to purchase fresh, nutritional food from a few local businesses, including bread from the Blue Duck Bakery and biodynamic greens from KK's The Farm, and made a care package for Mundus.

"Those are the greens and produce that I eat every day because of their superb taste and nutritional value — key with me," Rudder told the North Fork Patch. "The bread and bagels are of the same quality —fresh, really wholesome and made with care. Food is care and medicine and I wanted to gather those same energies up and share them."

Rudder left a care package for her neighbor with baked goods, fresh produce and cat food. Pat Mundus/Facebook

Rudder has been encouraging others in her town to donate items to include in care packages for those who can't get outside. Residents have been giving bagels, produce, baked goods and art supplies to "provide health and cheer to anyone in this very stressful time," Rudder said.

Rudder, who also runs the community's "Little Free Pantry," teamed up with a member of the Southold Anti-Bias Task Force to make 50 "comfort snack packs" for the pantry. The packs were gone almost immediately.

Rudder and a friend made 50+ comfort snack bags for kids in their community. Our Little Free Pantry/Facebook

While the threat of the coronavirus is causing stress and chaos all over the world, Rudder sees a silver lining.

"I look at everything as an opportunity and this virus is one that pulls at my core of dreams," she said.

Rudder started a "Little Free Pantry" in her community to get food to people in need. Our Little Free Pantry/Facebook

Rudder's "dreams" consist of connecting with others in order to make the world a better place, a notion she hopes will become more popular in the coming weeks as the virus spreads and new restrictions and closures are put in place.

"This virus has the capacity to show us who we are, what we are made of, and share our best," she said. "I hope what also goes viral is our compassion and common humanity."

Rudder has been leaving fresh, nutritional food for her neighbors who are self-isolating due to the coronavirus. Our Little Free Pantry/Facebook

How can you start something good?

Inspired by Rudder's incredible acts of kindness? Why not take her lead and do what you can to help others in your community during the coronavirus crisis?

You can start your own donation collection, or make it a point to donate to food collections that you come across.

If your community has a free pantry, you can do your part to make sure it's well-stocked. Or find the food pantry closest to you (click here to search by zip code) and donate food or cash to help out.

Check in on your neighbors, especially if they're elderly and live alone. Offer to do their grocery shopping for them or pick up their medications.

Reach out to friends and family members. A quick phone call to say hello can help reduce stress, both for you and the person on the other end!

Be kind. Sounds simple, but one of the best (and easiest!) ways to support your fellow humans is to be gracious with your actions. Smile, wave hello, give when you can – we're all in this together, might as well spread the love!

Let's #StartSomethingGood together.

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