BALTIMORE (WJZ) — During times of hardship, we need something to smile about, something to make our hearts happy.

With all the news lately about coronavirus, it can all be a bit overwhelming.

Gov. Larry Hogan launched a Maryland Unites site to help link volunteers with organizations that need help. He talked about how Marylanders have been stepping up to help one another including Pasadena Boat Works donating 14,000 respirators masks to the Maryland Department of Health and a group of Baltimore city residents came together to form a quarantine response network to run errands and check in on their elderly neighbors in the Hampden, Charles Village and Sandtown-Winchester neighborhoods.

Here are a few stories WJZ did this week about Marylanders helping each other amid the COVID-19 pandemic:

Customer Leaves $1,000 Tip At Mount Airy Inn

A generous customer left a sizeable tip for servers at the Mount Airy Inn Monday as that restaurant and others across Maryland prepared to close their doors due to the coronavirus. Jesse Windsor, who works at the restaurant, said the staff was getting ready to close the dining room when the frequent diner decided to do something special.

Harford County Couple Helps Woman Pay For Groceries

Dana Morgan was waiting in line to pay for her groceries at an Aldi when she saw the store decline a woman’s debit card. Instead of ignoring the situation and realizing that many people are struggling right now, Morgan went outside and told the woman she’d help her buy the groceries.

Distilleries Making Hand Sanitizer:

After news broke about the coronavirus, stores started selling out of hand sanitizer. Distilleries in Maryland, and around the U.S., pivoted production from spirits to hand sanitizer. Stetson Miller went to McClintock Distilling in Frederick to learn about their process. And even though they could sell it, they said they will donate it instead.

Maryland Priest Opens Drive-Thru Confessional:

Father Scott Holmer in Bowie, Maryland took a new approach when public mass was suspended by the Archdiocese of Washington DC to help stop the spread of coronavirus. He decided to open a drive-thru confessional in the parking lot of his Bowie church.

Weekend Backpacks For Homeless Kids Prepares Thousands Of Meals During School Closures

Weekend Backpacks for Homeless Kids is stepping up to the plate and going into its emergency plans to supply Baltimore City school kids and their families with bags of food to keep them fed while schools are closed. Each bag of food can feed up to a family of four and last about four days.

Other Good News:

If you’re looking for ways to help, go to the Maryland Unites website or can also support small businesses. If you’re healthy the American Red Cross still needs blood donations and some shelters are looking for people to help foster animals.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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