Life during Coronavirus: Bay Area communities share moments of joy and kindness

CAMPBELL, Calif. (KGO) -- During these extraordinary times of the novel coronavirus pandemic, we're sharing little pieces of joy from across the Bay Area. There are so many stories of families and total strangers, spreading happiness during the "new normal."

In Campbell, Martin Sandoz turned 10-years old this week. His birthday, a little different than expected.

"The initial plan was to have a bouncy house in the backyard" says his mother, Reka Kovacs.

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That plan changed when sister Katia alongside mom, came up with an idea to hold up a sign outside their home, asking for drivers to honk.

"I thought it was a nice gesture to do something for my brother's birthday" says Katia. Martin wasn't sure if people would honk. But lots of people did, including a street sweeper. The sweeper not only circling the block, honking, but drove away and came back with a Baskin Robin's gift card.

"It was absolutely wonderful!" beamed Reka.

Meantime in San Bruno, another birthday. This time for 6-year old Jonah Pulido. Whose bowling party had been cancelled.

"He was super sad about it I told all his friends and family...and they came and surprise him!" says his mom, Roxanne.

Nearly 20 people sang happy birthday from their cars in a reverse serenade.

"It's super heartwarming...we can't be anymore grateful for what they did!" says Roxanne.

Jonah, a little shy to be on FaceTime camera, beaming with a smile that says it all.

"Happy!" he exclaims.

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In Livermore, it's a tale of kindness from The Sutton Girl: Mom Jeanette, husband Reed and their four daughters. The family, moving their little free library to make room for a new community garden and blessing box, full of non-perishables. Anybody is welcome to take some or give some.

"It's pretty incredible there's new stuff everyday... We want to change the focus from all the negative to something positive," says Jeanette.

It's a lesson for young Mckayla, Silva, Charlotte and Billie that they truly are stronger together.

"When times are rough we as a community get together and try our best to help the situation," says Mckayla, wiser beyond her years.

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That inspired us to help Martin Sandoz and his family who wanted to find that street sweeper. So we tracked down Gina Vella, one of the owners of Contract Sweeping Services in Milpitas, identifying the driver as Joseph Moreno.

"My first reaction was pure joy and it brought tears to my eyes. He really is a dedicated, loyal individual and we are more happy than ever to have him as part of our team," smiles Gina.

It might not have been a bowling alley, but a memorable birthday nonetheless.

"I would say thank you so much it means a lot to me," says Martin.

Joseph will be recognized by his company for his little act of kindness and be presented with a gift card of his very own.

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