What kindness introduced the folks featured in “One Good Factor”?

In 200 stories in this pandemic-ridden year, The Associated Press celebrated selfless people who …

In 200 stories in this pandemic-ridden year, The Associated Press celebrated selfless people who gave themselves during troubled times.

The stories have warmed the hearts of readers around the world. But we’ve also heard from people who were in the spotlight on the show, which was released as “One Good Thing” last March, who said that their lives had been profoundly affected by the attention they received.

There was the Texas headmaster, whose school runs a free shop selling groceries and merchandise for the community, who wrote a talk show was about to book a teenager mentioned in AP history. The volunteer tutor for isolated students who said even her doctor called with congratulations. The manager of a New York initiative to bring meals to Holocaust survivors said they had received calls, volunteers and donations totaling thousands of dollars.

Here are excerpts from some of our favorite follow-up notes.


“We need to remember that life is precious and wonderful. There is so much beauty everywhere, both in nature and in people, ”wrote Marjan Curtis.

The 79-year-old widow, who was battling stage 4 cancer, had planted hundreds of tulips along a street in Spanish Fork, Utah, resulting in a quick friendship with Amy Baird, an additional university professor who was moved by the explosion of paint while driving past has been.

After the story was published in November, Curtis heard from long-lost friends and colleagues who saw her and got back in touch. She also heard from strangers: A woman in Florida sent her a gift of tulips that change color in the light; A man from Colorado sent a book about his father’s work rescuing Jewish people from Nazis in Amsterdam during World War II (Curtis’ family had children hidden in their barn in their Dutch homelands, as the story goes).

A woman from Baird’s book club who helped Curtis plant tulips last fall brought her a meal and visited her on Thanksgiving.

“I think we need each other everywhere,” said Curtis. “It is this human touch and caring for another that makes life meaningful.”


In August we brought you Tammi Truax, the Portsmouth, New Hampshire poet who writes weekly pandemic verses for her community newsletter.

A trip by Portsmouth residents to the twin town of Nichinan, Japan has been scrapped because of the pandemic. Truax had written a poem in honor of nursing students they wanted to graduate. A Japanese newspaper followed the AP story and published its own piece on Truax, including a photo of the headmaster holding a copy of the poem at the belated ceremony.

“Thank you again for throwing the pebble of the ‘Pandemic Poet’ into the pond. Such sweeping waves! “Stephanie Seacord, Portsmouth Information Officer, wrote to AP. “May the New Year be a lot brighter and more hopeful.”


Emiliano Moscoso, a restaurateur who delivers meals to poor families in the Colombian capital Bogota, including Venezuelan refugees, said the April story helped him expand his Solidarity Menu project.

It was also noticed by the members of the prestigious “Colombia cares about Colombia” initiative. They asked him to join their work to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on low-income communities.

“What was amazing,” wrote Moscoso, “is that the story gave so much credibility to this project.”

Moscoso said he closed 2020 with just over 40,000 meals delivered.


Bonnie Matthews’ 6-year-old son, Chip, received a $ 2 birthday present from postman Tawanna Purter after the two of them formed an unlikely pandemic friendship. She reached out to say that the AP’s November article and video made the holidays “so much more special”.

The Opelika, Alabama family heard from relatives and friends everywhere, and strangers sent congratulations and small sums of money to both Chip and older sister Bennett, 8, to both Chip.

After Matthews lost her job as a counselor at a private school that allowed her children to attend, the family’s “kindness, grace, and love” reaffirmed their belief in a divine plan – without the pandemic it would have been Chip in school and Purter not hit.

Chip still looks for her from the window every day. Purter invited the two children to their son Joshua’s birthday party in December, and a playground play date is in the works.

“You have really influenced my family, and obviously many around us around the country,” wrote Matthews.

“The Matthews family are forever grateful and blessed for your desire to share these stories. May the Lord bless your families in 2021 and beyond. “


Former Colorado Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was overjoyed with the response to April’s story in the daily Notes of Inspiration, Encouragement, and Wisdom he sent out to around 5,000 subscribers.

“Yahoooo!” he texted the reporter.

He has gained more than 3,700 new followers since the story was published, Hurdle said.

“Blessed,” he added a day later.


“One Good Thing” is a series that highlights people whose actions bring a glimmer of joy in difficult times – stories of people who find a way to make a difference, no matter how small they are. Read the collection of stories at https://apnews.com/hub/one-good-thing


The Associated Press’s coverage of religion is supported by the Lilly Endowment through The Conversation US. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

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