Coronavirus pandemic: Community spreads love with random acts of kindness

JUST ME AND IT'S FREE: Pianist, singer and actor Dianna Nixon will give live performances from her veranda while in self-isolation from coronavirus. Photo: supplied

JUST ME AND IT'S FREE: Pianist, singer and actor Dianna Nixon will give live performances from her veranda while in self-isolation from coronavirus. Photo: supplied

Songs Fever and Don't Stand So Close To Me are on piano and singing teacher Dianna Nixon's set-list, ready for when she steps onto her Gunning veranda to perform while in self-isolation.

The live performances dubbed 'Just Me and It's Free' will provide musical entertainment by night and Blinky Bill readings by day for whoever is listening in Ms Nixon's street.

This is one of the small acts of kindness people are demonstrating to spread love amid health fears, panic-buying and social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

"I'm inspired by the Italians. They've been out on their verandas dancing and playing music during lockdown, which is excellent," she said.

Dianna Nixon will also read children's books on her veranda to help parents looking for something to do during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: supplied

Dianna Nixon will also read children's books on her veranda to help parents looking for something to do during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: supplied

"I am a performer and I will miss performing, so I thought I have the perfect veranda for gigs that looks over the street and some basic amplification.

"People can watch the performances from outside my fence and there's enough room for everyone to be distanced from each other.

"I think anything that cheers us up will be good for our immunity!"

Ms Nixon is also an actor and said she had lost performances because of the pandemic.

However, she said she was grateful to keep teaching piano and singing online and, of course, performing from her veranda at home.

"My 94-year-old mother always says she's happy as long as she's got something to look forward to," she said.

"We all need things to look forward to and kids can't just be sitting around the house, but they'll be limited because they can't do sport or holiday programs, so I thought this would be a solution."

HAPPY TO HELP: Katie Yeo, Alfie Walker and Mel Warn deliver nappies to Upper Lachlan Shire residents in need. Photo: supplied

HAPPY TO HELP: Katie Yeo, Alfie Walker and Mel Warn deliver nappies to Upper Lachlan Shire residents in need. Photo: supplied

Last week, Upper Lachlan Community Connect (ULCC) began coordinating supermarket shortages such as food, sanitary pads, toilet rolls and nappies and finding volunteers to deliver them.

The volunteers are also offering to go shopping for residents unable to go to the supermarket and will even lend an ear or provide useful advice during this anxious time.

"How this all started was that we saw a lot of people putting posts on Facebook saying they were happy to help people but we felt the people who needed the most help weren't on Facebook," ULCC organiser Gavin Douglas said.

"This is about connecting people offline with the people online and connecting people who need help with people who can help.

"The older generation is very self-sufficient and would rather not ask for help, but they're the people we'd really like to support."

If you need help, contact Mr Douglas (Collector, Dalton, Gunning, Bigga, Binda and Tuena areas) on 0423 245 470 or gunningdistrictassociation@gmail.com; Wayne Landford (Crookwell and Laggan areas) on 02 4832 1057 or wayne@stbartscrookwell.com.au; and Stef Fitzgerald (Taralga area) on 0410 402 894 or steffi21@live.com.au.

GENEROSITY: Donna Jones' children Jo-Lee, Emily and Melissa feed hay to horses, donkeys, goats and pigs. Photo: supplied

GENEROSITY: Donna Jones' children Jo-Lee, Emily and Melissa feed hay to horses, donkeys, goats and pigs. Photo: supplied

Meanwhile, Bigga mother Donna Jones has been teaching her children to be grateful and not wasteful during the pandemic.

"They are not only grateful for their food and yes their toilet paper, but they are also realising how grateful they are for their grandma," she said.

"They are grateful for all the elderly people in their community who may not even realise how important they are to these kids."

Ms Jones said while others were panic-buying her children had asked to find nappies for a woman who was in need of some and to check on an elderly woman who lives alone nearby.

"It is nice to see these kids who are part of the 'age of entitlement generation' see what is really important. If anything good is going to come from this coronavirus, maybe this is what it is," she said.

Bed and breakfasts forced to close have also raised their hands to provide crisis accommodation to families facing coronavirus; community Facebook pages have offered free advertising to struggling businesses; and many residents have said they will go shopping for others.

These random acts of kindness are not only shining a light on a difficult time but also showing there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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