The Cherubim of Everyday Life

ROLESVILLE, N.C.—Schools have shut down because of the coronavirus. Many students are excited about the time off, others have taken this opportunity to catch up on some much needed texting.

But it’s not all fun and games in Wake County. A lot of local students depend on the daily meals from the school cafeteria.

Tracie Sanchez, principal of Harris Creek Elementary School, said, “For many of us we don’t have to worry about [meals], but we do have students, and those ARE their meals. We need to make sure that they eat.”

So that’s exactly what her people have been doing. School district workers helped in a community food drive yesterday. They collected 10 truckloads full of food in just a few ticks of a clock. That’s enough food for nearly 150 local families.

If you would like to donate, great. Or, if you want to bring the volunteers some hot donuts, that would be fine too. Glazed. Lots of them.

ANAHEIM, Calif.—Disney shut down its theme parks, and I know you were probably wondering the same thing I’m wondering: “What the heck happens to all those delicious corn dogs you buy inside the Disneyland park?”

Well, this is kind of cool. All Disney’s excess food is getting donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, an organization that feeds roughly 250,000 people each month. That’s 3 million mouths per year. That’s almost as many people who stand in line for the “It’s a Small World” ride.

Disney also announced that during the shutdown, they will continue to pay cast members such as Goofy, Mickey, Cinderella, the Little Mermaid, and Mick Jagger.

HOUSTON, Texas—John is 8 years old, and has taken to singing over the phone. He is dialing the numbers on his mother’s cellphone contact list in hopes of cheering them up.

After all, John explained, everyone is stuck indoors, and that’s boring. He should know, John has had some extended stays in hospitals over the past few years due to lymphoma.

“He sings whatever he wants,” said John’s mother. “I only let him go for about thirty seconds. I told him to just be polite and make sure people actually wanna hear him sing before he gets going.”

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Just about everything is closed in Ohio. Life sucks for anyone in food service. Ever since the governor ordered the closing of bars and restaurants, most servers, cooks, dishwashers, and general managers have been stuck at home, wondering how they’re going to pay bills.

Right before Coaches Bar and Grill closed its doors, a customer left a $2500 tip on a table. Benny Leonard, the restaurant owner, says the customer’s total bill was less than $30.

The anonymous customer asked for the tip to be divided among staff members equally.

“Tears, tears of joy,” said Benny. “An unbelievable act of kindness on a pretty weird day.”

DURHAM, N.C.—Becky Hoeffler is working from home, just like everybody else. But on Becky’s lunch breaks, she visits supermarkets to shop for groceries for anyone who needs them.

She got this idea when she was talking to her 91-year-old grandfather. He said he needed to go to the store, and this got Becky thinking. The next day, she put up a flyer in her neighborhood and the rest is history. Since then she has been busy purchasing important emergency items for locals, such as sweet banana bread for her neighbor, Miss Patti.

Becky told interviewers, “Being able to help your neighbor is one of the most American things you can do.”

She wants nothing in return for her services.

WASHINGTON D.C.—Eleven-year-old Bella is walking dogs for elderly people in her neighborhood who are staying inside. Bella loves dogs, but her mother won’t let her have one because their apartment is too small and dogs are notorious for pooping.

“She’s having fun,” her mother said. “But I think Bella’s finally seeing how much work is involved with dogs, maybe we can finally put the issue to rest.”

Bella said this job has been very educational, and it has actually taught her about the realities of dog ownership. When her mother asked Bella what she’s learned, she answered, “I’ve learned that I want three dogs instead of just one.”

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—In the North Knoxville Historic District, amidst the antique houses and ornate street lamps, you might see a bunch of volunteers walking the sidewalks.

Wave to them when you drive by. These are people running errands for anyone who needs help. The volunteers deliver groceries, make pharmacy runs, and even prep meals and casseroles.

The group is headed up by Kelly Arsenault, who said, “Our goal is just to help our neighbors in need.”

They call themselves the “Kindness Committee.” Which is a great name, don’t get me wrong. But I came up with other nicknames for their door-to-door organization while doing research for this column. I came up with: “The Knoxville Knockers,” “Knox in a Box,” “I Hear You Knoxville, But You Can’t Come In,” and of course, “The Tennessee Volunteers.”

I want royalties.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what you just read here. The answer is, not much. You’ve read an average man’s attempt at trying to cheer you up. The universe is going through hell right now, and I know you’re probably feeling anxious about it. So I just wanted you to know that no matter how bad it gets, there is an angel born every minute.

In fact, you might be one.


  1. Lynn Thomas - March 17, 2020 6:47 am

    The world is full of good people.

  2. GaryD - March 17, 2020 6:48 am

    I’ve read that less than 100 people have died from the Coronavirus which is very tragic. Also in the same space of time this flu season that 22,000 people have died which is also tragic. I don’t understand. What the heck is going on. As if we didn’t know.

  3. Cathi Russell - March 17, 2020 7:03 am

    Wet eyes & a big smile on this way too early wakeup time. The hardest times bring out the very best in most people, thank the Lord. Thank you, Sean, for reminding us of that.

  4. Karen - March 17, 2020 8:59 am

    Our neighborhood has a group Facebook page. We have formed a sort of coalition to help each other through this pandemic, especially the elderly and young mothers with children (things like food, shopping, toilet paper, etc)
    Our church normally fills backpacks with enough food to feed a family of four for a weekend (for students in need). We are working on a plan to have a drive-through grocery pick-up each week for these students, while school is out.
    The nurses at local hospitals are helping each other with child care so that they can continue to care for the sick.
    A grocery store has begun allowing senior customers (exclusively) to come in during the first hour of shopping in the morning.
    This is who America is. We take care of each other.

  5. Jones - March 17, 2020 10:48 am

    Your positive writings remain refreshing. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 👍👍

  6. Nell Thomas - March 17, 2020 11:06 am

    Yes- it is therapeutic, at least it has been for myself- to look for the positive aspects of this worldwide epidemic that has suddenly interrupted millions of normal routines.
    One of the top concerns seems to be feeding the children that depend on school meals. What is so sad is that it seems to as epidemic as the virus itself. Why? Why? Why are these children not being taken care of at home? It is a good chance many are recieving welfare. Where is the money going when it arrives? When there is a problem- get to the source!

  7. Ann - March 17, 2020 11:27 am

    Goodness is on the back burner ( unfortunately) in times like this…there is a LOT of good out there…thanks for bringing some to the front burner….it doesn’t take much to be kind!👏🏻❤️

  8. Melanie - March 17, 2020 11:32 am

    If only they’d have this on the news every night instead of the fearmongering … thank you Sean 😊

  9. Sherry - March 17, 2020 12:01 pm

    Union County, Georgia. The school system has ordered meals for any child age 1-18. School buses (volunteer drivers) will be utilized to deliver the meals to each voting precinct. Volunteers are handing out the pre-requested meals in a drive through line. The only requirement: sign up to get the meals, with delivery twice a week.

  10. amy - March 17, 2020 12:02 pm

    Thank you Sean! It is wonderful to read about people doing for others! 😊

  11. Patricia A Schmaltz - March 17, 2020 12:03 pm

    Ah, you always know the perfect thing to say…or write about. Thank you Sean. Stay healthy please.

  12. Marilyn Johnson - March 17, 2020 12:17 pm

    Your columns are a gift- especially at this time. Thank you.

  13. HT - March 17, 2020 12:17 pm

    All out return to “lean on me, lend a hand, neighbor’s keeper” and it is warming my heart! Partisanship may still stumble our government but neighbors are stepping up & out on behalf of others. Great article Sean, thanks. I vote Knoxville knockers, kinda has a ring to it😁

  14. Keloth Anne - March 17, 2020 12:31 pm

    Thank you for adding smiles and sunshine to my world 🥰🥰🥰

  15. peggy hayes - March 17, 2020 12:43 pm

    As are you, Sean Dietrich.

  16. Gale K - March 17, 2020 12:49 pm

    Just a big THANK YOU from someone who needed cheering up this morning.

  17. Connie Havard Ryland - March 17, 2020 1:04 pm

    I love this. Thank you to everyone who is reaching out to help. There is a restaurant in Fairhope AL that is offering free lunches to school kids who need it while they are out. Reading stories about good people is so much better than hearing about all the hoarders and ugliness that’s going on. Thank you.

  18. Jo Ann - March 17, 2020 1:05 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for reminding us that there are lots of good, kindly people out here. Yes, there are hoarding jerks who are selling their piles of stuff online, but I really think they’re outnumbered by the good ones. Stay well, Sean, we need you.

  19. Jan - March 17, 2020 1:18 pm

    Actually, I recently met an angel at the Brookwood Mall bookstore last Thursday night. He tells delightful stories about everyday people and is a great writer. He thought he had met me before and I definitely feel as though I know him well! Thank you, Sean!

  20. Anne Arthur - March 17, 2020 1:26 pm

    So good to read your little (big!) stories, which put smiles on our face. Keep well, keep writing. Thanks, Sean.

  21. Lisa Snow - March 17, 2020 1:35 pm

    As always you are our glimmer of sunshine on a rainy day! We love you!

  22. Jeanne Butler - March 17, 2020 1:43 pm

    Sean thank you for this uplifting column. I’m so scared about everything and this helped me to believe things will be ok. Love you Sean

  23. Ronda Dow - March 17, 2020 1:48 pm

    Yep, it worked! You definitely cheered me up!

  24. Tammy S. - March 17, 2020 1:53 pm

    Yet again, while our government tries to figure it all out, ordinary, everyday America extends a helping hand to their neighbors!! I love my country!! And I love your encouraging emails. Thanks for the smile today, Sean & America!! Along with God, two things I have no doubts about!!

  25. Beverly - March 17, 2020 2:04 pm

    Thank you for the positive, uplifting stories.

  26. Norman Purdue - March 17, 2020 2:42 pm

    Sean, this current crisis is bring out the best in us. My wife and I are in our mid eighties so we need to be wise about what we should and should not do.

    We live in an apartment complex surrounded by young people. Already several have let us know that they are there for us. Running errands, just visiting to talk or bringing food.

    Our church family brought enough food to feed our immediate neighbors. 😊❤👍🙏 God is spreading His love through these acts of kindness.

    We look forward to your daily submissions. After we have our quiet time in the mornings I read your offering for the day to my wife. Makes us smile. Thank you. Be safe and well.


  27. Lynda Gayle Knight - March 17, 2020 2:50 pm

    Mission accomplished! As every day, you started this “older” person’s day off with a smile and good thoughts❣️

  28. Tammy Moody - March 17, 2020 3:23 pm

    We’re waiting for a little preemie angel to be born right now! So thankful for the medical staff who can be there for our kids when we can’t! Thank you Sean, for spreading some cheer!

  29. Ruth - March 17, 2020 3:24 pm

    Good is good no matter how you look at it and it is great seeing good happen all around us. Sean I love your uplifting stories. So often you find the good in situations and show them to us and that is one of the things I love about you. You are always looking for the good. Americans needed this time to slow down and see the good around them and find the good in themselves. Many are.They make me proud to be an American.

  30. AlaRedClayGirl - March 17, 2020 3:37 pm

    Sean, your words bring hope and joy in this crazy place right now. Most of us can do something to help another through this, even if it’s just a simple phone call.

  31. Linda Moon - March 17, 2020 3:58 pm

    You, average man, cheer me up with stories, music, and GREAT BIG hugs (unless we have to stand 6 feet apart). You are an interesting kind of Angel yourself, Sean. You’d be welcome in my Squad anytime. Thank you for sharing these Heavenly stories that I just read. I vote for your rendition of Fats Domino’s song, and I hope you get royalties!!

  32. Sylvia Holt - March 17, 2020 4:11 pm

    Thank you Sean. I look forward to your post everyday. It is especially important at this time when “old folk” like me should not be out.

  33. Bobbie E - March 17, 2020 4:21 pm

    Some good news👏👏. God bless them all. The good always comes out in times like these. God bless them and God bless you Sean for sharing with us. We all need a smile, more now than ever ❤️‼️

  34. Sandra Lee van Dam - March 17, 2020 4:35 pm

    Thanks for the smilies.

  35. A Smaller Life - March 17, 2020 4:48 pm

    You did it … you cheered me up.

    The world is full of wonderful people, they just don’t get the publicity the bad guys get, lets address this problem immediately. xx

  36. Patricia Gibson - March 17, 2020 4:48 pm

    Amen. A lot of good people out there❤️

  37. Joyce Murray - March 17, 2020 6:30 pm

    You are an 👼 for recognizing these other angels! I love reading your post everyday.

  38. Ann Noble - March 17, 2020 9:08 pm

    Amen, God Bless you every day!

  39. Gale Smith - March 17, 2020 9:44 pm

    Line from a Jeff Bridges movie, Starman:
    We “are at our best when things are at their
    worst.” Always believed this to be true for most
    of us.

  40. Steve - March 17, 2020 11:23 pm

    Way to go Nell Thomas! Way to show that loving heart. Bravo! I’ll try to control my sarcasm. Nell, you missed the point. This column was about compassion. How compassion can flow from ordinary people to others simply because they are human and worthy of dignity despite their struggles. No questions asked, only Love – freely given.

  41. MermaidGrammy - March 17, 2020 11:40 pm

    Thank you for being our everyday cherub.

  42. Mary Lou Griffin - March 18, 2020 2:15 am

    Mission accomplished Sean. I do feel better!! Thanks and keep up the writing. Just bought 3 of your books and am looking forward to a much less boring confinement!!

  43. Glenda Hinkle - March 18, 2020 2:37 am

    After reading this, I am reminded of Anne Franks famous quote, ” in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart”. …..Here in Fayetteville, Ala. which is next to Sylacauga, we have a BBQ restaurant called Lori Darlin’s. It is a small rural farming community and people live on the land. With the schools closing, we have children who depend on those meals as their only meal of the day. Lori Darlin’s just announced they will provide lunch meals for all children in need until school resumes…….Makes my heart swell with pride to know I live here.

  44. GLORIA MCIELWAIN - March 18, 2020 3:52 am

    I am a cashier in a restaurant/deli/bakery, and our staff has been greatly reduced due to the closing of the restaurant (no dining in allowed on governor’s orders). I was working at the register today and trying to handle the customers in addition to taking phone orders and running food out to people who ordered curb service. We had one gentleman who ordered food for takeout, and he bought candy bars for the staff at the deli. He also bought a couple of candy bars for me. I was really touched by his gesture and his kind words. He made me smile and remember that there are good people out there. We will all get through this by being there for each other. Thanks for your words of wisdom and encouragement, Sean. They help me to get my day started with a smile! (By the way, I grew up in Chipley, FL. I have lived in Illinois for many years, and reading your articles is such a nice way to connect with the folks and places that remind me of home. Thanks again!)


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