Good news in the coronavirus era: How Northern Colorado is supporting others, spreading joy



Poudre Fire Authority and Fort Collins Police Services went to Banner Health and UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital to thank health care workers. Wochit

Since the first coronavirus case in Colorado was announced March 5, many have experienced fear about the virus or sadness about missing or losing loved ones.

But the community has also seen support and kindness — from people finding ways to thank first responders and health care workers to people making face masks or getting groceries to others in need. 

There has been a lot of good news among the sad, difficult and tragic stories. Here is a collection of many of the good news stories we’ve heard about. If you have a good news story you think we should know about, send it to 

Showing up for children

► After learning a Wellington boy was upset about having to cancel his 4th birthday party, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Fort Collins Police Services, Colorado State University Police and UCHealth organized a parade by his house.

► Berthoud Fire Protection District surprised a Berthoud girl with a drive-by parade for her birthday after her party was cancelled on April 7. 

► A Poudre High School family reached out to Principal Kathy Mackay to ask how they could help support and thank staff. Knowing so many businesses owned by Poudre High School families are struggling, the school’s assistant principals were working to create a Poudre family-owned business resource guide to send to the school community, encouraging them to support those businesses. 

The Poudre family who reached out wanting to help agreed to donate $4,000 so the principal and assistant principals could buy gift cards to businesses owned by Poudre families and mail those gift cards to school staff members as a thank-you.

► Boltz Middle School held a gift card drive April 6 to help their families in need after more than 80 families told the school they were struggling. The school’s principal, Brett Larsen, and two counselors collected almost $14,000 in cash and gift cards during a drive outside the middle school. 

► At the end of March, Poudre School District set up an online portal where community members, families and staff can donate money to support the district’s meal distribution efforts, emergency family support and efforts to get internet to children without access. As of April 6, the fund had raised more than $16,000

► Knowing the neighborhood children were missing out on visiting the Easter Bunny this year, 16-year-old Kelsey Wade put on her bunny fur suit and paid visits to some children on Easter Sunday — all while maintaining at least six feet distance.

► After a Fort Collins boy lost his father to the coronavirus, the community rallied to give him a parade fro his 11th birthday.

► While schools are closed to help slow the spread of coronavirus, a national trend has emerged in which high schools turn on stadium lights to show support for students.

► Teachers at the Academy of Arts and Knowledge made a video full of supportive messages to remind students they are loved and missed. 

► Teachers at Colorado Early Colleges middle school in Windsor dropped off care packages for students and families to remind students they are supported and missed.

Acts of kindness in the community

► Mervin Railing turned 80 on April 5 but couldn’t celebrate with his family because he is isolated in DMA Senior Living in Old Town Fort Collins. The day before his birthday, Railing’s daughter and granddaughter wrote a “happy birthday” message in chalk on Remington Street that Railing could see out his ninth-floor window. 

► Senior Helpers Northern Colorado is working on a donation program to help get elderly community members meals. Many local businesses have already committed to donating or helping, including FoCo Cafe, TAB Northern Colorado, A Little Help and Jay’s Bistro — which already donated 100 meals. The goal is to deliver 100 free meals to seniors in need every week, said Emily LeBlanc, community relations coordinator for Senior Helpers Northern Colorado.

► To brighten the days of neighbors stuck in their homes, some community members have put up Christmas lights and decorations.

► A Front Range Fire Rescue chief has taken to playing the bagpipes in Northern Colorado parks some nights to bring joy to others and continue practicing his music.

► Community members have joined the “chalk the walk” movement, writing positive messages in chalk on the sidewalks and driveways outside their homes. 

► Family, friends and neighbors welcomed home a stroke victim while maintaining social distancing with a parade around his street.

► A Facebook group is rallying community support around Thompson School District high school seniors to show support for the graduating class of 2020. Click here to learn how to help or nominate your senior

Support for health care workers and patients

► On April 25, the Northern Colorado Alzheimer’s Association organized a Honk for Hope car parade to just over a dozen care communities in Fort Collins. “It is so important for us to show compassion during this time, and love on our senior community who has been hit so hard by COVID-19 in addition to the staff that work at these communities,” said Katie Peterson of the Alzheimer’s Association. “We also want the community to know they are not alone. We had a little over 30 cars join us all over Fort Collins and we got to see so many smiles and some tears. It really was an amazing experience.”


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► Gavin Kendrot, a 10-year-old Cub Scout in Windsor, is putting his 3D-printing skills to work, creating ear guards for health care workers. Gavin purchased his 3D-printer with some of his prize earnings after selling $18,000 in popcorn for the Cub Scouts last year. Gavin has donated ear guards to North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley and sent several to an ER doctor in Texas. His next batches will got to UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital and Family Medical Center in Fort Collins.

► Hospitalized coronavirus patients are not allowed to have visitors to protect others from catching the virus, so a GoFundMe campaign has been set up to purchase tablets for patients to stay connected with loved ones while isolated in hospitals. For every $50 donated, a new tablet set up with video conferencing will be donated to a Northern Colorado hospital for a patient to use. On April 14, the first 30 tablets were delivered to hospitals in Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley.

How to help: Homemade, 3D printed masks filling gaps for workers on front line of coronavirus epidemic


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Editor’s note: The Coloradoan is committed to providing you with accurate, up-to-date information so you can make informed decisions on issues affecting you and the people you love during the coronavirus pandemic. As such, this story, and many others, are being provided free for all to read. Help us continue important work like this by subscribing to the Coloradoan. 

Sady Swanson covers crime, courts, public safety and more throughout Northern Colorado. You can send your story ideas to her at or on Twitter at @sadyswan. Support our work and local journalism with a digital subscription at

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