It appears that generosity is contagious in Ottawa during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When theft and vandalism struck local businesses over the Halloween weekend, it prompted community members to step-in and offer support.

Helen Aikenhead is used to helping others at her Westboro store Three Wild Women. When someone helped her by giving an envelope with $1,000 in cash, she was emotional.

"I was overwhelmed, and so touched," says Aikenhead.

What makes it amazing, is the money came from a complete stranger.

"A local business owner, who wanted to remain anonymous; and, it’s enough to help us get the door fixed."

Aikenhead was forced to fix the front door of her Richmond Road business after a break and enter on Halloween.

"From something bad, something wonderful has happened," said Aikenhead.

That something wonderful is the support, which she has received. It is not just the one large donation; money and support on social media has kept coming, including one customer leaving a bottle of wine. Aikenhead says the support has been "uplifting." 

The generosity and giving is spreading through out the city. Simply Biscotti was struck too; first by vandalism and theft on Halloween, then by financial support by customers.

"I cannot express the gratitude towards my clientele," said Rosa Pino, owner of Simply Biscotti.

"This pandemic has brought a lot of the worst in a lot of people; but, thank goodness that it’s brought a lot of good in the majority of people."

The generosity could be straight out of the script of a movie.

Del Piacere restaurant on Preston Street was fined $880 over the weekend by Ottawa Bylaw for a violation with the patio. A customer heard about the fine at the Little Italy restaurant, and covered it with a tip.

“It’s Like in a Christmas movie, maybe; but not in real life. That’s unbelievable, it’s unbelievable," said Pietro Armoriello.