As our state and country continue to face historic changes to the way we live, work, and interact, one thing remains consistent: Our community is ready and willing to help our neighbors.
There have been countless acts of kindness in our community. Here is a roundup of just some of those efforts:
Neighbors Donate Food to Healthcare Workers
Nicole Mazure organized the grass-roots neighborhood fundraiser to thank the entire staff of Virtua Hospital with some comfort food. In less than five days, her neighbors banded together and purchased a full spread of bagels, donuts, pastries and coffee. Working with Short Hills Deli and the donations they collected, their token of appreciation offered a cheerful start to the Virtua staff who are working tirelessly.
Nursing Student Turned Mask Maker
Eastern Alumni and Jefferson University nursing student Sophie Ferguson decided she wanted to do something to help out with the fight against COVID-19, so she came up with an inventive idea to put her Eastern High School fashion class skills to work to make cloth masks to help reduce the spread of the virus. The demand for masks accelerated so quickly that Sophie branded her start-up SoSOMaxx by Sophie and offered masks for sale on social media and her newly designed website. Sophie donates a portion of the proceeds from every mask sold to our local animal shelters and other organizations in dire need such as the Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Center in Medford.
When Nikunj Shah saw shortages and delays in procuring masks for front line workers, he organized a group Fight Against Covid-19: Mask Donation. Mr. Shah successfully mobilized a group through donations that raised over $92,000 and provided over 100,000 masks in less than 14 days to first responders and healthcare workers across South Jersey, including the Voorhees Township Police Department.
Resident in Need Task Force
The concern for seniors and our community led to the Voorhees Township Police Department launching a Resident in Need task force. The Community Affairs division of the VTPD created an online tool to refer any person who resides in Voorhees and may need assistance. This tool is available on the VTPD website (vtpd.com) and can be used to request help for those in need with basic necessities, pet food, prayer, and information about additional resources from local non-profit organizations.
Red Cross Blood Drive
Township Committee worked with the Red Cross to schedule a community blood drive on May 4th at the Voorhees Town Center. Residents interested in donating can get more information on the Red Cross webpage by searching for a donation by zip code and entering their Voorhees zip code. This will allow residents to sign up for a specific window to donate and offer more information about the guidelines from the Red Cross for donating blood safely while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Please visit the Red Cross website for additional information.
Watching the helpers across our community offers us hope in a time of chaos and uncertainty. On days when we may not be feeling our best, we are reminded that there are still people out there caring for others, which is an essential ingredient in maintaining social and emotional bonds. These efforts are a reminder that helping others isn’t something we just have to admire from a distance. Being a helper can offer a boost to your spirits and may just be life changing for those on the receiving end of our efforts. Please be a helper if you are able, and please look for the helpers if you need a happiness boost.
We know many of you are anxious to hear about our Mayor’s condition, and we are happy to report that he continues his recovery at home. While we do not have an exact date for his return, we are confident and hopeful that it will be sooner rather than later. We know he reads this column, so we share this message: We Miss You Mayor Mike!
Stay healthy. Stay connected. Stay Hopeful.