COVID-19 hasn’t stopped kindness from local businesses, nonprofits and others in our communities. Here’s some good news from around the area.

When Bonnie Parker learned she could adopt a North Port High School senior, she picked her friend Theresa Nelson’s daughter, Jessica.

Jessica was born with a disease similar to muscular dystrophy, called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Sadly, Jessica was not able to get her photo taken at North Port High School with principal Brandon Johnson. She also couldn’t go to join fellow seniors recently at the alternative graduation in front of city hall. Parker asked if she could give Jessica a goody bag from the alternative graduation. Then she had a better idea: How about she ask alternative graduation co-organizer Justin Willis if he would deliver the bright orange goody bag and Jessica’s diploma. He agreed and met her and Theresa at their North Port home last week.

Theresa asked Jessica to wear her cap and gown while Willis presented her diploma. Jessica smiled when she saw her name on the diploma. Her four years at North Port were complete. In return she received a few goodies like free ice cream from Culver’s and Slurpees from 7-Eleven. But, more importantly Jessica Faith Nelson has a little closure about a year when the coronavirus wrecked graduation for her and thousands of others.

Masked grandmas

Understanding the value of masks, babusyas (grandmas) in The Ukrainian American Club of SW FL made and donated more than 100 masks to the North Port community. For the past week, members including its president Daria Tomashosky delivered masks throughout the city.

Free food available

The Jubilee Center in Englewood recently thanked volunteer Pat Bone for helping out every Wednesday. She lovingly loads her car with bread and sweets from the Jubilee Center and takes it to Grove City Manor to be distributed to the elderly residents.

The center is open for food and donations 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Wednesday at 401 S. Broadway Ave. Each family will receive a box of food based on the number of members in their household and if the family has children. Also available are hygiene products, paper goods and toiletries. Bread and pastries donated by Publix are given out daily to those in need.

Due to COVID-19, all food is currently distributed curbside by volunteers.

Free clothing is available from the Clothes Closet is open 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays. Clothes are available upon request when picking up food. Please ring doorbell located outside for a volunteer to come out.

For anyone in need of free fresh fruits and vegetables, All Faith’s Food Bank will be at the Jubilee Center 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Aug. 15.

Kids’ Needs seeks donations

Kids’ Needs of the Greater Englewood Area is looking for children’s sneakers sizes 11-4 and adults 5-13. They also need new low-cut, no-show socks in the same sizes as sneakers. Donations of new underwear sizes 4-18 and adult men’s boxers 28-38 and women’s sizes 4-8. or small through extra large. are welcome. Donations are needed through August. Donations can be dropped off at Stevens the Florist South, 3455 S. Access Road, Englewood.

Children’s Closet needs socks, underwear donations

The Kiwanis Club of North Port is collecting socks and underwear for children in need going back to school. Donations of all children and adult sizes are needed. Donations can be dropped off at WKDW radio, 12737 Tamiami Trail or at Caddy Carts, 12691 S. Tamiami Trail.

If you have good news or good deeds to share, email Elaine Allen-Emrich at


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