'You Are Loved': Stories of Joy in Our Community During the Coronavirus Crisis

"Stay Healthy" written in chalk on a sidewalk.
In the Facebook group The Lake Minnetonka Fan Club, residents are sharing stories of how our community is staying strong during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this era of social distancing brought on by COVID-19, it can be tough to see the light. But a glance outside your window will reveal a lot of good still going on in the Lake Minnetonka area.

A child looks at a table full of puzzles and games during the coronavirus pandemic.Photo by Seran Kayserilioglu Otterson

In fact, you don’t even need to look out your window. In the Facebook group The Lake Minnetonka Fan Club, residents are sharing stories of how our community is staying strong through this difficult time. We’ve shared a few below. Click here to read the full thread.

Related: Lake Minnetonka Coronavirus Resource Guide

“More folks walking dogs in local parks, and actually smiling and offering a brief wave.” - Steve W.

“My 10yo son set up a 'giving wagon' for people to take or give food, books, etc. (after seeing a news story of a woman doing it in North St. Paul). People have been using it. This photo is from the first day- people have added more since then. Maple Plain.” - Breanna V.

A variety of free items offered for people during the coronavirus pandemic.Photo by Breanna Olson Valverde 

“I asked NextDoor for donations of DVD players and movies for residents at Folkstone Assisted Living. Within 24 hours I collected more than they needed. Plus... a ton of puzzles. The neighborhoods really stepped up for our greatest generation. They have been locked in their individual rooms for over 20 days for their own safety. The donations are a great distraction for them.” - Pauline O.

“The bag boys were having a good old time at Lund's cracking jokes with the customers trying to take the edge off everyone.” - Jen K.

“Loving the chalk messages on our driveway.” - Julie D. (Photo above)

“Painted rock scavenger hunt in our neighborhood!!! This was the sweetest gesture for the entire neighborhood! They offered an entire list of 40 rocks to check off on your walk.” - Auriel B.

“Someone on our block decorated the exterior of all our mailboxes with laminated cutouts of hearts & flowers!!” - Chantal R.

“We decided to bring back the Christmas cheer!” - Donna B.

Christmas lights put up during the coronavirus pandemic.Photo by Donna Baker

“So many teenagers hanging out with their parents!” Liz B.

“We are at home, sewing washable cotton cover masks to wear over a N95 mask for a local police department and fitted cotton masks for anyone who would like them. They are open ended, so a surgical mask can be inserted for added protection. A cotton mask is better than no mask!” - Tamara G.

Face masksPhoto by Tamara Gehling

“I saw two ladies ‘tailgating at Caribou'." - Sarah R.

“Found a dog missing today and he’s home now!” - Sue T.

"How about this for a pick me up: Today was the first day we did this. I arranged with nursing home staff to have my mom down at window at 11:00. She didn’t know we were going to be there. I got a call from nursing home this AM that they are having us go to a different window they now have designated as the family visiting window they decorated with hearts. They did this knowing we were coming, and anticipating more visitors will be coming down the road. We were the first visitors ever to do this. They had a bench outside the window for us and brought some folding chairs too. Very emotional for all of us. We each made a sign or poster and held up to the screen for my mom to read. Other nursing home residents and staff started seeing us outside their windows and began waving at us! I held up our signs for them too. Mine was a huge sign that said 'you are loved'. The window was open so we could talk to my mom. We’ll be going back again soon!!!!

"(About a month ago, we had to make the difficult and emotional decision to put my mom permanently into a nursing home. My dad still lives in their apartment. We hadn’t seen mom in several weeks. Been super hard on my dad.)

"Another side note: my dad has decided to not shave until this whole crazy thing is over. I’ve never seen him like that!! He’s shaved every day since I can remember!" - Darla Youngquist

A family visits their mother at a nursing home during the coronavirus pandemic.Photo by Darla Youngquist