While 2020 was a challenging year in many respects, there was no shortage of Maritimers who found it in their hearts to help their fellow neighbours through acts of generosity and kindness. From businesses to benefactors, what was generally considered a less-than-stellar year had its moments of spectacular goodness.
On New Year's Eve, a musical family from New Waterford, Nova Scotia, prepared to host one last online performance before 2021.
"We're going to kick 2020 out the door with a bit of an online party," said musician Jenn Sheppard.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Sheppard, alongside daughter Jordyn Crocker and husband Stephen Muise, produced a weekly concert series called Garbage Nights. With the series garnering a large following, the family was able to fundraise for good causes.
"We raised, with the help of our community and some community sponsors, close to $100,000 for community endeavours," said Sheppard.
Not far away, in Sydney, N.S., Frank Lush Glass owner Frank Lush also provided much-needed help in the form of protective materials during the pandemic. When he began producing protective glass barriers for other businesses around the province, he saw his own company's fortunes improve.
"At one time, they [Frank Lush Glass employees] were going to be laid off," said Lush. "And it happened [resulted in] about four months of steady work for everybody."
Additionally, many examples of various communities uniting to support small businesses and help each other were featured in a year-end video released by the Nova Scotia Government on Thursday.
"By acting together, having a strong positive sense of community; and knowing that, by doing these things, we're actually caring for each other; we will get through this," read the voice of Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, during the video.
Meanwhile, ready to put 2020 in the past, many Maritimers prepared to step into a new year, full of unknowns, together.
"At the end of the day, the lesson is that we need each other," said Sheppard. "So let's hold each others' hands and move forward into 2021."