Coronavirus News: Kids in New Jersey making a big difference during COVID-19 crisis

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- Some of the most heartwarming gestures of kindness during the coronavirus pandemic have come from children.

From a 6th-grader asking people to make food donations to a 9-year-old playing music to cheer up her teachers and classmates, it's not hard to find the helpers in these uncertain times.

For his 12th birthday, Dominic Mercado asked for food for his local soup kitchen.

He said it was totally worth giving up presents and he even got a shoutout from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.

In fact, it was the largest donation of food made in years to the Spirit & Truth Ministries kitchen, which makes Dominic and his family thrilled.

Dominic said he was inspired by others who were laid off and have to go to the soup kitchen for food.

Another child making a different in her community is a 9-year-old who learned her 4th-grade teacher's favorite song and played it to cheer everyone up.

Layla DeMayo from Long Valley learned "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey for a school concert and blew her teacher matt Dauchert away.

He said it means more to him than any gift he has ever unwrapped.

Layla said she simply wants to make everyone happy during these hard times.

Whether it's connecting through music or turning the spotlight around during a birthday celebration, little gestures are making a big difference.

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