Coronavirus kindness: Gonzaga student helps strangers make ends meet

SPOKANE, Wash. — In scary times, “look for the helpers.”

That’s a lesson Mr. Rogers taught us, and here in Spokane, you don’t have to look far.

It started with a single tweet. Gonzaga student Jackson Frank posted to his nearly 10,000 Twitter followers Sunday night:

“I don’t have a ton to offer but if you’re in need of financial support because of coronavirus, message me or reply here.”

Frank got plenty of replies.

One person said they were temporarily laid off with no pay. They had a daughter and needed groceries and medicine.

Another user said he’s worked in the restaurant business his entire life, now he’s without a job for the foreseeable future, worried about making rent.

There was also a mom of two little girls who just had her hours cut — she’s struggling to put food on the table.

“I was just seeing all these people who were having to quit their jobs and people who were worried about rent or other things like that, there were other bills,” Frank said.

You might be wondering how one college student could even begin to help these people financially. It turns out frank didn’t just get messages from people needing help, but also those who wanted to give help.

“The amount of donations I’ve received from people is really what’s keeping this going.”

Within several hours of his post, Frank raised nearly $2,000.

“I’ve had a lot of generous donors who are sending me stuff on Vemno or cash app or pay pal just saying ‘Hey, put this to good use, make sure I get to see where my money is going.'”

Frank said he’s been giving an average of $20 to people who reach out. That can be a trip to the grocery store, or a few more gallons of gas. Frank said he plans to keep helping people until the donated money runs out.

“I can’t really take much of the credit for it because most of it is coming from other people who are spending their money, sharing their money.”