BAYONNE, NJ -Though health care professionals; police officers, firefighters, and EMTs; and Department of Public Works employees, those considered to be on the frontline of the battle against coronavirus, have never sought to be in the spotlight, this current public health crisis has thrust them headlong into it.

And while their reluctantly newfound fame has brought them accolades of sorts, it’s not nearly enough for the extraordinary efforts they’ve put over the past weeks, community leaders and business owners have said.

Now, through several local efforts, many are hoping to change that.

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On Thursday, Melissa Matthews announced that her family foundation had launched a GoFundMe page to help raise funds that will be used to deliver host lunches for DPW workers and provide “care packages” to nurses at both Bayonne Medical Center. While the effort has set a modest goal of raising $3,000, and was already inching close to that at time of publication, additional funds will likely be sought in the coming weeks to recognize the work of first responders. 

Also putting forth an effort to “come together as a community and thank the nurses and hospital staff” are the tandem of Caroline Ulivella and Rachel Lansang-Hidalgo. Seeking to raise $500, with Rachel and her husband Angel Hidalgo covering the additional cost, in addition to putting their skills to work, the two have set out to deliver enough cookies, muffins, and croissants fresh baked by Double Batch Bakery to satisfy every sweet tooth at Bayonne Medical Center. 

Finally, under the banner of the Bayonne Chamber of Commerce, several local business leaders have organized a “drive by” of Bayonne Medical Center with drivers asked to honk their horns, shout out a cheer, or wave a show of thanks to the medical staff inside. Additionally, they have invited residents to drop off gift cards for local restaurants that will be delivered to first responders. All gift cards can be delivered to The Bayonne Community News Officer at 447 Broadway. 

“Now, more than ever, these professionals are showing us how much they care about our community,” Ulivella said. “What we are doing is a small gesture compared to the lifesaving efforts they have put in over the past weeks.” 

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