A New Yorker ‘pays it forward’ after Kansas farmer donates N95 mask

Local News

Letter sent to KFB by New York resident

Letter sent to the KFB (Courtesy/KFB)

NEW YORK (KSNT) – A New York resident wanted to “pay it forward” Friday after hearing of a Kansas farmer donating an N95 mask to protect frontline health workers in their home city.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo read a viral letter from Troy, Kansas, farmers Dennis and Sharon Ruhnke in April. New York resident Norma Rosenthal said they were “in tears” after Gov. Cuomo’s announcement of the donated N95 mask, and decided to pay it forward by donating to the Kansas Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture.

“It really touched me and I was raised by parents who always believed in helping others and giving back and paying it forward,” Rosenthal said. “So I decided if somebody from Kansas could do that for us, then I would like to do something in return.”

The Kansas farmer sent one of his only masks to the New York governor in April to pass along to a healthcare worker on the front lines of coronavirus.

Rosenthal said in the letter the Kansas couple’s random act of kindness was “amazingly moving” and has a huge impact.

“We’re all going through tough times, but farmers always have tough times – and we need our farmers now more than ever – so I hope this helps someone a little,” Rosenthal wrote.

Rosenthal hopes the donation will go toward a scholarship fund to help an aspiring agriculture student pay for their tuition, and that someone will carry on this goodwill chain and pass it forward once more.

Sharon Ruhnke said they are thankful for the kind act.

The KFB posted the letter to Facebook:

The KFB would not tell KSNT News the amount Rosenthal donated.

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