Naperville Helps! Provides Meals To First Responders

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The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Naperville Alliance have started “Naperville Helps!” a fundraiser to provide meals to first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the group helped provide some tasty meals at two Edward-Elmhurst Health locations: Naperville and Warrenville.

What It Means To The First Responders

“It means so much for us,” said Joseph Dant, President and CEO of Edward Hospital. “Not only to have the meals, which we need to help us stay strong and come back everyday to help the community out in this time of need, but also just a moral boost of knowing the community is behind us – both with the coordination of the Naperville Chamber, the 25 or more restaurants supplying the foods, and of course, all the community members who have donated their personal funds to help fund it. It’s very touching.”

Silver Lining

The original goal of Naperville Helps! was to raise $10,000, but that was reached in just over a day’s time. To date, nearly 300 community members have donated over $26,000, and the group is eyeing a new mark of $40,000.

Seeing the Naperville community come together can be a beacon of light during these unprecedented times.

“It is important in a time like this because we all need a silver lining” said NACC President and CEO Kaylin Risvold. “To see the community come together, people come together and really want to support each other with a little bit of a moral boost.”

Win-Win Scenario

Naperville Helps! is also helping local restaurants. The money raised through the GoFundMe is used to purchase meals from Naperville businesses. It’s a much needed source of revenue, as dine-in customers aren’t allowed until at least the end of March.

“I mean obviously our business has slowed down a lot. We’re just trying to weather the storm like everybody else. But this is helpful, and hopefully when everything blows over we get some new customers out of this, said Karen Lavere, co-owner of Balboa’s Cheesestakes. “It’s a plus for us, and it makes me feel good we’re able to give back

Naperville Helps! will provide meals to Edward-Elmhurst Health staff for the next three weeks. The fund will also be giving food to the Naperville Fire and Police Departments later this week, and will use different restaurants for each meal.

Restaurants interested in participating can email to sign up.

For Naperville News 17, I’m Christian Canizal


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