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The New York Times reports Verizon is handling an average of 800 million wireless calls daily—more than double the number typically made on Mother’s Day, traditionally one of the busiest call days of the year.

With millions of Americans sheltering at home during the COVID-19 crisis, it is perhaps not surprising that phone calls, along with Zoom chats, Skype calls and FaceTime visits have soared to historic levels as people seek to connect with friends and family members they cannot visit with in person.

More heartening than that are the bags of groceries left on doorsteps of the elderly, the free meals donated to first responders, and the neighborhood drive-bys and honk-ins to celebrate birthdays and weddings while maintaining the required social distance.

In most cases, kindness costs little, and brightening someone’s day with a random act of kindness can lift the spirits of the giver and the recipient.

If the spirit moves you, here are seven simple acts of kindness you can do while sheltering at home:

  • Double the suggested tip for the typically low-paid drivers who deliver your take-out food or groceries.
  • Pull up a chair in your driveway or on your porch. Invite a neighbor or someone you love to do the same and visit face-to-face from a distance, each enjoying your own cup of coffee. 
  • Make a donation to a local restaurant that you know is helping to feed the staff at local hospitals.
  • If you cook, drop off a homemade meal or dessert along with a cheery note on the doorstep of a friend or neighbor.
  • If you knit or crochet, make some brightly-colored lap robes and send them to a senior living facility.
  • If you draw or paint, make greeting cards with cheerful or inspiring messages and send them to anyone you know.
  • Order flowers or a stuffed animal online and have them sent to someone you know who is suffering from a case of cabin fever.

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