In May, Traci, a single mother in San Jose, California, filled out the “Get Help” form on the Pandemic of Love website. She had lost her job and her home due to the pandemic. She and her 13-year-old daughter were living in a motel and were at risk of living on the street. 

Sheridan Amarillas, the local chapter leader for Pandemic of Love, reached out immediately when she saw Traci’s form come in. “My father experienced homelessness and was living in his car with his dog in a Walmart parking lot. Traci’s story hit close to my heart,” recounts Sheridan. Sheridan knew that with some help, Traci could get back on her feet. 

“I knew this was doable,” says Sheridan, “and I made a promise to Traci that I would not abandon her.” Sheridan never did. She quickly found donors to ensure they stayed off the street and find Traci a good job with steady income. Next, she found donors who generously provided the required deposits to secure a small apartment for Traci. To top it off, Sheridan found an interior designer who pitched in with furniture. 

Today, Traci is still gainfully employed, and she and her daughter love their new home. “The other day, Traci called me again crying. But this time it was because she was so full of gratitude. She called to thank our community for giving her a second chance at life,” says Sheridan.

Pandemic of Love is a grassroots, volunteer-led mutual aid organization that seeks to find assistance for people adversely affected by the pandemic. 


  • Shelly Tygielski


    Pandemic of Love

    Shelly Tygielski, is the Founder of Pandemic of Love, a global, grass-roots volunteer-led mutual aid community that has directly matched over one million people since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, accounting for over $52 million in direct transactions. Her work was honored on CNN Heroes in December of 2020. She is a trauma-informed mindfulness teacher, a community organizer, self-care activist and an author, with a forthcoming book, “Sit Down to Rise Up” due out in the Fall of 2021 from New World Publishing. After spending almost 20 years in Corporate America immersed in Fortune 1000 organizations, and the past decade as a high-ranking executive in public and privately-held companies, Shelly Tygielski, turned to teaching “modern-life mindfulness” full-time and has become a “self-care activist” who focuses much of her time in communities that are underserved, social justice and community organizations, nonprofits and public schools.  She is known for her practical approach that makes meditation accessible to all. Shelly was selected by the South Florida Business Journal in 2014 as one of their “40 under 40” honorees and in 2015 as a “Most Influential Business Woman” in the region. In 2019, she was featured on the cover of Mindful Magazine and was also named by as as one of the “Ten Powerful Women of Mindfulness.”   Shelly’s work has been featured on CNN, Forbes, Upworthy, The Kelly Clarkson Show and CBS This Morning and she was recently recognized by President-elect Joe Biden as being one of the individuals that is restoring “the soul of America.”