Hi Berkeley Heights Community,

I don't often write in the first person or editorialize my writing as a TAPinto franchise owner, publisher and editor. Many times my thoughts are the sentiment of many and my voice would just reiterate what has already been spoken -- so I stay silent and am the platform for your words.

Many stories of generosity and community commitment have been told through our daily publishing. Let's continue to hear from the community -- tell us who you are thankful for!

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At this time, I want to hear from all of you! I want to hear your thank you to first responders, to the healthcare workers, the nurses and doctors, to the teachers and administration, to government employees, to a specific business that has gone out of their way to help during this pandemic time. Submit your letters directly to TAPinto.net by clicking submit content.

Now, for our business community.  

As you may know, it was my vision to start the Winter Walk to bring the community together six years ago. I invited six very diverse members of the Berkeley Heights business community to come together and brainstorm about how we could effectively unite businesses with our community to drive home the dire importance of shopping and patronizing the "mom and pops" in town. 

Cheri and Hilary of Anything Floral spend countless hours planning this event. It is through the generosity of over 70 local Berkeley Heights businesses -- the Winter Walk was born. These businesses are responsible for bringing our community together for much-needed unity and joy for all ages. 

Can you imagine what it has been like for many of these small mom-and-pop businesses that have no option but to remain closed? Or for those that are deemed "essential" and are open -- the decisions that weigh on these "essential" business owners who are open, offering more service to a smaller audience and operating at a loss -- just to stay open for their employees?

I pray for them every day. I pray that they can survive this unprecedented economic crisis. I pray that their doors can safely open. I also pray that our community will rally behind all of these businesses to make this happen. These businesses are what makes this community special. I know this because I work closely with many of them and see how much they give to all that is great in Berkeley Heights.

If you can, and I know not everyone can, donate to the Business Aid: Berkeley Heights fund to show your support and help our small businesses get through this horrible economic crisis. No amount is too small. Visit the Berkeley Heights Business and Civic website to learn more. 

When we get out of this pandemic -- we will be stronger together because we are from a community that cares.

 Bobbie Peer

Related article: Winter Walk's Bigger Purpose