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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.

Viral Kindness: 80 Years Loved

Carla Eckels and her two sisters, Karen Carter and Carol Cole, recently had quite the celebration for the 80th birthday of their mother, Karen Cayce. But it wasn’t what they had planned. 

They had rented an event center, booked a band, planned dinner, and gotten the word out to people who were going to come in from out of town. Everyone was gearing up for what the sisters had determined was going to be the event of the year. And then…COVID-19 happened. But they had been hearing about “drive-by” celebrations, and they decided to go for it.

“Folks came out of the woodwork,” Eckels said, “and they were in their car and in their masks.”

They wanted to remain safe, but still celebrate.

“There was a big sign in the yard so everybody knew where the party was," said Cole. "And it was something to see these people pull up, roll down their windows, we would go out to meet them. And they would leave cards with us and honk their horns and scream and yell."

“People were just so kind and so generous that it just made my heart happy,” said Cayce. “To be 80 years young, it feels great right now. And to think that I have three girls that are getting older, and I’m getting younger."

“I think our t-shirts said it all,” added Carter.

They read: “80 Years Loved.”

Sarah Jane Crespo is the Director of Community Engagement at KMUW. She is the creator and host of Engage ICT and the weekly Engage ICT Mini series.