#HeyNeighbor: Keeping Communities Connected
Every day our neighbors keep our communities connected through their hard work and acts of kindness. The challenges we're all facing reveal how much we care for our communities. There are countless stories of how people and businesses are supporting their neighborhoods every day. #HeyNeighbor highlights stories of how we’re all one big neighborhood caring for one another.
We would like to put as many such stories as we can in the spotlight, but need your help! Please nominate local businesses or individuals that have made a positive impact in your neighborhood by submitting their stories below. We want to help them receive the recognition they deserve.
Learn about more of these amazing stories from our neighborhoods below:
In Glen Rock, NJ local graphic designer Laura Occhipinti found a simple way to rally her neighbors in support of frontline workers. She’s designing and selling lawn signs to thank all the essential workers in her neighborhood. “There’s 12 careers represented on the sign because I want to make sure they were all getting thanks” said Occhipinti. For every sign sold, Laura is buying gift cards from local restaurants and giving them directly to frontline workers in her area. Thank you, Laura!
Brooklyn Balloon Girls is taking over local businesses, one balloon bomb at a time. Owner Christina Cartagena was walking in her neighborhood when she realized how many small businesses were being affected by the lockdown. Left with a large supply of balloons after cancelled events, she created balloon arrangements at home, and installed them at storefronts throughout the neighborhood. Her #ProjectBalloonBomb drew attention to Brooklyn businesses, and brought smiles to people’s faces. Thank you, Christina!
Ali Ewoldt is a Broadway actress who is bringing people together through musical theatre. During quarantine, she enlisted her neighbors to help create a Les Mis sing-a-long video while practicing social distancing. Ali revised the lyrics to the original songs to reflect current times. She then assigned a verse to each neighbor and drove around the block filming the video from afar. Not only did the online video bring Ali’s neighbors together, it’s also raising money to support fellow actors out of work through The Actor’s Fund. Thank you, Ali!
Italian Kitchen in Fairfield, CT is supporting the frontline workers the best way they know how: by feeding them. Owner Dominick Giresi started out by just donating pizzas, and quickly started providing full meals to feed frontline workers. To this date, the restaurant has fed more than 2,000 frontline workers in the area. Thank you, Dominick.
Best Deal Car Services is taking first responders for a ride, for free. When the pandemic hit, CEO Albert Williams knew he needed to step in and help those most affected – the frontline workers. To date, the company has provided over 2,300 free rides to frontline workers. They provided thousands of hand sanitizers to riders and ensured each ride was safe and clean. “There rides mean so much – I know that I don’t have to worry about clean and reliable transportation when going to work in such turbulent times” said a nurse in Bainbridge. Thank you, Albert!
Dan Griffith of Ramblin’ Dan’s Freewheelin Band is keeping the music going. Instead of closing shop during the lockdown, he opened his shows to everyone. Now he performs for children all over the country, online. Up to 100 kids at a time attend his live shows, and thousands watch his videos. Keeping your youngest entertained while they’re stuck inside and fostering a love of music that will last a lifetime. Thank you, Dan!
Front step photo sessions are breaking the routine for residents of Huntington, NY. Local photographer Bob Mitchell and Colleen Perfetto are getting people out of the house with a smile on their face. They’re taking pictures from a distance of their neighbors in front of their homes. Each picture comes with a voluntary donation for Helping Hands. Bob and Colleen have taken more than 100 portraits and by sharing their pictures online, the neighbors feel more connected with their community. Thank you, Bob and Colleen!