Kindness in the time of unease

The Utah County Sheriff's Office is accepting donations of tissues, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, soap and other necessities to give to elderly who are in need.

The news each day can be unsettling. Sickness, contagion, economic downturn, social isolation, lack of necessities, fear, and here in Utah, earthquakes. But in the midst of all of this, like always, kindness has been shining through.


ing those most vulnerable

The Utah County Sheriff’s Office has begun taking donations of items that senior citizens may need, such as hand sanitizer, pump-style bottled hand soap, toilet paper and tissues. They are partnering with Meals on Wheels in an effort to identify and assist the seniors who may be in need of these basic necessities. Meals on Wheels has a regular list of senior citizens who receive meals from the program. Meals on Wheels will inquire about needs these seniors may have for these basic items or any other needs.

“Most people probably do not know that the meals that are distributed by Meals on Wheels to our homebound elderly population are prepared at the Utah County Jail,” said Sheriff Mike Smith. The meals are prepared by inmates and employees who, during this time, go through an additional health screening each morning before entering the kitchen.

The Sheriff’s Office will collect and coordinate donations, as well as some stocks they have on hand, to be delivered to those who already use this program. If there are seniors in need who are not involved with Meals on Wheels, they can contact Lt. Jeffery Jones at the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office is taking donations at the office in Spanish Fork, 3075 N. Main St. If needed, employees of the Sheriff’s Office will come and pick up the donations.

“With the fear-based shopping and hoarding occurring in our communities, we are concerned for those who are not able to get out and purchase these products,” Smith said.


hbors helping neighbors

On the Pleasant Grove Community Connection Facebook page, dozens of local residents are offering their help to others in the community as well.

“If you are in need of food or supplies that you can’t find at the store due to the COVID19 shortage, post below and allow us, as a community, the opportunity to help you,” reads a post, dated March 13.

Within four days, there were more than 350 comments, many from people offering to help others and some from those who need assistance. “I can help out anyone if I have the item,” reads one comment. “Anyone know where I can find some eggs?” reads another.


ort businesses

Many others are sharing ways on social media to help businesses who are struggling right now. Some families are planning to try out a different restaurant each week, picking up their food curbside. Many businesses are offering free delivery.

Other people are encouraging purchasing gift cards to use later or sending gifts to overworked healthcare workers. Online shopping is another way to support businesses while staying at home. There are Facebook pages popping up on which people are sharing their favorite local restaurants and shops so people will give them their business.

I have also seen individuals posting about which business they supported that day, in an effort to give others the idea to support them as well. Leaving positive reviews about businesses as well as following them on social media are great ways to show support.

The good news is that, all around us, kindness is happening.

Laura Giles is a long-time correspondent for the Daily Herald and a community member living in Pleasant Grove. She can be contacted at