Cornavirus kindness: South Bay strangers come together to form volunteer community for those in need

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- As calls for people to shelter in place due to the Coronavirus pandemic began around the Bay Area, residents knew it was their time to step up and help.

Sunnyvale resident Nakul Tirumalai saw a need in his community and knew that he had time to help since he is working from home.

However, he knew it was going to take more help than just himself.

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"Primarily we are from India and we live apart from our parents," Tirumalai said. "I was just thinking about who is going to help people out here. So, since we apart of this community, I just thought I'd drop a message in the NextDoor app and see how many people could volunteer for this."

The answer? Nearly 200 people in a matter of days.

Now, this group of complete strangers have come together to create a team of South Bay volunteers looking to help anyway they can.



To spread the word, they have put their signs all over Sunnyvale and even created an interactive map showing exactly where volunteers are sitting at the ready.

"I think we're all here to help each other actually," Sunnyvale resident Angela Davis said. "That's why we are put on this earth."

"For me, my way of giving back to the community, typically, is through music," Sunnyvale resident Gobl said. "But since I am unable to do that, this is how I want to give back to the community"

"Every time we help someone and there's a new hit online, we see why we're doing this," Sunnyvale resident Anupama Kurudi said.

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It's not just this group in Sunnyvale, people all over the Bay Area are taking to NextDoor to find ways to give back.

That includes San Jose State Graduate Student Vanessa Serrano who is taking her time off school as a chance to make a difference.

With her background in social work, she is lending a helping hand by offering to help people find resources like food banks and clothing as well as simple errands in an attempt to be an example to others.

"What I hope is that it models the behavior that we should be doing right now," Serrano said. "Modeling that behavior of reaching out and being kind to each other."

The volunteers are in place and their information is in the community, but now they need to find those in need.

They have helped a few people, but they are looking for more.

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"If you have a sick kid at home and you need to get medicine, groceries or toilet paper for heaven's sakes," Sunnyvale resident Thea French said. "Call me. I can go get it because all my kids are grown. I'm healthy, I'm able and I'm mobile. I'm here to help the people, especially with the shelter-in-place order. Now you can't go out and do that so I'm here to do that."

The volunteers' contact information is listed below if you need help in the South Bay.

Vanessa: vanessaserrano93@gmail.com
Thea: 408-455-8730 TheaF@blackdiamondlandscape.com

Nakul: 408-784-8313

Kim: 408-307-6712

Amy: 408-338-8185

Anjali: 408-386-7721

Tabby: 563-210-1509

Krishna: 408-368-3162

You can also find their flyer below or visit their interactive map by clicking here.



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