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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: A Chance Meeting Reaps Lasting Rewards

courtesy photo

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.

CARLA: Jennifer called me, around April or May…

JENNIFER: Carla is an awesome woman, and she really tries to take care of her community.

CARLA: Jennifer asked me to identify people that were needing assistance because of the pandemic. And she so graciously started off by using her stimulus money. And they went out and got ground beef and we added chicken and just put together food packages. We have been serving about 60 people.

JENNIFER: About 25 of them are children. We decided for Christmas we wanted to give them gifts. And I’ve had some wonderful donations, plus I went and got bicycles off of Facebook Marketplace. And I’m hoping that they’ll have a great Christmas.

CARLA: We have senior citizens, and it’s kind of like doing wellness checks with them. Some of them have been on from the very beginning and there were other people that have come and no longer need the service. For Thanksgiving, we got turkeys – well, our single ladies got a little Cornish hens – but they got an entire Thanksgiving meal. It’s so rewarding when you deliver the packages and people are so grateful.

JENNIFER: People have really stepped up and helped us to continue with our program.

CARLA: Jennifer and Kent are like angels that were sent to me.

JENNIFER: I just feel blessed to work with such a wonderful person, like Carla.

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.