NORFOLK, Va. - For more than a week now, Norfolk resident Shannon Forbes has stocked a small table of supplies in her Ghent neighborhood.
"Just because the supply chain is backed up doesn't mean we don't have everything we need. So, I decided, 'You know what? Let me get some of these items and show people they are readily available. They don't have to pay and they don't have to worry,'" she explained.
She got the idea from a YouTube channel with actor John Krasinski, best know for his role on the TV show "The Office." His channel features good news during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I saw one of the stories where this husband and wife in front of their house, using their front yard. I don't have a front yard, of all the necessary things that people might need during the pandemic."
Shannon's table of free stuff has a little of everything: Snacks, fruit, water and some of the harder to find items like toilet paper for anyone who wants or needs it.
She stocks it herself, but occasionally people will drop by and donate items. She's also had people leave money on the table.
We featured Shannon in a news story last week and wanted to surprise her with an award. So, I had to be vague about why we were coming again so soon. And we wanted to stay at a safe distance so I interviewed her on her back porch.
But soon it would all make sense.
We would travel through rain, sleet or snow and even a tropical storm to give Shannon a People Taking Action Award. She was shocked and had a huge smile on her face.
"This is so awesome!"
I also gave her a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank. She put her hand over her mouth, surprised at what was happening.
"Thank you all so much. I really appreciate this."
But she doesn't think what she is doing is extraordinary; she feels it's just what should be done.
"Hopefully it brings a smile to somebody's face that they can just walk by and grab a Gatorade or a water; bar of soap or a roll of toilet paper; just something small. Thank you, John Krasinski!"
To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.