The campaign was started in March 2020 as a way for community members to give back to the frontline workers of Edward Hospital in Naperville during the first surge of COVID-19 pandemic. Through its first two efforts, more than $100,000 was raised through GoFundMe.com, providing 6,000 meals to healthcare workers.
Local Businesses Still Need Support
Though COVID-19 cases in the Naperville area have begun to decline, Executive Director of the Downtown Naperville Alliance, Danielle Tufano, says the need to help local businesses remains.
“The circumstances might be different than they were last year or the year before, but the fact of the matter is that businesses are still trying to come out of this weird last two years, they’re still trying to succeed, they’re still trying to get people in their doors,” said Tufano. “I think any little bit that the Downtown Naperville Alliance can do to support our downtown businesses whether it’s as successful as 2020 or 2021 or not, when we can support our businesses and support our local healthcare workers it just makes sense.”
Helping Healthcare Workers
Nursing Practice Manager at Edward Hospital, Patti Foley says the healthcare workers of Edward Hospital appreciate the support. “To know that this has gone on now for two years, and the community is still backing us and still supporting us is a wonderful message and it reinforces why we do what we do here as healthcare professionals” said Foley.
She added, “This is their love, this is their passion and the support the community gives really gives the staff at the hospital that strength to go on,” said Foley.
Naperville’s Giving Spirit
Tufano says the fundraising efforts of Naperville Helps! have helped remind her of the giving spirit throughout Naperville. “There’s something special about this community that when you’re faced with a time like COVID, when you’re faced with an obstacle; businesses come together, individuals come together, organizations come together for the better,” said Tufano. “There’s that really special feeling of support in Naperville that makes me want to choose to come here.”
This time around, Naperville Helps! has its goal set at $75,000.
Naperville News 17’s Ryan Sartori reports.
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