COVID-19 SenseMaker Project

In March of 2020, Palm Health Foundation began asking community members to describe their experiences of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 900 responded, and many of their experiences called for immediate action. As a result, the foundation created the Neighbors Helping Neighbors fund to empower communities to solve urgent challenges.

Local leaders and resident volunteers met regularly to review the responses and form a better understanding of the needs of the community. A “Rapid Response Team” was also established to review responses as they came in.

Residents were given the following prompt:

Please tell us a story about how the coronavirus has impacted your life.

Who Submitted a Story?

Half of community members who have submitted a story as part of the COVID-19 project were under the age of 30, and 19% were over the age of 61. The majority (76%) were African American. Many stories were submitted by residents of cities where youth volunteers have assisted in gathering stories (26% lived in Boynton Beach and 15% in Belle Glade). Learn More

Explore the Stories

What are residents of Palm Beach County saying about 2020? Below are several options for exploring their stories and observations.

Enter the Collection

Step into a story gallery where you can scan 50 stories selected at random. Which stories capture your attention? Zoom in on stories you want to explore in more depth.

View Stories by Date

The most recent stories are displayed first. All stories are accessible through this page. You can also view stories that are specifically health-related: COVID-19 Health-Related Stories

Random Story

Read one random story from the collection. Displays one story in full and shows how the community member interpreted their story (including their thoughts about the threat of COVID-19 and systemic racism).

What the Stories Mean

View how community members interpreted their own stories and the significance they hold for the storytellers. Data visuals summarize all stories in the project.

Search and Filter

Search stories by word or phrase, date range, storyteller characteristics, and responses to follow-up questions (how the storyteller interpreted their story).


Discover how communities are making sense of this collection of stories and input.