Wittman's Weekly: Spreading Good News
It is undeniable, COVID-19 has upended our everyday lives. It has impacted our health, economy, response systems, communities, and relationships. During this difficult time, millions of Americans have stepped up and displayed extraordinary examples of patriotism. A few weeks ago, I put out a call for stories of companies, small businesses, organizations, or individuals who have gone above and beyond during this time of crisis – here are their stories:
Marcie of Fredericksburg: Marcie has been part of a group of sewers from the Woodbridge area for many years. One of the members of her sewing group received a request from a medical clinic that her cousin works at in NC – they were in desperate need of masks. Homemade masks were the perfect item to help. With help from her husband, Richard, she has produced over 500 masks. The sewing group has sent 800 masks to this clinic. Marcie has given masks to neighbors, friends and family. She has also sent them to institutions like the Spotsylvania County Fire Department and the LifeCare Ambulance Service, who are now working in New York City.
Northern Neck Burger: When customers order carry out from one of their two restaurants, one in Kilmarnock and one in Tappahannock, each order comes in a brown paper bag which is brought to your car and the bag includes a roll of toilet paper and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. Local residents are so grateful for this gesture!
La Tienda in Williamsburg: La Tienda has joined forces with World Central Kitchen to help feed local residents affected by COVID-19 crisis. They fix meals on Tues, Thurs, and Sat and offer a pay as you can system. Can’t pay - take a meal; want to donate for another – you can pay it forward. Individually packaged entrees and sides are ready to go. The meals paid forward are donated to medical facilities, firehouses, police force, and other “essential” work areas that are open servicing the community.
Heather of Stafford: Heather has made over 50 fabric face masks for family, friends, and the sheriff’s department in Stafford, VA.
C Parker Consulting, Inc in Fredericksburg: To help the community, C Parker Consulting has developed a short, free “lunch n learn” 30 minute session on best practices for teleworking. Teleworking is new for so many folks around the Commonwealth, because so often, employees were told to “take your laptop, go home, and work” and have yet to establish norms and natural rhythms for productivity. Their short webinar is interactive, so it becomes tailored to the specific organization.
Rob of Mechanicsville: Rob owns two small businesses in Mechaniscville. Even though the pandemic have caused his small businesses to lose customers, he is using every method possible – including tapping into his IRA – to continue to pay his employees. He also has been making candied bacon for local healthcare professionals – he says that this gesture is small, but “at least makes folks smile during these dark days.”
Trillium Center in Prince William County: The Trillium Center is a non-profit that provides mental health services. When Governor Northam called for non-essential businesses to close, they stopped their in-person services and immediately began calling their membership. To adapt to the new times, they have Peer Recovery Specialists calling the most vulnerable citizens from their homes and are holding different sessions to continue to provide services to folks. In their first weeks of telephone outreach, they had over 1000 calls made, received, and attendance in our Conference Call Groups.
We salute these heroes who show that in challenging moments, our country works together.
I want to continue telling stories like this! If your company, small business, or organization, or one that you know of, has retooled or repurposed a facility to assist in the COVID-19 response, has engaged in community outreach and support, or has gone “above and beyond” in service to our community during these trying times, you can email their story to our specific inbox: VA01SuccessStories@mail.house.gov.
Our nation has faced difficult times before in our history. The way we were able to overcome all of those hard times was together, as a community.