As Bedford residents, BHS students, volunteers for Neighbor Brigade, and daughters of a Neighbor Brigade staff, we have watched our community and the communities around us rally around food insecure and vulnerable populations this spring.
We feel lucky to live in an area where we can quickly pull together funds and donations and mobilize resources and community members to get necessary supplies to classmates, families, seniors, and veterans. We hope that anyone struggling with food supplies or other issues at home will reach out to our town social worker, school administration or counselor, or Bedford Neighbor Brigade and receive the help that they need.
The limitations of stay at home orders and social distancing this spring and summer have been a grind for most people we know. As part of a Bedford Neighbor Brigade initiative, we sent out a call for donations to create some summer fun bags to break some boredom and possibly boost the morale of those receiving weekly food supplies from our town food bank, which is supported and operated by our schools, the Town, Bedford Food Pantry and CERT volunteers.
Within one week of putting out our request, we had enough supplies to create 140 “Summer Fun Packs” that the CERT volunteers handed out over two weeks. Thanks to 41 people – Neighbor Brigade volunteers, Online Parents and Town Facebook groups, and some family and friends, each bag had Crayola crayons, colored pencils, temporary tattoos, stickers, a notepad, air dry clay, foam airplanes, a beach ball, rainbow scratch pads, a pack of sidewalk chalk, and bubbles. We also included printouts with ideas to use the supplies that a volunteer printed for us. There was $120 leftover in cash gifts that was donated to the Food Pantry, and two large boxes of miscellaneous surplus supplies that were donated to the Pediatric Intervention Team at Emerson Hospital.
Thank you so much to all of the people that donated or intended to donate, and everyone who continues to support others in our community financially, through actions, yard signs, and kind words. We are so grateful for our strong community which helps support those who may be struggling and feeling down and left behind and hope we can feel some moments of togetherness when we are physically distanced and politically torn.
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