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'Do-gooders' emerge in Lynbrook, East Rockaway during coronavirus

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There are “do-gooders” throughout the community amid the coronavirus. East Rockaway resident Ivy Reilly started the “Buy Nothing Lynbrook/East Rockaway N.Y.” group on Facebook. The group is based on a national project called the Buy Nothing Project, and strives to make both villages “gifting communities.”

The idea behind it is that if someone has a need, instead of buying or selling something for him or her, if residents aren’t using items anymore or don’t need them, they give them away. People have given away bikes, blinds, sporting equipment and even toilet paper, Reilly said.

“We all have an abundance of something,” she said, “and we can share it.”

When someone requests something on the page, a member drops the item on his or her porch. The person receiving the gift is then encouraged to handle it with gloves and sanitize it before using it, to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“Everything is porch pickup only,” Reilly said. “There’s no hand-to-hand, and we’re supposed to keep our distance.”

The group also encourages creativity and the “gift of self and time,” she said. If someone is stir-crazy being inside, she explained, members can post videos or go live doing a craft, performing a cooking tutorial or showcasing any other skill that they want to teach other residents, including how to sew.

Three days after the page launched, it had more than 300 members. To join, you must be a resident of Lynbrook, East Rockaway, Bay Park or Hewlett Harbor.

As another way to boost residents’ spirits, Reilly’s son, Eric, 12, played “Somewhere over the Rainbow” for his neighbors on four different instruments last week. He opened the doors and windows of their house, and began playing on the oboe, then on horn, violin and piano. The Reillys posted it on the “Rainbows over Nassau and Suffolk Counties and Beyond” Facebook page and received nearly 700 comments.

“Everybody is trying to do something,” Ivy Reilly said. “We have a lot of good people in our community who are trying to do something to make this a little easier, even if it’s just one person at a time.”