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Making a difference: A ministry, a dry cleaner, a builder and a billionaire help where they can

Across Western New York, good people continue to do good things to help friends and strangers cope with the strains created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Among them are Eight Days of Hope, a ministry that has set out with Feed Buffalo and churches to provide a week of groceries to 1,000 families in need. Volunteers in masks gathered on Thursday to bag the groceries. Together, such individuals and organizations help to fill needs that could otherwise go unmet.

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Colvin Cleaners, seeking ways to cope with the decline in business and limit the layoff of employees, has begun manufacturing face masks for use by New Yorkers who are now required to wear them when they are in public and unable to maintain a safe distance from others.

The masks have become especially important with realization that people without symptoms may nonetheless be infected with Covid-19 and contagious.

Owner Paul Billoni said the company has already handed out 3,100 masks and has requests for at least 20,000. The company is asking for donations in exchange for masks, but is otherwise giving them away. Lots of people will be smiling under those masks.

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Zoladz Construction Co. of Alden is donating more than 8,600 meals to local hospitals to support their front-line health care workers. Steve Bell Communications reports that deliveries from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Fat Bob’s and Frank’s Gourmet Hot Dogs will continue through May 2. That’s good for workers, good for the restaurants and good for Zoladz.

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Sometimes help comes from the most privileged among us. Through his charity, billionaire Michael Bloomberg has pledged $10.5 million to help fund a state program of testing, tracing and supported isolation protocol. The commitment brings the former New York City mayor’s donations to the pandemic fight to at least $64.5 million. It will surely help.

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