Viral Kindness

During this COVID-19 crisis, people are stepping up and spreading goodwill. We want to hear about the ways in which Kansans are responding to this emergency with compassion, and shine a light on the humans that exemplify humanity.

Every other Friday, we'll share your stories on KMUW's new commentary, Viral Kindness.

Share your experience. Use the 'Talk to Us' feature on the KMUW app, or leave a voicemail at (316) 978-6789.

Writer Caroni Lombard recently received a dose of goodwill that will last her for a while.

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This week on Viral Kindness, social worker Allison Graham talks about the power of a hug.

"I have been isolated since the pandemic started. Not a lot of physical contact. Six hugs now, the entire time. So, a year: six hugs. March 19 was the last pre-pandemic hug that I had. I can actually recount these times of physical comfort and physical contact in a year.

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Angie Evans opened “Arthouse 310” during what she called the “pandemic crazy time” of 2020. Now, she’s taking a cue from other kinds of neighborhood boxes. Her mission: to expand the arts in Wichita.

Quang Nguyen

Danielle Johnson works at the office of diversity and inclusion at Wichita State. Going from in-person, to virtual, to hybrid, and back again has been a challenge. But when students show her how much she impacts them, it reminds her that it’s all worth it.

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Wichitan Jill Miller is usually the person who’s offering help to others. But after breaking her foot, she was forced to ask for help herself. The response was overwhelming, as we hear on this week’s Viral Kindness.

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Wichita City Council member Becky Tuttle has put in a lot of miles since September. Repeated eight-hour drives to help her ailing parents have been stressful, but a small gesture from a friend has helped keep her spirits up.

Gabby Griffie

Using social media and community organizing skills, one WSU grad is tackling hunger by putting refrigerators exactly where they’re needed, and filling them up.


Tajahnae Stocker has been learning how to implement an idea that will help her community as part of a national Young Professionals program. She wanted to address food insecurity, even before COVID-19. Now, she’s making a difference in a fresh way, with the ICT Community Fridge Project.

At Newton Presbyterian Manor, there is independent living, assisted living and healthcare. During this difficult year, there’s also…music. Executive Director Marc Kessinger explains.

“The Corona Carolers started off probably in March of this year, just walking the sidewalks in a prayer group. And they asked if they could start singing through the windows. They’re just a tremendous group of ladies. They’ve got heart, they’re compassionate, and we appreciate them.”

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Carla Jackson-Patton, founder of the Leonard Garrett Renaissance Institute, met Jennifer Connelly and Kent Rowe at an in-person Engage ICT event (remember those?) and began talking about alternative energy. Nowadays, though, they're talking about food. In this week's Viral Kindness, Carla and Jennifer explain their recent project.

Justin Campbell works at an A-OK Super Center, but he’s pursuing a degree from WSU to improve his skills. In one of his classes, he found a way to make a real difference for people during this difficult year, as part of a team project.

"This project is part of a course through Wichita State that’s about managing effective work teams, taught by Professor Rosen. The focus is on teaching us students to group together with disparate skills and backgrounds and to work together toward a common goal. This year, with everything going on, we all chose nonprofits of different causes.