There are plenty of people out there who are looking to make a difference in the world.
Thanks to charitable organizations like Pandemic of Love, more of these would-be philanthropists have been able to help others during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The program simply connects those in need with those who would like to give back.
Shelly Tygielski of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, started Pandemic of Love at the beginning of COVID-19. What began with just one person has blossomed into a global network of 1,200 volunteers, 220 local chapters, and more than 375,000 matches with struggling families!
One of those matches was Sean Noriega, who was a teacher in New York City before he had to quit due to throat cancer. Out of work and physically ill, he had a hard time buying groceries until Pandemic of Love introduced him to Beth Eiglarsh.
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Beth lives with her family in Hollywood, Florida. When she signed up to be a volunteer, she had no idea she was about to change someone’s life — and make a lifelong friend!
Beth took the time to learn about Sean’s life, including how he lives with throat cancer. She even researched what kinds of food he could eat with his condition before boxing up a care package and shipping it straight to his door. The box of food was nearly 40 pounds, and Sean was astounded by her thoughtfulness and generosity.
But it was the extra cash Beth included inside that ended up making the biggest difference in Sean’s life. He needed to see his doctors and have medical exams performed, but he had decided not to go due to a lack of money and his fear of traversing the city during COVID-19. When he received Beth’s gift, he decided to put it to the best use possible.
“Part of the money that Beth had sent me went for my transportation to go there, the copayment,” he said. “And as it was, when I went there, the doctor did find something else.”
Those tests ultimately changed Sean’s prognosis for the better! His health has now improved, and he credits his “guardian angel.”
“When I say she saved my life, I don’t take that figuratively, I mean she literally did,” he said.
The two of them have become good friends who text each other every day, and Beth plans to visit him in New York as soon as it’s safe. “I can’t wait to hug you,” she told Sean over video conference.
It seems that fate brought these two friends together! Isn’t it amazing how one good deed can snowball like this and end up saving a life?
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