In a recent Easter morning Facebook post, veteran newsmaker Dan Rather wrote “I think of grief, struggle and loss, but also a conviction that love and community can be fountains of hope for the future”. It stuck a cord, because love and community have always been at the heart of the mission at South Boston Community Health Center. We are used to supporting our community members through sickness and struggle and also by promoting ways to stay healthy and strong. What has been truly humbling is the community’s support of us in this time of great challenge and consequence. So we wanted to take a moment, in the middle of the insanity, to tell you how much your support has meant to all of us who are on the front lines of this crisis.
This week, Congressman Lynch arranged for an amazing donation of N95 masks from P & G. We, along with the other community health centers and medical centers in his district are extremely grateful for this life saving equipment. Mayor Walsh, Senator Collins, Rep. Biele, Councillor Flaherty and Councillor Flynn have all taken the time to reach out to assess and address our needs and have arranged donations of gloves, hand sanitizer and critical medical supplies. Every one of them have asked us “What can I do to help?”. Especially in times like these, we are grateful for engaged, sincere political leadership.
We’ve moved our weekly Food Pantry services outdoors to keep everyone safe while we continue to feed our patients. And we have been touched by the unsolicited financial donations from patients, former employees and friends that have enabled us to continue to feed those who are in need of nourishment. It was heartwarming when one talented photographer, Mo Hanley, ran her own Facebook auction of her beautiful canvas prints to benefit our Food Pantry. Friends and family made and donated masks when they heard supplies were low everywhere. We are grateful for all of the people who, in the middle of crisis, think of help others.
The outpouring of support from the restaurant community – one of the hardest hit industries – has been just tremendous. Through donations from John Hancock and the nonprofit group “Off Their Plate”, we received delicious lunches for our staff from Flour Bakery and Little Donkey – delivered by Central Square Florist. On One Boston Day, Joseph’s Bakery and Deja Brew delivered baked goods and coffee for our staff. Our local restaurants like Land Of Pizza, Deja Brew, Alfredo’s and Otto’s Pizza continue to work to provide lunch time delivery service and take-out for our employees who just need to venture out for a few minutes of their day.
Sometimes adversity brings out the worst in people, and sometimes it brings out the very best. For our staff, it has most assuredly brought out the very best. There is a spirit of teamwork, accomplishment and thankfulness that permeates all of the work being done here on a daily basis. There is an abundance of hope and appreciation.
We are proud of our work. We are proud to serve this wonderful community. And we are proud of all of you.
Stay safe and know that we are here for you when you need us.
Thank you from the Health Center, with love