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7’s Hero: People in the Treasure Valley step up to help others in need during the COVID-19 pandemic

Heroes of all ages are working to do kind things for people during this crisis, here are just a few of them.

BOISE, Idaho — The coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it, but it has also really brought out the best in all of us as a community. People are rallying around each while keeping a safe distance. 

To shine a light on these heroes in our community and to spread #7hope, here are just a few of the people who are doing wonderful things for others. 

Piper Davis is a Boise 15-year-old and goes to East Junior High School who's trying a way to give back while she's out of school. However, Piper isn't enjoying the time away from school and is upset with the situation.

“Once I realized that it was going to be over, I was a little bit upset and that school and sports were going to be canceled,” she said. 

Piper has yet found a way to occupy her time while giving back. She decided to learn how to sew cloth masks for her friends and neighbors.

“I found out about making these masks I got really excited because I would have time to do something good for others,” she said.

Her mom taught her how to sew, and they found the fabric in their attic. Suddenly, Piper was a cloth mask making machine and has been spending her days making them.

Credit: Piper Davis
Fifteen-year-old Piper began sewing face masks for free to pass the time while school is closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Usually four hours a day, it's a lot of work but it's really fun and I think we've made 70 if not more!” she exclaimed.

She also delivers them to those who need them and said she’ll keep making them free of charge for as long as people need them. 

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Another family who is also stepping up to aid others during the pandemic is the Nicolaysens. The Nicolaysen family is home a lot these days, just like many Idahoans, but they are making the best of a tough situation with their four boys.

“We had a little family chat about how so many things had been canceled. Football and music lessons, school and everything, but we decided kindness wasn't canceled, and even though we had to social distance, we could still be social,” said Jennifer Nicolaysen. “We knew how were feeling about it and knew people were feeling the same way. So we brainstormed little kindness acts we could do every day to brighten people's day around town.”

Before the stay-at-home order was put into effect, the family decided to get out and do good deeds. 

“We printed little notes. What did the notes say? Germs are contagious, but so is kindness. We placed them on people's cars with a flower, and we saw the reactions and people were really happy,” she said. 

Credit: The Nicolaysen Family
"We placed them on people's cars with a flower, and we saw the reactions and people were really happy,” Jennifer Nicolaysen said.

When Gov. Brad Little issued a stay-at-home order, the Meridian family realized they could still spread kindness. 

“We decided to keep it close to our neighborhood. We did like a scavenger hunt for the neighbors,” Jennifer said, adding that her young sons loved it. 

“Then we rang the doorbell and we ran,” said her boys with glee. 

The whole family feels better when they can do something for their neighbors. 

“The best way to feel better ourselves is to serve others,” Jennifer said. 

Another hero that is stepping up to the plate by helping others is Sarah Sanchez of Nampa. Sarah started Operation Easter Bunny from her garage to give Easter baskets to those in need.

“I found about fifty easter baskets in my closet, and I thought what will I do with these?" she explained. "I thought I better fill them up and donate them to people in need, and I made a Facebook group and it just completely took off.”

With the Easter Bunny needed a little help this year, and Sarah decided to jump in! 

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“We now have about 520 people on the list to receive baskets and treat bags, and we're focusing on people who are really struggling with COVID-19, whether they are unemployed or medically fragile, or at risk. Health responders and law enforcement, people who just need a break,” Sarah said. “I just started tearing up hearing the stories of these families, and what they are going through and how hard it is.”

When she put the word out on Facebook, donations started rolling in. Sarah couldn’t believe how many people wanted to help. She and her team of volunteers filled the baskets with goodies, and planned to deliver them to each family! 

Credit: Operation Easter Bunny

“We will be delivering them masked and gloved to porches, so there is limited exposure to everyone involved," she said.

Sarah added that pitching in at a time like this feels so good. 

“To be able to do this for everyone else is a blessing.”

Thanks to Sarah and her volunteers, it was a Happy Easter for so many Treasure Valley families. 

Do you know of some good things happening right now? Let Maggie O’Mara know about it! You can reach her through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email! 

RELATED: How Idaho's wine industry is dealing with COVID-19 slowdown

Watch more '7's Hero'

See all of the heartwarming segments in our YouTube playlist here: