In Schenectady, a partnership between Schenectady County, the Schenectady Foundation, and the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York helped fill around 600 vehicles with free food during an event last week at SUNY Schenectady. During the three-hour, no-contact event, volunteers loaded up vehicles with fresh produce, dairy, frozen meats and non-perishable items. Motorists simply drove up to the site and popped the trunks of their cars, allowing volunteers to place the items in the trunk without having personal contact with the drivers. For the past few weeks, the partnership has been taking orders through a hotline and packing the groceries inside the gym of the Boys & Girls Club of Schenectady.
In Albany, the New York State United Teachers union (NYSUT) has donated more than 145,000 surgical masks and other equipment to area medical centers to help protect workers and patients against the spread of the covid virus. The union recently set up a disaster relief fund, and is urging all of its 600,000 members to donate. All proceeds go directly toward purchasing and providing personal protective equipment (PPEs), food and other supplies for health care workers. Among those medical institutions receiving PPEs recently were UUP Buffalo Health Science Center; Albany County Nursing Home; Westchester Federation of Visiting Nurses; SUNY Upstate Medical Center University in Syracuse and SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University.
In Schalmont, the Schalmont Teachers’ Association members and retirees purchased gift certificates from local restaurants and businesses in Rotterdam for local families in need. As of last week, they had made $5,000 in donations. The association worked closely with students and their families to assess their needs, while also recognizing the plight of local businesses. If you know of Schalmont families in need, contact your students’ teachers or building administrators.
In Rotterdam, state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara has launched a letter-writing project for kids in our community to help them say thank you to essential workers during the coronavirus crisis. School kids are asked to print out a specially designed card on the assemblyman’s website (www.assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Angelo-Santabarbara) or create their own and write personal thank you messages. Letters can be mailed to Santabarbara’s district office at 433 State Street, Schenectady, NY 12305. His office will deliver them to the workers. In addition, community members are encouraged to take photos with their completed cards and post them to Santabarbara’s social media pages: hashtag #ProjectGratitude.
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High Notes is a Monday feature of The Gazette Opinion section spotlighting the good being done in our communities. Send your suggestions for High Notes to Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at [email protected]