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New Angels of Ava

Michael Boyink/Herald Andrea Richardson Cox and Gabriel Cox pass out free bag lunches in the Douglas County Sheltered Workshop parking lot on March 19th. DoCo continued the giveaway until Ava Schools was able to get lunch program in place for students remaining at home due to the coronavirus situation.

by Michael Boyink /

In 1940, Ava had an angel.

Envelopes of money mysteriously showed up in people’s mailboxes. 

$100, more or less. About $1850 in today’s dollars. 

Sometimes they included notes signed “Your Sunshine Friend.” Other times they were unsigned.  

Eighty years later, the story still circulates, but the identity of the “Angel of Ava” remains unknown.

Here in 2020, Ava still has angels.

It just took a pandemic to reveal them.

This past week, in between news of closures and cancellations due to the coronavirus, stories of Ava angels have trickled into the Herald. 

Here are four of them:

Douglas County Sheltered Workshop

Many families rely on the Ava Schools to feed their children breakfast and lunch. When the schools extended their normal Spring Break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DoCo realized some students wouldn’t be getting their normal meals.

The organization sponsored a food drive, and used the gathered goods to create sack lunches that were given out free of charge for three days. The Ava Schools then began offering their own lunch program.

Ava Cycle employees also assisted in the effort.

Submitted Photo
Raydena Hickman from Emerson (right) is pictured with a truck driver for Christenson Transportation.

Emerson Electric

With local options for food getting slimmer by the day, Emerson team members assembled goodie bags with snacks and refreshments for the truck drivers coming to service the plant. 

According to an Emerson spokesperson, this was to show appreciation to the drivers for “making deliveries and pickups during the disruption caused by the COVID-19 virus.”

Archie’s Restaurant

After Governor Parson lifted the restrictions on restaurants selling unprepared food, Archie’s Restaurant in Ava posted the following to their Facebook page:

“If anyone can not find something at the store, call or stop by to see if we have it. We are more than happy to help with the food shortage at the local stores right now.”

Donated Eggs

From Connie Opeka of Ava Seventh Day Adventist comes the story of an egg angel.

“A neighbor gave 5 dozen eggs to the residents at Red Bud Village. Then today I witnessed them giving eggs to the school bus driver who brought their grandson meals from school. They gave the eggs away even though they have medical and financial challenges and could have used the money from selling the eggs. Quiet acts of kindness!”

TP’d House (But in a Good Way)

From Sharon Rush comes the story of a toilet paper angel.

Last Tuesday I  went to Walmart but they were out of toilet paper. No worries, I thought, I’ll just go to Town and Country. But they didn’t have any either. I mentioned the situation to the Town and County Service desk gal. Then Thursday – during a rain storm – my doorbell rang. There was a 4-pack of toilet paper sitting on my porch. I later got a text saying ‘I had two packs so I kept one and gave you the other.’ It was from the service desk gal at Town and Country.”

Other Angel Sightings?

If you have spotted other “New Angels of Ava” in action around town, please let the Herald know by phone (683-4181) or by email (