VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - COVID-19 has resulted in some people finding ways to give back in these times of need and fear. Kelly Letellier is a perfect example; she's using something small to make a big difference.
"I'm a physical therapist and working very limited hours right now because of COVID-19 and my kids are trying to stay busy and we've been painting rocks just for fun," she told us.
And then, "something for fun" turned into a way to give back during the coronavirus pandemic when she noticed something on social media.
"I saw one of my friends - her friend painted her house on a rock and titled it 'Safe at Home' and she posted that on Facebook a few weeks ago and I said, 'That's really cute; I'm going try to do that.' So, I sent some messages to friends in the neighborhood asking them to send me pictures of their houses, and I painted them."
She says she has no formal art training, but the detail on these rocks is pretty remarkable.
"I kind of use my pencil to measure the dimensions, so I kind of look at the picture of my phone and say, 'Alright, the front of the house is this long,' and I'll kind of measure up to my rock, and so I've been sketching the pictures and just painting them," Kelly explained.
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She posted hers on Facebook, saying she was accepting donations to the Foodbank. It went from seven requests to 33 people asking for the painted house rocks.
"I think the food banks are in desperate need right now of funds, and I think we have so many unemployed that that need is going to be there, and I think the need was there before all this started and now it's even worse. So, I think this is a great way to raise funds for the Foodbank."
That sure sounds like taking action, so News 3 presented Kelly with a People Taking Action award along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank. Kelly was very grateful and offered to give the gift card to the Foodbank.
Her focus is doing what she can for those in need and believes her painted rocks will help us to remember.
"I do feel like this is something they're going to have forever and think about this time, which is just a very strange time in history that I think we're going to remember forever. And also, I'm not used to having this much free time, so I feel like being able to use my free for something good is nice," she said. "I was inspired by all the people at home making masks and other things to help out and I just think if you've got a way to help others and you're stuck at home, you can use your time in a good way and do something positive out of all of this."
And that is true. Kelly says folks have been donating anywhere from $20 to $200 for her painted rocks.
To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.