The Quad-Cities community continued to come together during the pandemic with more people and businesses stepping up and taking care of those in need.
In August, the derecho swept through the Quad-City area, leaving more than 300,000 people without power. For some, it took more than week to get electricity resources, with more of Clinton County out of power.
The Frontier Again restaurant in Clinton stepped up, handing out free food for anyone who came out.
“I just felt that this was the best opportunity for me to ‘open’ the restaurant – even though we’re not open yet – and allow them to have places to come into, charge their phones, get some food, get some cool air, and just have a great place to come into,” said Brent Smith, Frontier Again owner.
Just before Thanksgiving, Oh So Sweet Bakery in Davenport started an Adopt a Nurse program, so customers could go online and pay $10 to send a free meal to a nurse.
“What I can do is feed the community, and to do that is like my super power. We’re trying to give the nurses and staff something they can grab and go and eat really quickly,” said Tiphannie Cannon, Oh So Sweet owner.
On Dec. 19, a community refrigerator opened at the Roosevelt Center in Davenport, where anyone can stop by and pick up groceries for free- no questions asked.
“We know food insecurity is an issue all over the United States but we have a lot of it here in the Quad Cities.”
The community fridge is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
In the middle of December, Ony’khah Johnson, a 9-year-old who was crowned Junior Miss Burlington, did everything she could to give back. She decided to help foster kids, and donated 500 masks to them.
“I just really really love my community, and I want to give back as much as I possibly can this year,” she said. “They don’t have a big suitcase when they travel. They can sometimes just have a plastic garbage bag, and that just made me kind of want to help.”
Before Christmas, D Jay’s Fashion joined forces with other local businesses with a drive-by toy giveaway to make sure all kids would have presents to open.
“There are a lot of people that are going without right now, struggling with not having a job, or the wages to even supply a Christmas for their kids. With what the world is going through right now, it’s only right that we give back. We pulled the community together, and made it happen together,” said Devin Jackson, D Jay’s Fashion owner.
To finish off 2020, Finn’s Grill held its third free-meal giveaway – this one on Christmas Day. Finn’s ended up giving out more than 1,300 burgers and hot dogs.
“A few years ago I was talking to my kids about what we could do that’s a little different for Christmas than what we normally did,” said Joe Ende, Finn’s Grill owner. “My kids came up with the idea to give back to the community and they wanted me to make free food for as many people as I could that day. We had an idea of a few hundred and it radically turned into I think right around 500 our first year.”
While the pandemic lingers into 2021, the Quad-Cities community has proved that it will continue to get through it … together.