Meet some local people who stepped up with acts of generosity and compassion during the COVID-19 pandemic

Acts of kindness

The worst of times has brought out the best in many local residents

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Courtesy photo

Flower Power

When real estate agent Kristy Deal Hayzlett went to Costco in Wheaton on Friday, March 13, she was planning to pick up some things for her clients. Then she spotted the flowers. Her kids’ schools had just closed for two weeks, and she’d already noticed increasing anxiety among her Bethesda neighbors. “People just looked lost,” she says. So she ended up filling her entire cart with bulbs, more than 50 bags of them, along with gardening gloves to go with each bag. Later that afternoon she posted a note on the Nextdoor app.

Hi Bethesda!

I went and bought a bunch of pretty bulbs in large bags and packs of gloves from Costco. Let me know if you want me to leave a bag on your front porch with a pair of gloves. Something different while we are staying home. 🙂

“Flowers are happy, and they’re cheery,” Deal Hayzlett says. “It was a crazy time, so I thought, why not deliver some goodness?” By the next day she’d received 72 responses, all from people she’d never met. One neighbor wrote, “I’m over public places for the time being, but working in the yard sounds amazing. If your thoughtful offer has been snatched up by others, thank you so much for bringing joy in such uncertain times.” Deal Hayzlett delivered the bags—including one to a person who lives 20 miles away and heard about her kind gesture—and refused to accept any money. A few people told her they would pay it forward. As stores, parks and restaurants began closing, she had only one regret: “I wish I’d bought more bulbs.”

“I’d like to relay the story a good friend created with her (and her family’s) kindness. This friend is working hard in D.C. every day to help bring relief through efforts in the U.S. Senate. As tired as she must be as she helps navigate through this rough period, she sent a text out to our friend group on Thursday. My family and I were spending time together in the backyard. We had a fire smoldering in the fire pit. We spoke about how we felt fortunate to have each other and our health. We rejoiced as we talked about the friendships we share with our neighbors and in our community. But we were emotionally tired. We were exhausted from all that has happened and changed over the past few weeks. As parents, we have been working hard to stay positive in front of our kids. As the flames of our fire began to fade into the night, I heard a ding from my phone. The text was: ‘Check your front porches. (Heart emoji) your socially distant friend-family.’ I read the text out loud. Our kids were the first to jump up and rush to the front door. On the other side of that door was a little woven-grass basket. It had some chocolate candies in it—and a handwritten card. The card said, ‘Thinking of you friends during this time. Love, hugs & chocolates – The Baileys.’ It was a beautiful gesture. Even three days later, the memory brings a smile to my face.” —Adam Murphy, Rockville

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