An orthopedic surgeon, Sanfilippo is fortunate to have come out on the healthy side of COVID-19 after experiencing symptoms for nearly two weeks. Following his recovery, he was in need of a haircut but could not get one due to the closure of salons and barber shops. Sanfilippo decided to initiate a fundraiser for the Food Bank of South Jersey (FBSJ), encouraging people to shave their heads and donate the normal cost of a haircut to the GoFundMe. His son was the first to do it, and Sanfilippo followed. He had hoped to turn a negative experience into a positive for others, and to date, the fundraiser has generated over $22,000 in donations for the FBSJ.
With her juice bar business, Juice Girl in Marlton, on hold due to the pandemic, Patton could have opted to sit back and wait for the recovery. Instead, she used the hiatus as a way to help her community. Partnering with Rastelli’s Market, she used their juicers to make 1,200 juices and shots of vitamins for front line workers at Virtua Marlton Hospital and first responders.
A longtime Washington Township resident and the owner of Romeo’s Termite & Pest Control, Romeo was inspired by the bravery and commitment of health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and wanted to show his gratitude. He provided a pizza lunch for the emergency department at Jefferson Washington Township Hospital every Friday throughout April as his way of saying thank you to those on the front lines fighting the virus. Romeo’s Termite & Pest Control will be recognized later this year as a Best of Gloucester County winner by the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce.
After her own May 30 wedding reception was canceled because of the coronavirus restrictions, McKaig was due to get her $750 catering deposit back. Instead, McKaig and her husband Elias Bakhash told their caterer, who operates Mary’s Mobile Diner food truck, to keep the money and use it to serve meals from her truck to help feed staff at Cooper Hospital. McKaig, who is herself a health care worker, hopes this gesture brings a smile to those who are working so hard to care for South Jersey’s patients.
ANDRES & BERGER
As medical professionals at Cooper Health System continue to fight to protect and keep residents in the area safe, Haddonfield-based law firm Andres & Berger wanted to do the right thing to give back. The law firm decided to team up with the Cooper Foundation to raise money for personal protective equipment (PPE) that will help doctors, nurses and support staff. The firm has asked the surrounding communities to support their local medical personnel and give back to the Cooper Health System.
Two years ago, Sorid was given a camera for her birthday and her love of photography began. Now a freshman at Lenape Regional High School, she is her class photographer and with the current pandemic requiring remote schooling, Sorid has started an act of kindness by taking front yard photos of her neighbors. Standing at the sidewalk outside of people’s homes, adhering to the social distancing regulations, Sorid snaps photos capturing happy memories during a hard time.
As a Moorestown High School freshman, DiPasquale has been changing the game when it comes to acts of kindness. Last summer, he spearheaded his own program, Senior Serenades, where he and his musician friends would travel to local assisted living facilities and perform live. But, due to social distancing restrictions, the group has moved to online entertainment. Each member of the group records their performance at home and a video is then created and sent to the assisted living centers. Senior Serenades is providing one video a month to three local facilities and DiPasquale hopes to add a fourth soon.
At just 15 years old, Kratchman helped organize a dinner and dessert donation for 150 people on Virtua Willingboro’s evening shift last month. The daughter of Classic Cake Company owner Barry Kratchman, she coordinated a menu of turkey, chicken and meat loaf dinners with all the trimmings, plus dessert from the bakery’s executive pastry chef. Kratchman says this was the least they could do for the doctors, nurses and other staff members who have been putting in long hours to save lives.
THE JEWISH FEDERATION OF SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY
This local organization is providing support to the community during the pandemic in a variety of ways. The Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey (The Federation) has created a helpline to field calls for assistance, receiving up to 150 calls and emails daily requesting assistance with food or grocery shopping. Thanks in part to a generous donation from The Ravitz Family Foundation, tens of thousands of dollars in grocery gift cards have been distributed. The Federation also launched a Shop & Drop program with volunteers who shop for essential items and provide no-contact delivery for those who are high-risk or lack transportation. The organization has also provided over 500 masks and PPE to older adults in the community through its Aleph Home Care department.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 2 (April 2020).
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