This content is being provided for free as a public service to our readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Please support local journalism by subscribing to your local newspaper.

Though they had to remain separated from them by windows, students from a Liberal, Mo., school traveled to the Pittsburg area Friday to cheer up residents in assisted living homes.

“I work for Avalon Hospice and I know firsthand how hard it is for residents in facilities to be quarantined and not allowed to see family members,” Melanie Lukenbill Wiles said. “This is a very devastating and scary time for them as well as the staff providing care for them, so I wanted to do something to try and lift their spirits.”

Her son and his friends agreed to create signs with positive messages on them to bring a smile to the residents' faces.

“It was just as much a blessing to them as it was for the residents,” Lukenbill Wiles said. “They didn’t want to stop, they want to go back this week to other places. Unfortunately that may not happen due to the recent changes in social distancing.”

Lukenbill Wiles said she wanted to encourage messages of love and positivity instead of fear during this unprecedented novel coronavirus crisis.

“I myself am tired of the negativity and fear being spread all over social media,” she said. “Human decency is still alive and well and it’s time to put our focus on spreading kindness.”