Religion Today: Kids Learning Lessons of Kindness During Ongoing Pandemic

Glistening watercolors sweep across the delicate pages of 15-year-old Breana’s hand-crafted card of encouragement to the Salinas Police Department. Grinning, 12-year-old Jenelle also sits at the kitchen table while she signs her name in colorful marker, the final touch to her masterpiece.

The Manalo sisters put special effort into designing and decorating homemade cards for first responders. As a family, the Manalos work together to write comforting and thankful messages to medical staff, police and firefighters throughout Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties. “I hope the people who get my letters feel some relief,” Jenelle said.

The children’s efforts have touched hearts.


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The Salinas Police Department posted cards created by the Manalo girls on their Facebook page. “I wanted to take a moment to recognize all the people that were involved in creating and sending us support cards during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting Chief of Police Roberto Filice. “Receiving those support cards has been a tremendous morale booster and has been truly appreciated.”

With their parents’ loving guidance and direction, sisters Breanna,15, (L) and Janelle Manalo, 12, (R) always make sure to put special effort into designing and decorating the homemade cards they send to police, firefighters and medical personnel throughout Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties. Jehovah’s Witnesses Public Information Desk photos

Breana and Jenelle’s parents, Hue and Edith Manalo, express appreciation for the tools and suggestions provided by the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses and its official website,

“This pandemic has had a negative impact on children, not only physically and mentally, but also emotionally,” Hue said. “As parents, the online articles give us advice on how to help our kids cope with the pandemic. These are real treasures. We do our best to follow the practical advice found on the website.”

Many Jehovah’s Witness families are using the challenges of the pandemic to help teach their children powerful object lessons in compassion and community service.

Love of neighbor is the driving force behind the organization’s public ministry and its decision in March 2020 to suspend in-person preaching in response to COVID-19. Since then, Witnesses, young and old, are sharing positive Bible messages with their neighbors through letters and phone calls.

“Jesus taught that there’s more happiness in giving than in receiving,” said Robert Hendriks III, U.S. spokesman for the organization, “So when children are taught to recognize the needs of others and reach out to them from the heart, they are learning life skills that will contribute to a happy life and also benefit society at large.”

Submitted by: Jehovah’s Witnesses Public Information Desk

Contact the writer: [email protected]

Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.