On behalf of the United Way crew, Sara, Liz, and myself, as well as a grateful community, I wanted to take a moment to express our deep gratitude for the volunteering work you have been doing with us during the coronavirus pandemic. Your work, on the front lines, is ACTUALLY saving lives. Over the past 3 weeks we have ramped up distributing food to the point where we have now distributed over 19,000 healthy breakfasts and lunches to area school children – from 10 schools and 16 bus locations. We have begun delivery of these same meals to those who are homebound for medical reasons. We have launched 8 sites where the community can access fresh produce 4 days a week. And we have launched an online volunteer-driven system for grocery shopping and delivery. All of this has been accomplished through collaborations with organizations like the Nashua Transit System, Nashua School District, Nashua Food Council, Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, Boys and Girls Club, and the YMCA… with you and United Way at the heart of it all.
Let’s all take a moment to step back and be proud. For most of us, there are very few moments in life when we can look in the mirror and honestly say that we have made an indelible mark on the world. For me, this list is very short, and today is one of those moments. This is OUR TIME to save lives, protect our community, and come together for a healthy and bright future.
These measures are saving lives because they allow our community to effectively do “social distancing.” Without your help, people wouldn’t be able to get access to food in a safe way and would end up putting themselves and those around them at risk, getting sick, getting others sick, and ultimately facing dire circumstances. Let that sink in for a moment… WE are literally saving lives!
In the weeks ahead, we will have much to do. Much more. I hope you can continue to work with us, but want you to know that it is also important for you to do whatever is necessary to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your community safe. Please do that.
One final request for the weekend as we ponder what next week might bring. We were recently blessed to receive a grant from AmeriHealth Caritas NH in the amount of $25K for our “Covid-19 Community Emergency Fund.” We’ve been paying out grants – so far to 29 different local nonprofits – to help them with their extraordinary expenses during this time. We’ve also used the fund to purchase items for our local nonprofits, including gallons of hand sanitizer, thousands of rolls of toilet paper, infrared thermometers, and much more. And finally, we have made numerous purchases of supplies to support your extraordinary volunteer efforts mentioned above. The grant we received provides a dollar-for-dollar match for any donations made to the fund, so we are trying to spread the word about this amazing opportunity, as we burn through cash fighting this crisis. If you can help us to spread the word via email and social media, telling the story of what we are doing, and asking folks to step up with a small donation, this can help make a very big difference, especially in the difficult weeks ahead. People can donate online at www.tinyurl.com/uwgncovid19 or by sending a check to United Way at 20 Broad Street, Nashua, NH 03064. Be sure to put Covid-19 in the memo line. It would be great if you could help us in this way!
I hope each of you has a good weekend, filled with family, friends, love and laughter. I’m going to take my dogs for a walk in the woods, rain or shine!
With warmest regards and deepest gratitude… and always with the belief that GREAT THINGS HAPPEN WHEN WE LIVE UNITED,
Mike Apfelberg, President, United Way of Greater Nashua.