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Good news during coronavirus pandemic: Volunteers sew masks for health care workers; Annapolis group hosts cheer for AAMC

As everyone is urged to stay indoors and businesses shut down to avoid the spread of the new coronavirus, Capital Gazette is sharing good news stories from Annapolis and Anne Arundel County to bring a smile to readers. Got a story to share? Send it to tips@capgaznews.com.

Around the neighborhoods

Collecting fabrics from previous quilting projects, fabric scraps from dresses, and leftover materials, Anne Arundel County residents have started making fabric masks to donate to health care professionals.

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One group with nearly 20 members from areas like Annapolis, Cape St. Claire and Arnold have spent a week cutting up fabric, sewing and washing the handmade masks to donate to hospitals such as Anne Arundel Medical Center and Baltimore Washington Medical Center.

Jennifer Snead of Annapolis, Md., make masks out of her Annapolis home, Monday, March 23, 2020. Snead inherited fabric after her mother died last year and said she "vowed to pay it forward" however she could. She and her daughter Harley Snead are spending their time inside to make masks to donate to the local hospital. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Jennifer Snead of Annapolis, Md., make masks out of her Annapolis home, Monday, March 23, 2020. Snead inherited fabric after her mother died last year and said she "vowed to pay it forward" however she could. She and her daughter Harley Snead are spending their time inside to make masks to donate to the local hospital. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)(Susan Walsh/AP)

The Ward One Residents Association helped spread an international call Saturday to stand at your door and cheer for health care workers at the forefront of efforts to care for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

While Great Harvest Bread Company donates free breads to anyone who needs it, Latitude 38 and other downtown restaurants set up a free farmers market Thursday. The food at the market came from Latitude 38, which is operating on shortened hours, Buddy’s Crabs and Ribs, which closed entirely, and many private donors who saw the opportunity to help.

Someone has been setting up a table of free bagged lunches for those in need outside the Arundel Beach Road traffic circle in Severna Park.
Someone has been setting up a table of free bagged lunches for those in need outside the Arundel Beach Road traffic circle in Severna Park.(Selene San Felice / Capital Gazette)

A sign on a folding table outside the Arundel Beach Road traffic circle reads, “For anyone who needs it ... I will be leaving some healthy sack lunches on this table for you if you are hungry and need to eat. Made with love by a neighborhood mom in a clean and sanitized kitchen.”

When Brendan Wills, a 46-year-old Gambrills man, heard the Blackbeard’s Revenge 100-mile race he signed up for was canceled for coronavirus concerns, he decided to run the race anyway. Since he wouldn’t be racing in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail had to do.

One animal hiding in Cape St. Clair's Zoofari on Sunday.
One animal hiding in Cape St. Clair's Zoofari on Sunday. (Stephanie Cornett)

Residents in Cape St. Claire and Arden on the Severn organized a safari of sorts March 22 that, while maintaining appropriate social distancing, spot stuffed animals hidden in yards.

More than 100 homes participated and more than 400 stuffed animals combined were decorating neighbors’ yards and homes as children walked the neighborhoods, some with binoculars, to spot all the animals.

Children have been at home after the state announced schools would be closed for two weeks and organizers of the “zoofari” thought it was a good opportunity to get kids outside and away from screens for a bit.

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Despite Glen Burnie High spring craft fair cancellation, more than half of the crafters donated the fees for their booth instead of accepting refunds.

From daily virtual storytimes to streaming evening meditations, Broadneck residents have tried to keep families engaged with the community.

Rick Levin, co-owner of Pasadena Boat Works, had a stockpile of masks he would give away to children with cancer going through chemotherapy and last week donated the thousands of respirator masks to the state department of health to help control the spread of the disease.

Schools and government

Del. Mark Chang puts table out to give away extra items he has

In Glen Burnie, it appears Del. Mark Chang spent part of Thursday sitting on the curb in front of his house next to a table of food to give away to neighbors who may be struggling.

On Twitter, he wrote, “During this very challenging time, may we look for innovative ways to help our neighbors safely from our homes. #InThisTogether.”

Anne Arundel Community College collected medical supplies from labs, classrooms and storage to donate to local hospitals and the county government on March 25.

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The college announced it has donated 119 boxes of face shields, hand sanitizers, gloves, cleaning wipes, masks, ventilators and more to Anne Arundel Medical Center, University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center and the county emergency operations center.

Anne Arundel County Councilwoman Jessica Haire and her husband Dirk Haire, chair of the Maryland Republican Party, said March 24 they will buy $10,000 in meals for families in need from local restaurants, including Skipper’s Pier and Glory Days Grill in Edgewater. They also plan to buy dinner for Anne Arundel County police officers who are stationed at the Southern District in Edgewater through Julie St. Marie Catering.

St. Mary's Elementary School had a car parade full of staff of students to show how much they miss them on Monday
St. Mary's Elementary School had a car parade full of staff of students to show how much they miss them on Monday(Lauren Hartman)

Faculty and staff of St. Mary’s Elementary school held a car parade through several students’ neighborhoods in Anne Arundel County on March 23 in an effort to boost spirits as schools are closed and the population practices social distancing.

The library system lifted restrictions on digital content for users with unpaid fines and fees over $15 on March 24. Normally those users are blocked from digital services. The library also announced they expect to purchase $150,000 worth of new digital content to increase its collection of e-books, e-audiobooks, e-magazines, movie streaming, music and databases in the coming weeks. Check out this guide on all the in-home entertainment the library offers.

Nancy Womble, music teacher at Edgewater Elementary, to keep in contact with her students decided to film videos meant to “to keep the kids engaged, let them know their teachers are still out there,” she said. - Original Credit:
Nancy Womble, music teacher at Edgewater Elementary, to keep in contact with her students decided to film videos meant to “to keep the kids engaged, let them know their teachers are still out there,” she said. - Original Credit:(Courtesy / HANDOUT)

At the end of the first week of the closure, in which students were given some lessons online, music teacher at Edgewater Elementary, Nancy Womble, made a video of herself singing “to keep the kids engaged, let them know their teachers are still out there,” she said.

This remarkable woman — a physician, an ambassador and a senior military officer who also holds two U.S. Meritorious Service medals plus the Legion of Merit Award for her research, leadership and management during her tenure at the Department of Defense — has a life experience rooted in a story, an American story, that is familiar to and will be admired by most Americans of any generation.

While retail and dine-in restaurants are closed during the coronavirus pandemic, parks remain open and County Executive Steaurt Pittman has made them free. And the wide open spaces of Kinder Farm Park are an enjoyable escape from staying home.

Entertainment

Joey Harkum (top left), Zach Bellas (top right), Troll Tribe (bottom left) and Jimi Davies (bottom right) live streamed their music performances through the Annapolis Streaming Facebook page.
Joey Harkum (top left), Zach Bellas (top right), Troll Tribe (bottom left) and Jimi Davies (bottom right) live streamed their music performances through the Annapolis Streaming Facebook page.(Frame Grab collage)

Musicians in the Annapolis area have come together through a Facebook group to coordinate when they’re livestreaming concerts for fans to listen to from the comfort of their homes.

And then there’s the local osprey couple Tom and Audrey, who recently returned to their nest, marking spring. They’re used to being livestreamed even when there isn’t a pandemic. When Audrey returned to their nest this year, another female was on the platform and the two fought. Stay tuned to see what happens as the trespasser continues to hang around the nest.

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