You’re awesome, Kentuckiana! Here are 13 times your kindness said, ‘We’re in this together’

In all of the COVID-19 chaos, there were sunny spots and stories you let WHAS11 tell on your behalf. Here’s some stories that made us cry, laugh and smile.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The year is about to end and let’s be honest, we’re all excited to see 2020 in our rearview mirror. That said, we will still have to deal with some of the collateral damage from 2020 but hopefully not for too long. 

The things that made this year suck weren’t just the virus itself. It was lives impacted by it, such as the unemployment woes in Kentucky and Indiana, seeing small businesses and restaurants close permanently. The hopelessness of not being able to save them or people lost to the virus.

In all of the COVID chaos, there were sunny spots and stories you let WHAS11 tell on your behalf. Stories that made us cry, laugh and smile.

Here are 13 of them:

‘Chris was a giving kid’ | Christian Gwynn was murdered in 2019 and Thanksgiving was his favorite holiday. It was a painful day for his parents, yet they worked with LMPD chief and other mothers to provide Thanksgiving dinners for 50 other struggling families. That, ladies and gentlemen, is selflessness and humility at its finest. 

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Let’s get him home’ | This story is about the Zoneton Fire Department Chief Rob Orkies who was battling cancer and then tested positive for COVID-19. the community he served and firefighters are committed to helping him and his family through this difficult time. 

‘The “Greatest Cleanup in West End History’ | People from neighborhoods all over Louisville came together for what organizers called the “Greatest Cleanup in West End History.” Fonz, the president and founder of the Louisville Mopar Muscle Car Club organized the effort.

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‘Homeless doesn’t mean helpless’ | A retired Army soldier spent Thanksgiving Day serving homeless individuals in Louisville and making them feel special.

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The Salvation Army of southern Indiana rerouted norm to serve Thanksgiving Day meals during COVID-19 pandemic. The agency held a drive-thru meal delivery and everyone took home a hot meal for Thanksgiving. 

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‘I always lead with love’ Louisville’s ‘Smile Guy’ isn’t letting the pandemic prevent him from spreading smiles and holiday cheer. | Michael Ray is using his nonprofit to raise money for families in the restaurant industry who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

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‘Bikes or Bust’ drive looks to help families in need 

“The success of Bikes or Bust lies on the community that has brought so much hope and joy to thousands of less fortunate children in southern Indiana and Kentucky,” said Cletis Evans.

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Bourbon makers put aside competition to help restaurants, hospitality workers. Marker’s Mark brewed a special bourbon that contains recipes from several makers called CommUNITY Bourbon. All the proceeds from the bourbon, which is sold in several states will benefit local restaurants and the hospitality industry.

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How cool is this! Kentucky’s oldest urban radio station still going strong. Louisville’s WLOU and 104.7FM turned on their lights and hit the airwaves in November of 1948. Making them one of the oldest urban radio stations in the U.S. 

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A Louisville food truck owner did a ‘random act of kindness’ by giving free food to healthcare workers to show appreciation for their work on the front lines of the pandemic. 

Louisville 8-year-old continues winter coat drive during pandemic  Whether we like it or not, winter is coming. A Louisville third grader wants to make sure everyone is ready for the colder weather – and she isn’t letting the coronavirus pandemic slow her down. 

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‘We need to show people what love looks like’ | Most of us automatically associate Thanksgiving with food but some aren’t so lucky. The Hope Buss seeks to bridge that gap in Louisville. Their main mission is to bring groceries to neighborhoods that don’t have access to fresh foods. The Hope Buss does food delivery events every single month. 

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‘I guess I just love to farm’ | Kentucky cattle farmer, Buddy Smith rewarded with prestigious Lepold Award for his attention to the environment and how he’s rearing this cattle. We should all hope for a ‘Buddy’ in our lives. He splurged his $10,000 prize on his cows! 

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