Need a little good news for a change? Check out all the cool ways people around West Chester are supporting each other during these unusual times.
Pay-what-you-want, family-style dining. Tonight (4/16) Bar Avalon is having a pay-what- you-want, family-style dining menu. All proceeds, 100%, will go to the Chester County Food bank, who is in dire need of support. Watch the video for more details. Then follow them on Instagram, because it just gets better. (Note: they also have sangria for purchase, because they know we all need a little help during these trying times.)
Chester County Masketeers. This Facebook group, with hands down the best name out there, was started by local residents who thought they could use their sewing skills to help the cause by producing much needed face masks and distributing them to essential county employees. If you’re handy with the needle and thread, they are looking for more members.
West Chester Community Meal Fund. Over the last few weeks several local restaurants have been quietly providing professionally cooked meals to local seniors and families in need. However, this practice is not sustainable given the strain local businesses are facing as well. So the Mayor’s office and the Chester County Community Foundation are partnering on a new charity initiative, raising money to hire local restaurants to provide meals to seniors in need. One donation, two-times the goodwill. Donate here.
Nursing Home Project. Many nursing homes and assisted living facilities are making residents stay in their rooms to limit social spread. Little Wonderkin has launched a letter writing/card campaign to help keep residents’ spirits up. (Doubles as an easy art project for bored kids.) See her instagram post above for all the details.
So many people stepped up in response to the American Red Cross call for blood donations, there is currently a two week waiting period to give blood at area Blood Donation Centers including at Gay Street and a St. Simon’s and Jude. Reserves dipped after blood drives were cancelled because of the coronavirus. Despite the efforts, donations are still needed: call ahead to schedule an appointment.
Restaurant worker Go Fund Me closing in on $4000! Borough resident Mike Schuster started and seeded a Go Fund Me campaign to help support local out-of-work restaurant employees. The money will be dispersed on a bi-weekly basis to workers who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus. If you would like to be the one to push them over the 4K mark, here is the link to contribute. If you are a restaurant worker who relies on tips and have been laid off as a result of the pandemic, email Mr. Schuster to get your name added to the list of recipients.
Virtual tip jar. To help retail/service employees, the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce has set up a Virtual Tip Jar. The “tips” will be distributed to any workers that typically rely on tips – servers, bartenders, aestheticians – and some that don’t – retail workers, to help them through this challenging time. If you’d like to participate, just think how much you’ve saved since being forced to make your own coffee, you make a donation here.
Good Deeds – Big and Small
The Mayor’s Office has launched a grocery shopping service for elderly and high risk residents. Volunteers are heading to the store and picking up and delivering much needed supplies to the homebound. The new West Chester Shopping Service successfully logged their first trip last Friday. If you would like to help out, shoot an email to Emily Pisano at EPisano@west-chester.com. (If you need help, I would reach out to that same address). The service is especially needed now, as online ordering and store pickup is overwhelmed and currently at least a two week wait.
A ray of light at the end of the cul-de-sac… Residents of Terraces of Windon lined the streets with luminaries to say “thank you!” to all the first responders in our area.
Cub Scout Pack 86 from East Bradford Elementary donated the “delicious” popcorn from their popcorn sales to the West Chester Police Department for “protecting our community in the past, through these trying times in the present and the future.”
West Chester Diner provided free breakfasts to the community on Good Friday. The diner boxed hundreds of breakfasts of pancakes, sausage, bacon, banana and juice and handed them out to everyone that stopped by Friday morning. “This is just a little thing to help out,” West Chester Diner owner Steve Elhendawy told the Phoenixville News.
Local resident Joyce Steinert, 74, has been safely, but soley, self-isolating in her Borough home. In search of something productive to do with her alone time, Joyce decided to make lunch for the men at Safe Harbor House. So the other day, she packed and delivered 20 hot bag lunches complete with a hot dog, apple, sweet snack and an inspirational quote. Thanks, Joyce for reminding us even alone, there is no stopping what we can do!
Benchmark Federal Credit Union announced last week it will be expanding on the federal small business loan program, offering one million in interest-free loan to Chester County business owners. The West Chester-based credit union is offering the loans which they’ve titled, Benchmark Cares Loan Program, in addition or as an alternative to the federal government’s SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). They are also helping business owners with the paperwork, which in my opinion is priceless. One thing to note, the loans require a lien to be put on the business owner’s primary residence, and the applicant(s) must qualify for the loan. This is to protect Credit Union members from undue risk. If you’re interested in learning more, complete the short loan application or give them a call at: (610) 429‐1600.
There were so many good stories, I just couldn’t fit them all. So I’ll, end with this. It’s not usually a good thing when the police (and fire department) show up at your 21st birthday, but for Chayse Widmayar it was just the excitement his self-isolated birthday party needed.
Plus, we didn’t get that toronado they were calling for on Monday, so that’s good news.
Have other examples of random good deeds going on around town? Send them over. I’ll collect more and keep sharing.
Want to support a local business? Here’s a list of the ones that are still open.
New to the blog? Follow along for the latest news from West Chester (the good and the not so good – that’s coming Friday.)