It would be easy to fixate on all the bad news we’re confronting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, it’s worth noting that there are positive tales to present as well these days. Many people, companies and organizations are doing their part to help others get through this health care crisis. Here are just a few of the stories that have been published in the Watertown Daily Times chronicling this good news:

Thousand Islands Area Habitat for Humanity in Watertown is continuing its mission of providing affordable housing for those who need it. Rather than withdrawing, the group is moving forward with the work that needs to be done.

“Throughout the United States, more than 18 million households pay half or more of their income on housing. Now, with millions of people working together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by staying home, decent and affordable housing is more critical than ever,” according to a story published Monday. “Thousand Islands Area Habitat for Humanity is partnering with Habitat for Humanity International’s Cost of Home campaign, which focuses on improving housing affordability across the housing continuum in four specific policy areas: increasing supply and preservation of affordable homes, equitably increasing access to credit, optimizing land use for affordable homes, and ensuring access to and development of communities of opportunity. Although we are living in challenging and uncertain times, Thousand Islands Area Habitat for Humanity is pushing forward with this critical work through the Home Ownership Program and is seeking prospective homeowners.”

Download an application at and submit it by appointment or in the mail at 938 Water St. Watertown, NY 13601.

Mark Uebler from Evans Mills is one of eight staff members from Watertown City School District creating parts for face masks to be used by medical personnel. They are using 3-D printers to make visors and clips.

“It’s one of those jobs where I will never know the real impact of this,” Mr. Uebler, a librarian at Watertown High School, said in a story published Monday. “I will never know if these ever got used. On the other hand, if they do get used, I don’t know if I might’ve stopped the spread of the virus even from one person. But if it’s made the difference with one person, it’s priceless.”

This effort has been growing.

“With the current COVID-19 pandemic creating a shortage of personal protective equipment in health care facilities, local manufacturing companies, educational institutions and architects are coming together to produce face shields for staff at Samaritan Medical Center. Face shields provide full-face protection for health care workers, and because many parts for the shields can be created using 3-D printers, the community is coming together to make them,” according to a story published Wednesday. “As previously reported by the Times, this collaboration was first spearheaded by state Sen. Patricia Ritchie’s office, which saw the need arising at area hospitals and began reaching out to those with access to 3-D printers. Senior Principal at BCA Architects & Engineers, Mari L. Cecil, has taken on the role of community coordinator for these efforts and is working with all representatives to ensure the face shields are consistent and can be used by health care workers. … Once the shields have been assembled at Jefferson-Lewis BOCES, they will be given to Samaritan Medical Center to protect staff members treating the public during this health crisis. The goal is to produce 1,000 face shields for Samaritan.”

Retired Fort Drum soldier Roman Espinoza of Watertown put up the first Blessing Box in the community in front of his home at 123 Chestnut St. nearly three years ago. Now there are many of them throughout the city. People keep them stocked with food items for those in need.

“With the current COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the nation, and the world as a whole, more and more people who are currently stuck at home are in search of ways they can help out their communities in this time of need,” a story published Tuesday reported. “According to Mr. Espinoza, people have gone out of their way to get out and either donate to the boxes or construct their own. They have also been challenging others to do so.”

It is heartening to see this outpouring of good will. We know we’ll see much more of it in the weeks ahead.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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