GOOD DEEDS: Locals get creative to spread positivity in the face of pandemic

Pauline Sheehan is using her down time to sew face masks that she’s giving away for free from her home in Vale. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)

Vale resident sews free face masks

Pauline Sheehan has been a registered nurse since 1962. Now retired, Sheehan still volunteers at the Hope Pregnancy Center in Ontario. With the center closed and a lot of time on her hands, Sheehan began sewing cotton face masks that she’s giving away for free from her front porch in Vale.

“I know that anything you do that helps, will help,” Sheehan said. 

She’s used up about six bobbins and several yards of ties – including shoelaces – to make the masks. 

Sheehan said she hasn’t kept track of how many masks she’s made.

“I just put them out and they disappear,” she said.

Photographer Mary Louise Quick took this photo of a Nyssa couple as part of Quick’s “Portraits on the Porch” campaign to raise donations for the Nyssa Food Pantry. (Photo by Mary Louise Quick)

Nyssa photo studio creates fundraiser for pantry

Portrait photographer Mary Louise Quick has spent years as an occasional volunteer at the Nyssa Food Pantry. 

“I’ve worked there before and helped them out a little bit. I was talking to them and their shelves are bare,” said Quick, who co-owns Quick’s Foto Designs in Nyssa with her photographer husband Robert. 

Mary Louise had read online of other photography studios who were using their services to raise money for charitable causes. She launched “Portraits on the Porch” on March 27. The campaign runs until Wednesday, April 15. Its aim is to capture as many digital portraits of families in Nyssa as possible – clients need only make a donation to the Nyssa Food Pantry. 

The portraits are free and delivered via an email link where clients can download the photo. To maintain social distancing, Mary Louise will shoot the photo at a safe distance.

“We don’t make anything doing it. It’s just our way of helping because the pantry is in need of funds,” Mary Louise said.

To schedule a portrait from your porch with Mary Louise before the campaign ends on April 15, contact her at 208-739-6512

The lunches that Ontario resident Synthia Bostrom and her family put together contained snacks and a handwritten note. (Submitted photo)

Family distributes free lunches

Ontario resident Synthia Bostrom took to Facebook in March with a message: “Free sack lunch.”

Bostrom and her family spent a few hours in the parking lot of the Treasure Valley Christian School on North Verde Drive passing out free lunches to local children. It all started with a conversation Bostrom had with a cashier at Albertsons. 

The cashier told her that while the lunches that the Ontario School District was distributing were great, students who had two working parents often couldn’t make it in time to the pick-up site.

“Me and my husband kind of grew up less fortunate, so we wanted to give back,” Bostrom said.

She and her family packed the bags with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a banana, chips and other snacks. A note with messages such as “smile!” and “you’re important” also went inside each bag. 

Bostrom said she hopes the project will kick-start a chain reaction of positivity in the community.


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