Coronavirus kindness: San Jose freelance journalist pays it forward one day after receiving money from stranger

CAMPBELL, Calif. (KGO) -- Jon Root is a South Bay freelance sports journalist who received a random gift from Detroit Associated Press sports writer Larry Lage looking to help out other journalists in a time of need.

As a thank you, Root vowed to pay it forward.

"My roommate and I have been talking about that and how we can help some of the elderly in our neighborhood with grocery store runs or something like that to really make a difference and Larry has inspired that," Root said Wednesday during an interview with ABC7 News.

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Thursday's words became action as Root and his friends began to find ways to give back after the freelance sports journalist was gifted money by a Detroit sports writer.

"There's so much going on in our lives and if we aren't going to follow through it just goes on deaf ears and it's not going to be a good reflection of me and what I stand for," Root said. "So when I had Larry do something incredible for me, someone that I didn't even know, I thought that I need to do good for people I don't even know."

That good now comes in the form of these simple notes they deliver to their neighbors with a smile on the outside and an impactful message on the inside.



The friends went out Thursday out asking their neighbors if they need help through an idea that they got on social media.

"So I found this account on Instagram called 'That's not cancelled'," Root's roommate Sam Mathison said. "I saw this one post that they shared that was essentially this card that had a spot to put your name down and your phone number to share with your neighbors just in case someone couldn't go out and get groceries. Then Jon, my roommate, saw it and said, 'hey we should do this'."



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So far the roommates have purchased a few bags of groceries for neighbors and are back out sharing their notes with more services they offer.

In some there are even blank notes so the act of kindness can be shared to someone else and the good deeds are paid forward.

"One of our neighbors called us and was just so filled because of a little card that was dropped off," Root's roommate Cody Mathison said. "I am kind of imagining if I was sick or couldn't go out and do anything, it would be really nice to have come to my door and do that."

"Time is just something that we never get back, but we have so much of it on our hands right now," Root said. "It's just the definition of community and that's what we want people to feel. They have a helping hand while there's so much uncertainty going on in the world."

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