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Helping Each Other: Masks, food baskets and messages

Posted at 10:24 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-11 07:56:12-04

(WXYZ) — Whether its mask, food baskets or greeting cards, there seems to be a common thread with the people behind them.

It’s in times of crisis that you need people to step up,” said Oak Park Resource Officer Robert John Kock.

“We’re sitting at home and we might feel like we can’t make a difference. Anyone can do it,” said Jillian Sobak of Dearborn Heights.

“It’s easy to just kind of shelter in place and feel like you can’t do anything except try and keep your people safe but we wanted to do more than that,” says Inklings Paperie founder Lindsay Henry of Canton.

They’re all doers, and they have all stepped up to help in the coronavirus pandemic.

Henry’s company is bringing messages to essential workers, front-line and beyond.

“I might even be someone who’s delivering your mail or someone who’s bagging your groceries,” said Henry.

For every purchase on her site,, a free card is gifted to a healthcare hero when using the “HERO” promo code.

“A message of encouragement you can give to someone and when you scratch, this one says ‘I see how much you are giving and sacrificing right now. I’ve never been more proud to know you.’” Said Henry.

In Oak Park, Robert John Koch is making masks from his home.

“Most nights after I get off work I’ll come home and make 20-25 masks,” said Koch.

Koch then delivers the masks to fellow first responders, hospital staff and everyday people.

“There was just a need and it wasn’t being filled and you go on Amazon or any other website and try to order stuff and the earliest delivery date is May or June. People can’t wait that long,” said Koch.

Jillian Sobak of Dearborn Heights was inspired by two friends who are nurses in an area hospital’s ICU.

“I was thinking about what was overlooked, and I couldn’t imagine doing something like that and not being able to sit for 5 minutes,” said Sobak.

She started filling food tubs for the front line.

“I put red bull in it, Gatorade pop, just snacks,” said Sobak.

Her first social media post gained $500 in donations, enough for 4 hospitals. The giving his grown.

“In all it was $1,800 we collected and then it was 16 hospitals and one fire department.”

Three ordinary people doing the extraordinary.

“It was just one way of saying hey we care. Thank you for doing this,” said Sobak.

“It’s really just about sharing joy,” said Henry.

“Every mask I give out has the potential to be one less medical that we have to go on because it’s one less person with the coronavirus,” said Koch.

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Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

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Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michgian, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.

See all of our Helping Each Other stories.

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