When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” ― Fred Rogers

Here we present accounts of individuals and businesses who are helping locally in their own special ways during the COVID crisis.

Hyatt Hotels and American Airlines teamed up to provide the 4,000 person staff of Elmhurst Hospital with free 3-night vacations later this year. The perk includes priority roundtrip airfare from American Airlines and hotel accommodations from Hyatt, in select destinations across the U.S. and Caribbean. A well-deserved respite.

JetBlue is donating pairs of roundtrip flight certificates for 10,000 healthcare workers at the Mount Sinai Health System, including their Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island campuses, as well as at NYC Health + Hospitals locations throughout the city. They also conducted a 3-jet flyover in honor of health care workers on May 7th.

Ivanka Trump donated 400 meals Elmhurst Medical Center. The spread consisted of three-foot-long sandwiches catered by Williamsburg’s Anthony & Son Panini Shoppe.

Bantry Bay donated 50 lunches to Mount Sinai Queens (Astoria), 70 lunches to Flushing Hospital, and 50 lunches to NY Presbyterian Queens.

Enchanted Florist offered free contact-free bouquets to lift the spirits of passersby in the early days of the shutdown.

FDNY, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the NYPD and other groups provided moral support and food to the frontline staff at Elmhurst and Wyckoff Hospitals.

Girl Scout Troop 4611, based out of St. Stan’s Catholic School, held a virtual cookie sale and donated the cookies to frontline staff at various hospitals, and to the NYPD and DSNY.

FDNY EMS Station 45 in Woodside, FDNY EMS Station 46 in Elmhurst and FDNY EMS Station 47 in Far Rockaway each received three large tubs of ice cream from The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory on Easter. Owner Edwin Wong is a Maspeth native.

Ma Kin Thai Restaurant, a new addition to the Middle Village restaurant scene, has donated thousands of meals to workers at local hospitals.

Maspeth Federal Savings Bank and Assembly Member Brian Barnwell joined forces to deliver masks to the frontlines. Elmhurst and Jamaica Hospitals each received shipments of 1,500 masks, and 8,000 more were distributed to the FDNY, NYPD and area nursing homes. The bank also offers free weekly meals to first responders in partnership with local restaurants.

V&S Landscaping and Gardening fed the EMS and ER staff at NYU Langone Health in Manhattan.

IATSE Local 52 Studio Mechanics Union allowed set builder Bert Lahne and his team to construct 46 protective intubation boxes on their premises, which have been delivered to hospitals including Elmhurst and Brooklyn Hospitals, as well as hospitals in New Rochelle, New Jersey and Philadelphia.

Principal Tom Carty of P.S./I.S. 49 in Middle Village, created education-themed cover songs to brighten the days of his students, their families and the school’s faculty.

The owner of AJ’s Village Chemist in Middle Village, Joseph LaSala, donated 2,000 face masks to NYU Langone Health’s frontline workers, distributed by Council Member Holden’s staff.

On Easter Sunday, the Easter Bunny (aka Sandy Bilski) rode in the back of a convertible driven by her husband, Michael Bilski, and brought joy to children sheltering in place.

Savannah Welcome, a 14-year old, raised money to treat the essential UPS workers at the company’s Maspeth facility to a catered meal. Her efforts were highlighted by PIX11.

If you know of anyone else contributing, please let us know. We’ll acknowledge their efforts in the next issue of the Juniper Berry.