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LI Acts of Kindness: A look back at your good deeds in 2020

During the height of this year's anxiety and

During the height of this year's anxiety and uncertainty, Long Islanders lent a helping hand. The stories were different, but compassion was always their common thread. In Newsday's series LI Acts of Kindness, we have recognized the selfless deeds in our communities during a frightening and troubled time. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams, Jr., Steve Pfost; Danielle Silverman, Anthony Degradi, St. James Rehabilitation & Healthcare center, LILTA, Shari Hymes, Howard Schnapp, Morgan Campbell, Martina Dearstyne, Johnny Milano; Photo credits: Carla Fernandes, Lissa Southerland, Colleen Radcliffe

A local halal group purchased 5,000 pounds of rice for communities in need. Latina mothers showed up at a Wyandanch COVID-19 testing site to help those who needed Spanish translations of important medical information. Educators teamed up to donate technology to children in Brentwood and Central Islip for remote learning.

These are some of the Long Islanders who lent a helping hand during the height of this year's anxiety and uncertainty. The stories were different, but compassion was always their common thread.

In ways large and small during the COVID-19 pandemic, Long Islanders looked out for each other, and Newsday was there to capture it. In Newsday's series LI Acts of Kindness, we have recognized the selfless deeds in our communities during a frightening and troubled time.

This spring we launched a submission form, inviting Long Islanders to tell us about the acts of kindness they’ve seen in their communities as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Within a little more than a week, we received 30 submissions. That’s 30 story ideas, 30 good deeds, and at least 30 people who sprang into action and helped one another.

Our series began with neighbors entertaining each other on their front lawns and kids sending cards and flowers to nursing homes. People found interactive ways to lift each other’s spirits, and did it all from their homes.

As the pandemic intensified, Long Islanders found new ways to help each other.

We told weekly tales of encouragement and innovation, from a soccer coach who played one-on-one with an 11-year-old player with hemophilia while wearing masks, to a teen who made face shields for frontline workers using his own 3D printer. Many of the Long Islanders we profiled grew up in the communities they were serving, making their stories even more personal.

With our stories, we also offered videos filled with Zoom footage (and in-person interviews when possible), photos, graphics and informative text slides for a bite-sized look into the lives of many Long Islanders during a global crisis. The videos resonated on social media, and the comments section lent itself to even more story ideas.

Above all else, the series inspired Long Islanders to perform their own acts of kindness. We received emails and social media comments from readers who wanted to donate to a cause or contribute their time to an effort we had highlighted.

Newsday has published more than 70 LI Acts of Kindness. Amid the year’s darkness, they represent resilience, generosity and hope.

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