One good turn: Acts of kindness that glimmer through the gloom

One good turn: Acts of kindness that glimmer through the gloom

We all know this is a very worrying time.

CBC Ottawa is committed to bringing you all the information you need to know about COVID-19 to stay safe. 

But we also want to make room for the positive stories — small acts of community kindness and people helping each other.

You'll find them here, updated daily. 

Let us know what good deeds you're seeing in our community by sending an email to ottawainthecommunity@cbc.ca.

April 1, 2020

Ottawa doc raises money for hospital staff meals

One good turn deserves another, as the saying goes. So after the owner of Meatheads Grill in Orléans dropped off free burgers to staff at The Ottawa Hospital one night last week, Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng had an idea. 

"The impact it had on morale was insane," said the intensive and palliative care physician in an interview with CBC News. "It's extremely tough times for front-line workers right now … so these little gestures meant the world to the team."

On Thursday, he and the group who work on his health-care podcast launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $3,000 to buy meals for hospital staff working on COVID-19 wards. Within six days, they had raised almost $25,000. 

They're now trying to drop off meals every few days at the General, Civic, Queensway Carleton and Montfort hospitals, as well as the COVID-19 testing site at Brewer Arena. They're also making sure to buy the meals from small, local restaurants that need the business. 

Kyeremanteng said one nurse told him the gesture was a huge pick-me-up. 

"'The tension just was relieved within the intensive care unit. We started to talk about things that weren't COVID-related, and we were smiling again,'" Kyeremanteng said the nurse told him.

"It meant the world to get messages like that."

March 31, 2020

Roofer scales new heights for frontline workers

Supplied by Byron Bustillo

Many small businesses are facing uncertain times right now. But roofer Byron Bustillo of BB's Roofing is using his downtime to step up. He put out a message on Facebook offering to do small repair jobs for front-line workers and seniors, free of charge. 

Alicia Robblee is an ICU nurse at The Ottawa Hospital who was stunned when her neighbour called Bustillo to fix her leaking eavestrough. Water was pouring into the window wells of Robblee's Westboro home, putting her basement at risk of flooding. 

"It brought me to tears," Robblee said. "In my job right now it's very tense … and just knowing that there was somebody who wanted to take their time to help nurses and other health professionals, it really touched me."

Robblee said when Bustillo finished the job he actually thanked her for her nursing work. Bustillo said he wishes he could do more. 

"Just being able to help out the community and give back to the people who have been giving to me all these years makes me feel good," Bustillo told CBC News.