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'We can only get through this together:' Sarasota neighbors are helping each other during the pandemic

“Get your nose out of the screen and use this time to communicate with each other and just be kind,” Mandy Schottenstein said.

SARASOTA, Fla. — Let's take a second to stop and think about all the good that is happening right now: Neighbors are helping neighbors and communities are coming together like never before.

"We have to take care of our community,” Todd Asheacher said.

Even through this tough time, people are finding ways to stay positive and help each other. That includes some working in a thankless job like our sanitation workers.

“We all need to pull together and work as a team like we do here at Sarasota,” Asheacher said.

Asheacher has worked with the city of Sarasota Solid Waste Division for more than a year now. He and his buddy Rudolph Ponder don't get to work from home. They show up to work every day and get to work.

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"Just like the residence, we are the city, so it's best if we keep the city beautiful,” Ponder said. “Make sure everybody is taken care of as much as we can do for the city."

And their work hasn't gone unnoticed

“I'm getting a very positive response from the community,” Asheacher said. “They are thanking me for showing up to work.

“I was coming from a route yesterday and people were clapping and dancing and waving and everything,” Ponder said. “I am speechless. It's amazing, it's an amazing feeling.”

Some kids have even made them signs that they proudly display in their windows.

Others are showing their support with food. Today, U.S. Health Advisers brought pizza to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

"To see the community step up and really take care of law enforcement, it's very meaningful for us,” said Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Community Affairs Director.

Helping or showing support to your neighbors or even local businesses during this pandemic can come in different forms. We've seen people give food, raise money, and one woman is even giving out board games.

"Cabin fever, quarantine fever, you know there's only so much TV you can watch,” Mandy Schottenstein said.

She has puzzles, trivia, you name it.

“I’m a kid that grew up in the 70s and that’s what we did.”

Schottenstein says there are some oldies, but goodies and she’s giving them to anyone who lives in her neighborhood, Sorrento East.

“If you live in my community, you know where I am, come get the games, free of charge!”

Why? Schottenstein says it's time to stop scrolling through your negative feeds and see the good.

“Everything on social media is just overwhelming, or a lot of it can be negative and that’s not what we need right now,” Schottenstein said.

Instead, she’s suggesting playing a board game.

“Get your nose out of the screen and use this time to communicate with each other and just be kind,” Schottenstein said.

Mandy is encouraging other neighborhoods to do the same. Reach out to a neighbor and see who needs help.

As Schottenstein says, "We can only get through this together."

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