We asked you to share your positive side effects you’ve experienced while staying at home. While being stuck at home is challenging, many of our customers have found ways to stay positive during this uncertain time. From tackling home projects to trailblazing relief efforts, you have inspired us with your amazing stories.

Here are some of the ways you’re keeping busy while staying home:

Time with Friends & Family

“We are enjoying family time!  And as a pastor, I really miss seeing everyone. ” – D.L.

“While I have experienced many positive side effects during this time ranging from planting a garden, dreaming of my next trip, spending time reading, and of course the slower pace of life, I must say one of my favorite positive experiences is spending time with the family.” – J.T.

“A positive side effect is my family and I have started a nightly tradition of watching a show together. My boys love Dr. Pol (vet doctor) or Little People, Big world. It is pretty funny but wholesome and we don’t even have pets!” – L.C.

“Despite these challenging times, my family and I have enjoyed spending more time together cooking, walking, watching movies, going through old clutter, playing ping-pong (we converted our dining room table), and having lots of family fires in the backyard.” – M.C.

“More quality time spent with the family and getting closer to one another!” – N.O.

“I currently work with those with special needs and during this time I have been able to get some of those I work with out of their homes which is not what you are asking about, however, I was surprised when I took my one friend who has Down syndrome out of his home. We went to Walmart and then picked up dinner. He loves listening to Abba in the car so we blasted that throughout the 25-mile trip. It felt good to just get my buddy out of his home and enjoy a great ride together. He is a precious guy and we both had a blast. We do this at least once a week. My surprise was how just this little thing could make such a big deal in his life. He was SO HAPPY. It reminds me of how little acts of kindness can make such a big deal for people, and we can get such joy at the same time. Since working with my buddy, I have become a fan of ABBA as well! ” – R.J.

“My positive side effect is the chance to go on more walks and connect more with my family!” – E.D.

“The biggest positive side effect has been daily video updates on Marco Polo with my core group of friends. The five of us are stretched out over Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, and Boston. However, we have taken this time to make sure that we are each other’s support system. We share life updates, work from home updates, recipes, videos of us cooking and exercising, new movies and books, and home improvement projects. It has really become something that we all look forward to daily and hope to continue for months and years to come.” – H.M.

“One positive side effect is that I have had more time to spend with my family and play board games, shoot basketball, or go on walks with my nephew. My dog is also very happy that I am working from home! Despite this awful pandemic, it has given me and many others time to spend with loved ones.” – E.T.

“Spending more time with my daughter and husband. My daughter is a high school senior this year which means she has experienced many disappointment but I am thankful for her positive attitude even while she is hurting.” – A.C.

Life Events

“We got married three weeks early!” – J.S.

“We welcomed our new addition!” – K.W.

Gardening & Home Projects

“I am helper by God.  I have started a garden in containers. I have planted collard greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, sweet peas and melons. 
In addition to that, I have started an herb garden. My first  for both garden. I have cilantro, which is taking over the space, lemon thyme, mint, rosemary and just picked up basil today.” – D.M.

“Because I am not going anywhere this summer, I am able to plant a garden!!!!” – P.P.

“I have two college kids at home and we have taken up various projects. Last week it was a fire pit. This week we will make a bird feeder. We have also done some painting/art work.” – D.B.

“We bought chicks, ducklings, and planted a garden. We started building a chicken coop and it is almost complete and ready for our chickens to go in. We made a house for the ducklings that have grown into adults over this time and they are loving their new spot!” – A.L.K

“I have gotten back into scrapbooking having done all of our last four cruise trips which was so fun to relive the great times we had. Now working on my grandkids albums…and will get our mission trips done too.” – W.S.

“I have had lots of time and opportunity to clean out cabinets, closets and drawers during my extended time at home.  This is positive because it really needed to be done and several local ministries have benefited from our donations.” – S.L.

“Got 15 baby chicks. Kept them alive. Kept human baby alive. Built 7 raised beds. Filled raised beds with 30k lbs of dirt. Unloaded 6k tons of stone (thanks brother❤). Building chicken coop/shed. In the process of planting over 100 plants 🤪. Next up painting coop when done and 2 dump trucks full of mulch. 🙋🏼‍♀️ ready for FTI to book my vacation this fall!” – M.P.


“My 14 year old daughter had rediscovered her love for cooking. And she’s really good – not good because she’s my daughter, but really good. ” – J.R.

“My positive side effect has been baking! I have been learning all about baking artisan sourdough bread! It is delicious!” – L.T.

“I made my own marshmallows! They were delicious!” – F.N.

“One of the highlights has been daily barista training which has been making a different coffee or tea drink every day. That’s been fun! We’ve made 37 different ones so far! We’ve also created a signature lock down cookie recipe.” – J.H.

Learning from a Distance

“I have taken this opportunity to begin an online class to get my Masters in Public Administration so that I can better serve my nonprofit organization.” – J.L.

“My positive side effect is having more frequent access to family, friends, and professional development because many events have been made available online! I’m usually very isolated while I live in Malawi, but have been able to Zoom my family and friends, and be apart of meetings that I would normally miss because of living outside the US. Tonight, I’m planning to stay up late to participate in a zoom webinar from Harvard GSE on Education during COVID and then I’m going to participate in the zoom presentations for my grad school alma mater capstone presentations!” – A.M.

Growing Faith

“My positive ‘side effect’ has been growing closer in my faith and studying my word more to put things into greater perspective; having an opportunity to slow down, be in the moment and enjoy the simple things in life; connect on a deeper level with family and friends; bingeing on new television series as I hardly watch much TV; and spending quality time with my husband while reorganizing and completing new projects in our home. ” – K.D.

“A much deeper positive effect has been growth in my prayer life, so that now I am aware of God’s presence much more intimately and continuously than before. That is the truest positive effect!” – M.B.

“We can’t attend church locally, but my uncle (a pastor in North Dakota) has been streaming his messages so our huge family all over the Midwest joins his church service each week. We have family members who get on Facebook to share a hymn or a scripture every day and others who have posted songs they’ve written during this time of crisis. It’s beautiful to see all the ways we CAN connect with one another even though we are apart.” – T.F.

“For me it is nice that I have been able to spend more time connecting with Pastors and listening to their sermons and devos. I have had the time to go out and spend time in nature, walking 1-3 times a day all depending on the weather. Another goal is to spend time in the Word and to start journaling again as I go through this difficult time.” – P.O.

Staying in Good Health

“I was looking at spine surgery right before the pandemic started, so the positive side effect for me was being able to work from home, which allowed me time to rest. I ended up finding a chiropractor that got me back to about 85% better, with rest, and that’s definitely a positive side effect that I’ve had over the quarantine period. ” – J.R.

“More yoga, time to enjoy the day and be present. Not moving so quickly through life. Time to simply… be” – J.R.

Helping Others

“I HAVE taken up a hobby that is helping adoptees find their bio families!  I’ve already helped unite them with either their father or mother or Both!!!!  Such a rewarding thing to be a part of!  The adoptee just needs to have their dna tested at a popular site and then I do the rest – of course this usually takes many, many hours of research – but lots of fun!” – J.R.

“Spending this time at home has allowed me to launch a virtual tutoring and mentoring for free for families.  This has provided many people to give their time to help other families.” – K.J. (Check out her organization here)

“As a Associational Missionary, I have not missed a day in the office yet, because we have a food pantry that is providing food for many folks who are out of work and not getting paychecks currently.  Our gifts to the ministry are down, our Thrift store has been closed nearly 2 months. But God is very faithful in that we began this time with a strong bank account and a loving Father. About two weeks ago a lady stopped in and handed the director an envelope with about $1,500 and she said you helped me in the past, now I am able to give back and help. My wife and I are grateful, my staff is grateful.  We are still working when many are not able.  Although we miss being able to be at home with our family.” – J.B.

“My husband and I have more free time than usual so we have been able to volunteer weekly at a local food bank. I have also been making face masks and selling them with all the proceeds going to a local homeless charity organization. We have raised over $1,150.00 to date and the orders keep coming! I’m doing it in partnership with a friend who is a young widow. Having a purpose and helping our community has been inspirational to both of us! Of course lots of home improvement projects are also getting done! ” – L.S.

“One positive side effect of the many I’ve experienced is a successful fundraiser I held on Facebook for the Oonte Centre for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Ondangwa, Namibia. I’ve been bringing students to the Centre for 10 years and we always do at least one service learning project while there. I reached out to the Director of the Centre to see how they were fairing in this crisis. She wrote back to say they were struggling and could use any assistance I could provide. I have a non-profit account in their name at my bank and keep money there to send periodically. I had a little over $1000 dollars in the account and thought I’d try and double that amount through the FB fundraiser. I started on Monday morning and hoped to have $1000 by Thursday. I had it by noon that day! By Thursday, I had raised over $3000 and was able to send Oonte $4000. They used the money to by food for the children and hygiene supplies (soap and water buckets) for the households. The money also funded two nurses to come and train them in how to practice good hygiene in the COVID-19 age.” – P.D. (Check out his fundraiser here)

“We’ve been able to continue to raise funds for schools, wells and Microflush toilets with Rotary Foundation global grants during the COVID-19 pandemic.  We hope to build three schools this year:  a preschool, elementary school and a junior high school.  We are also getting a lot of projects done around the home that haven’t been done because of all of my travel!” – W.H.

“My positive side effect is that I don’t have corona virus and I’ve been providing care in a rural Kenyan emergency department. I’ve not been quarantined because I’m a healthcare worker.” – D.W.

Working with Fellowship

“My positive moment was Fellowship’s quick response to students that needed to change their flights in order to come home safely. We deeply appreciate Fellowship’s response and low cost change fees for two of our South Africa students.” – T.W.M

Thank you to everyone who responded – you’ve inspired us with your stories and interesting projects! We are looking forward to when we can help you get back out in the world. For now, we hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying these special moments at home. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay on top of travel news and important updates.

It’s a big world. Get out there!
Your FTI Team