As the coronavirus pandemic turned our lives upside down and Shelter in Place became our strange new normal, headlines were filled with COVID-19 news and March and April were unrecognizable from previous years. However, throughout all the unknowns and uncertainties, more and more stories began to spread of neighbors helping neighbors and businesses supporting the community through amazing and uplifting acts. It was because of this the Danville Spirit campaign was launched, to highlight Danville’s strong sense of community togetherness during this difficult time. Residents were asked to share their stories of hope and community spirit and the community responded. These are just a few of the stories of #DanvilleSpirit. Check out the center spread of Danville's July Live Locally newsletter to see how we featured many of these stories. Thank you! #DanvilleSpirit
Banners Honoring Graduates Installed
Banners were installed in downtown Danville honoring 2020 graduates. San Ramon Valley and Monte Vista High Schools purchased the banners and the Town of Danville installed them. Keep an eye out as you come downtown and congratulations to all our graduates!
Some heroes wear capes — and some make (and wear!) masks.
Danville resident, Sue Hood has been creating masks at home, and sharing them with seemingly everyone who has ever had the pleasure of connecting with her, all over the United States– and free of charge. Sue works at a physical therapy office, where the employees have been making a conscious effort to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and safety. Thus, Sue’s mask making passion began.
She has an abundance of patterns she chooses from, and picks one that she feels will best represent the person she’s sending it to which is extremely thoughtful. It’s a considerate way that she has been giving back to the community in a time that we’re all staying “safer indoors” and trying our best to look out for each other. Although Sue misses having the opportunity to spend time with her friends and her children who live nearby and traveling to visit extended family in New Hampshire, she believes that this experience has in many ways shown how the community can come together in tough times.
I started making masks because everyone at our [Physical Therapy] facility had masks even prior to requirement, except the front desk personnel. So, I made them for us and for their significant others, then for all of their families (I sent some to New York). I also make them for close friends, my kids, and my family (I sent many to New Hampshire). It morphed into making some for all twelve therapists at work, and their families, as well as the patients and their babies. I even made some for my hairdresser’s family (selfishly I want to be the first in 😉 ), and my Jazzercise friends and instructors.
I have sizes ranging from size three – adult. The kids’ masks are so cute! They have little hand prints on them — “the only hands that are allowed to touch the face.”
It takes a lot of time to create each individual mask — about one hour from first cut to finish. I’ve been cutting at night, and sewing the next day. I feel respect for garment workers! Each mask uses a cut of the main fabric, plus the lining. First, you cut four pieces, then you sew the front together, and press. Next, you sew together the top and bottom, and press. Finally, fold over both sides zigzagging across. Each one uses a shoelace to thread through, and attach to the wearer’s face. I love using this pattern, because it covers from the nose to below the chin. I’ve used all the material leftover from my flower girl’s dress as well as donations from friends, sheets, scarves, and patterned shirts.
Special thanks to former Danville resident and Danville Youth Council member Molly O’Brien for sharing this #DanvilleSpirit story.
Creating Neighborhood Smiles
We started a little tradition during COVID-19 of putting out a chalkboard. We write a different message every day to give our neighbors a smile or a laugh. My favorite is my husband’s message "smile while you still have teeth".
We write messages in chalk in our bike path that we love our neighbors, doctors, nurses, EMT, and all the delivery people. We love our neighbors and want to do our little part to help during this time.
Thank you to Judy & Ed Allen for sharing your #DanvilleSpirit
Inspirational High Schoolers create ’Danville Fighting Covid’
If you’ve not yet heard of Danville Fighting Covid then we would love to introduce you to these inspirational 14 Danville high schoolers who have joined together to crowdsource 3D printing of face shields and organize donations of PPE for local health care workers.
Ameesh Daryani (11th Grade)
Vikram Gopalan (11th Grade)
Radhika Gawde (12th Grade)
Kanishk Gupta (12th Grade)
Spencer Level (10th Grade)
Lauren Batza (12th Grade)
Lily Glantz (12th Grade)
Marlee Meek (12th Grade)
Elliot Danko (9th Grade)
Landon Mello (10th Grade)
Andrew Hanze (12th Grade)
Nadav Meiri (9th Grade)
Alex Gusev (11th Grade)
Zachary LeClaire (12th Grade)
Staff Advisor: Lucien Martin (English Teacher at SRV and Robotics Team Head Mentor)
We first started our organization on April 9th, inspired by a YouTube video about a group in Alabama rallying the local maker community to 3D print face shields. A group of 5 of us decided to start something similar in our community, and we were fully up and running in 72 hours.
Since we were founded, our team has grown to become a group of 14 high schoolers:
On April 27th, we donated nearly 400 face shields printed by local community members to John Muir Health Walnut Creek Medical Center, all made by local makers in the community.
We are looking for anyone with a 3D printer to fill out this form to print face shield frames. Our next day for makers to drop off their parts is on May 16th. We also understand that not everyone in the community owns a 3D printer, but there are other ways to help! The community can also donate to us by going to covid19.team1280.com/fund so that we can purchase the transparencies for the face shields as well as filament to restock our generous makers.
Community members can also find out more about what we have done to help the community this past month in our April Newsletter.
Thank you to Vikram Gopalan for sharing this information and to all of these high schoolers showing amazing #DanvilleSpirit
Danville Resident Sam Yu noticed these duckings in a storm drain and was able to get help. Nick Gault from the Town of Danville reunited them all with mom. Thanks Sam and Nick for this wonderful story! #DanvilleSpirit
Danville Teen launches WEBSITE To CONNECT the COMMUNITY
Danville teen, Shreya Korlipara heard the news of the impact of the coronavirus and wanted to help. She launched a website to help connect seniors and families with help and resources.
Back at the beginning of March, like many other high schoolers, I was preoccupied with my busy schedule until an announcement came that turned my entire world upside down. I had never really paid much attention to anything that was going on in the news until the announcement came on Friday, March 13 that school would be canceled for a short period of time in order to try and prevent the rampant spread of the coronavirus. Obviously, because I didn’t know much about what was going on, the only thing that had processed in my mind was that I was getting a break from school. I was beyond ecstatic until I decided to read more about what was going on in the news. I quickly realized how distanced I was from knowing the horrible realities that were unfolding in our world. I had undermined how much this would affect society as a whole. And it only seemed to be getting worse. It seemed like no matter who I talked to, or where I looked, there was only fear, anxiety, and sadness. When it was announced that schools would be canceled for the rest of the year due to worsening conditions, and panic swept throughout my community, I knew I wanted to do something to help.
But all the initial ideas that had come to my mind were extremely hard to execute, especially because of the new shelter-in-place order that was issued upon the state of California. Then it hit me. “If I can’t talk to people face to face," I thought, "What if I can reach out to them online?”.
That’s when my website, “HOPE on COVID-19”, was born.
HOPE on COVID-19 was created to spread good vibes and positive energy throughout our community during these dark and unprecedented times by providing fun activities for families to do and sharing a positive news article regarding the virus every day. While making the website, I had a striking realization. Some people are not able to be with their families right now due to their health conditions. I thought of a story that I had read on the news talking about a girl who couldn’t hug her father after sharing the happy news that she had gotten engaged because she was scared that he would contract the virus. That really tugged on my heartstrings. After observing everyone in the community, I recognized that our seniors have suffered the worst end of this unfortunate situation. That’s why I chose to add a tab dedicated to support seniors with love and cheer throughout these times. HOPE on COVID-19 offers two services: a virtual chat you may set up with seniors, as well as a form to fill out where a senior can connect with someone who can buy supplies & other necessities for them.
Thank you to Shreya for sharing this inspirational story #DanvilleSpirit
"Angels in the form of neighbors live among us in Danville."
This story is about my son, Ben Lee.
He is significantly disabled and sheltering in place has been really difficult. He lacks the understanding of what the virus is and how we have to keep our distance to stay safe.
Ben has had some emotional outbursts so we incorporated a long walk every mid-morning.
One day, he started to have a major melt down on the street.
He’s 15 and this can be scary.
So, I directed him to our friend’s curb.
She came outside with her two kids on their curb and talked to Ben about everything and anything to help him recalibrate and calm down. After our “curbside chat”, we were able to walk home safely.
We continued to find other friends’ homes to stop and chat as a destination and distraction for Ben.
They were so popular, my friend created a signup genius so we have a place to go most weekdays.
I’ve taken photos of these chats to document how these caring people are giving their time and kindness when our supports were lost in a moment (no more behavioral therapy, no more speech therapy, occupational therapy, music therapy, etc).
Angels in the form of neighbors live among us in Danville.
The worst situations always seem to bring out the best in us.
Thank you to Hyon-Chin Lee for sharing this beautiful story #DanvilleSpirit
Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
Neighbors have been enjoying Roni Item's Scavenger Hunts along the path near the bridge at Brookside/Laurel.
Talented Danville resident, Tena Ritter, scattered 26 beautiful butterfly rock paintings along each side of her street for neighbors to discover.
Thanks To All Our Essential Workers!
Grace Helton's husband decorated their roof with lights in the shape of hearts, a medical cross and a blue PD.
- Easter Baskets for Senior Homes
- Pete's Brass Rail & Car wash Donation
- Community Cup
- #Giving Tuesday
- Diablo Valley Cotillion DONATeS TO local FOOD BANK
- Thanking Local
Nicolaus & Kellie organize and deliver 113 Easter Baskets to the Senior Living Facility, Brookdale Diablo Lodge in Danville
Towards the end of March, my fiancée Kellie and I were sitting on the couch talking to her grandmother who lives in a senior living facility in the Central Valley. She was explaining to us that because of the pandemic, the residents in her facility have been in their rooms 24 hours a day with no contact with the outside world for their safety. The lockdown caused many to become deeply depressed, because they looked forward to their daily visits from neighbors, family and friends. We knew the Easter holiday was coming up and it would be even more depressing for those who usually spend it with members of their church, family, friends and neighbors. Thus, the Easter basket drive was born.
We decided we wanted to give back locally so I called around to multiple facilities to see if any would allow us to donate. I was able to reach Rachel, the manager of Brookdale Diablo Lodge who informed me she would be happy to accept the baskets. Kellie and I then went to Safeway to collect supplies. After we arrived back home, we realized that giving a few baskets would not be enough, that some people would be left empty handed. Assuming there were 30-40 residents we decided to ask the community for help. I made an Instagram video and shared it to the public asking for any assistance they would provide. This is where our amazing community surprised us. The amount of support and outreach was incredible. We began getting messages, phone calls and emails from people from all different areas asking how they could participate. With so much support we decided that if someone was willing to create a basket, we would commit to collecting it from them.
The baskets started to pour in and we began driving all around the area from Sacramento to San Francisco to receive the baskets. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount we received, and the generosity of people offering to send money to support the cause. After we collected our first 40 baskets, I phoned Rachel at Brookdale Lodge to inform her we had enough for each resident, when I was in for surprise. She informed me that in fact they had 113 residents and we were short on baskets.
Kellie and I took to social media to ask for the communities help once again. Again, to our surprise the community did not disappoint. Our community came together in a magnificent way and on Saturday evening, the night before Easter we reached our goal of 113 baskets. On Easter morning we loaded up 3 cars and delivered these amazing baskets to the residents. After the event was over, we saw how much joy it brought to the residents of Brookdale Lodge that we have since decided we are going to continue this event and make it an annual drive.
Pete’s Brass Rail & Car Wash restaurant kindly donated an amazing $1,000 in gift cards to the Danville Police Department to help provide meals during the coronavirus crisis. The Police Department felt that they would rather see the gift cards go out to other front line responders and decided to donate them to care workers at some of the areas senior centers. Lt. Ingrassia went to two of the Brookdale Care Centers (Brookdale Senior Living and Brookdale Diablo Lodge), Sunrise Senior Living, and the Reutlinger Community to drop off the gift cards to the care workers.
Lindsey Lonergan from San Ramon Valley High School launched the "Community Cup” as an opportunity to donate monies for favorite local business and she is pledging 100% of the dollars raised to the Small Business Relief Fund (SBRF).
I wanted to generate support for our local businesses. As a high school student, our businesses are always supporting us in our endeavors, so I figured that this is the perfect opportunity to return that support and generate a feeling of community in a time where we need it most. I realized that I wasn’t spending as much money per month because I wasn’t going out to buy coffee every day, and that others are doing the same. I came up with this fundraiser in response to all of that.
We may not be able to grab our daily cup of coffee in town, but we CAN still fill it by participating in Community Cup. The brew? Help our local businesses through these uncertain times by donating the money you would typically spend on your morning jolt to this relief fund. It’s as easy as clicking on the Community Cup gofundme link. All money raised will go directly to the Danville Chamber of Commerce, which will be used to help our local shops bridge the gap to reopening. Soon, we’ll be able to support our favorite businesses in person. Until then, pour a cup of compassion, knowing that every dollar you donate will flow directly to our downtown!
What’s unique about this fundraiser is that it can be done in any community. As long as a town is willing to participate, they can set it up as well. Our town has shown tremendous amounts of participation and support through this fundraiser, and we’ve already raised nearly $5,000 in less than two weeks!
No matter the size of the donation, it makes such a big impact. This is our chance, as a community, to show unity and strength throughout this difficult time.
In an effort to drive business to local restaurants through take-out, the Burgess Team initiated a campaign where one lucky winner each week in April received a $100 gift card to a local shop/restaurant.
"Our #GivingTuesday promotion has been well received, driving awareness of the many to-go and online ordering options Danville’s creative restaurateurs have designed to safely support dining out during quarantine. To date, we’ve partnered with Gianni’s Italian Bistro, Harvest Danville and Old Towne Danville Bakery. We look forward to continuing our promotion and reminding our community that there are many ways to keep our small businesses thriving through thick and thin!"
Jill Pfeiffer runs the Diablo Valley Cotillion. Classes came to an abrupt stop in March. She offered students families a refund of $40 each or they could donate to a local food bank.
Out of 225 students, 190 donated. Jill was able to make a donation of $7600!