Stories that will make you smile: Central New Yorkers pay it forward during pandemic

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause uncertainty and anxiety for people all over the world.

In Central New York, the number of cases continues to grow, but so does the generosity of the people who live here.

Below are posts, pictures and videos of people paying it forward and helping one another. Some of the posts are here in hopes of bringing you a smile.

You can send us your photos and videos by posting on our Facebook page or at

We will continue to update this story as we receive more posts, pictures and videos that will make you smile.

One man spent part of the day giving out food to those who need it near Burt and Almond Streets. He used a portion of his paycheck to buy it.

Many grandparents can’t see their family during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they are part of the vulnerable population. However one family did not let that stop them from showing their love, as they decorated their grandparents front yard with signs.

Many families have come up with creative ways to celebrate birthdays during the COVID-19 pandemic, but what about a coronavirus themed birthday cake? Well, that’s exactly what one Baldwinsville kid was given for their second birthday.

The cake was designed by JessiCakes.

The Corning Incorporated C Building reminded the public that we are all in this together, as we try to starve the coronavirus.

School is closed, but that didn’t stop the Chittenango High School Select Choir from practicing their craft. Members of the choir sang the school’s alma mater individually, and then a senior member of the choir edited each of the performances together to create the video below.

Thanks Chittenango! We all need a little bit of music in this unusual time.

Celebrating birthdays during the COVID-19 pandemic can be nearly impossible, but one neighborhood in Jamesville came together to make sure a pair of twins had their special day celebrated. Click here for the full story.

Teachers at Otselic Valley Central School District have a heartfelt message for their students.

Jack Lackey, 9, wanted to see his best friend Tennley Dowling for her birthday. Jack’s mother says he woke up worried about how he could make her day special from six feet away. He gave her a present, then an “air hug.”

Photo: Christina Csigi Lackey
Photo: Christina Csigi Lackey

Brigg Liberman, 11, of North Syracuse was bored at home. So, he made a board game. His mom says there’s a list of detailed rules.

Barbara Tennant shared this photo of her family saying “Grace” before dinner. They had to get creative to not spread any germs.

Photo: Barbara Tennant

Canastota Central school buses delivered a total of 669 breakfast and lunch meals to students in our community Thursday, representing 57 percent of the school population. Learn more here.

Photo: Canastota Central Schools

A simple message outside Solvay Elementary School is a good way to create a smile.

The video below has been shared across the globe. Sara Byrne of Syracuse, and her family, had a party planned for her grandmother’s 95th birthday, but because of COVID-19, they had to cancel.

To make up for it, they all went to her home and sang Happy Birthday from a safe distance.

Byrne’s grandmother has seven sons, 22 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren. Most of them live in the Syracuse area, so they went to sing Happy Birthday for her.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon has been stressing to people to wash their hands. His son Andrew sings his “ABC’s” to make sure he washes his hands for the proper amount of time.

Teachers from the Syracuse City School District are using this time to make the communities cleaner.

These teachers are picking up garbage in their communities and are calling on others with extra free time to do the same.

Photo: Lori Gilbert

Syracuse Police received a surprise meal on Thursday. Officers gave a special thank you to Area Manager, Matt Gill from Kentucky Fried Chicken.

You can take the teacher out of school, but she’ll just find a new classroom. Mary Chanley Fussner shared this photo of her stepdaughter who teaches 2nd grade in Guilderland, New York, which is in the Albany area.

Lighthouse Lanes in Oswego delivered more than 75 meals to grocery store employees, first responders, medical staff and many others who are keeping our community going.

Shannon Garvey Proctor, a music teacher at Bear Road Elementary, came up with some songs to help us all remember to wash our hands to help flatten the curve of this pandemic.

Enjoy 60 Seconds of Serenity: Nothing like nature to take the edge off. Salmon River Falls in Oswego County.

The Reeve family broke out the chalk to write some positive messages.

Photo: ‎Daniela Zingaro Reeve

Thursday, Carrabba’s brought lunch to the staff at Upstate University Hospital. Keeping proper social distancing, those working enjoyed a lovely feast.

Upstate workers got a much-needed meal. Photo: Darryl Geddes

In a new internet challenge, people are being encouraged to put their Christmas lights back up. Read more here.

Photo: Lisa Towne Christian. Pompey, N.Y.

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