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Good news stories to help combat the blues

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As part of the Windsong Heights Schools' Kindness Ninjas, Avianna, a student in Allison Apels kindergarten class, shares a message that "Everything is going to be OK." The class is staying connected through an app and is taking part in the #chasetherainbow movement. Photo: Stacie Gaetz/Facebook

COVID-19 is now a pandemic and the Albert government has advised cancellations of all large events, but that doesn't mean all the news out there is doom and gloom.

If you are looking for a little respite from a news feed dominated by the relentless barrage of latest coronavirus developments, we would like to offer you some our favourite wholesome and heartwarming stories from the past week.

Airdronians spread cheer

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Airdrie residents are doing what they can to come together while keeping to a safe distance.

“There’s a lot of negativity going on in social media right now, and the only way to get through the uncertainty of how long this is going to be for is to have those positive things and make the best of anything and everything we can,” said Tamara Hiltz, owner of the Heart of the Community Airdrie Market.

Window walks, unicorn costumes, offers to help those self-isolating and #AlbertaCares are filling this story with positive vibes:

Airdrie residents spread cheer amidst pandemic

Lighting the way

Airdrie's Mayor Peter Brown encourages residents to switch on their Christmas lights to show the community remains connected.

Since Brown posted the idea on his Facebook page March 17, many Airdrie residents have taken the call to action and have shared photos of their shining Christmas lights on social media using hashtags like #ShareTheGlow.

Find out more about this simple initiative here:

Mayor connects community with Christmas lights

Religious services adapt

Faith comes through for local places of worship as they adapt to provide services online and connect digitally.

“I think people are craving a message of hope,” said Mary Olinyk, executive of operations with Kingdom City. “They’re craving a message of peace…and people need a reminder of what the scriptures say in this season.”

Read how churches and mosques have changed to prevent the spread of the virus here:

Airdrie faith communities adjust to COVID-19

RVC churches adjust for COVID-19

Committed athletes

It takes more than a pandemic to stop an Airdrie athlete. 

While closures and social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19 has presented an unusual dilemma for local athletes, many are still keeping in shape using what is available to them at home. 

Find out how athletes are sticking to their training plans here:

Athletes adapt training amid COVID-19 closures

Ringette moves online

The COVID-19 pandemic is not going to stop Ringette Alberta from offering members the chance to participate in some good-natured competition.

To keep athletes and teams engaged, the association is hosting the Social Media Provincials – an online competition where ringette players submit videos of themselves performing certain tasks – from March 18 to April 18.

“It’s essentially a big social media project, and a way to keep our teams, members and players connected, as we’re all in social-isolation mode,” said Robyn Gillespie, Ringette Alberta’s sport development co-ordinator.

Read what athletes are up to here:

Ringette teams go for provincial gold – online

Neighbours helping neighbours

A new volunteer program, the Crossfield COVID-19 Vulnerable Citizen Support Program, has been introduced in Crossfield to help residents who are in self-isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The outreach program will see volunteers run deliveries for residents who are self-isolating or quarantined.

“With the reality of many people being confined to home either by choice or mandate, the ability to access basic necessities has become restricted,” said the Town’s recreation and events co-ordinator Eris Latham. “The idea of the program is to make sure that our residents are well supported and supplied and don’t face hardships with regard to acquiring basic-need items.”

Learn more about the program here:

Crossfield introduces vulnerable citizen support program

Increased access

Assistant editor Jessi Gowan breaks down how social distancing has shone a light on the accessibility gap for disabled people in the workplace.

"Now that everyone else finds themselves in that same boat, it’s amazing the kinds of accessibility features we’re seeing," Gowan writes."On Twitter, the hashtag #AccessibilityForAbleds details how easily the world has embraced exactly the kinds of supports and accommodations disabled people have been fighting for their entire lives."

Read more here:

Accessibility for everyone

Adapting the Easter egg hunt

The community of Vista Crossing in Crossfield is replacing the traditional hunt with a decorating contest and asking residents to display their creation in windows so egg hunters can spot them.

“The more cheer we can spread right now, and just some positivity around this uncertain time, the more the better,” said Jennifer McDonald, marketing co-ordinator for land and housing with Dream.

Find details and a link to the free egg printout here:

New sort of Easter egg hunt takes place in Crossfield

A sure sign spring is on its way

The Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) is reminding everyone nature continues on. With the onset of spring, executive director Holly Lillie said it’s time to proactively deter migrating Canada Geese from nesting in unsafe locations.

“They are an earlier migrant,” she said. “Some have already returned. Usually, the more hardy birds come back so that they can get the best breeding grounds.”

Read out how you can help prevent geese injury and human vs. geese conflicts here:

Precautions necessary to deter nesting geese

Fresh delivery

With an opening date set for March 14, Prairie Horizon Fresh Market had to adapt its operations right off the bat.

“We’d spent the last nine months visiting with potential vendors, doing all the designs and getting our permitting in place,” said co-owner Ken Aylesworth.

Rather than throwing in the towel or postpone the opening date, the market is now offering an online food delivery service for residents of Airdrie and Calgary.

Find out what the area's newest farmers' market has to offer here:

Prairie Horizon Fresh Market shifts to online delivery