DENVILLE, NJ -- Even during the COVID-19 crisis, residents of Denville Township are going strong, literally.
Six days ago, a GoFundMe campaign, known as Denville Strong, was launched for township residents to give back and support health care workers at St. Clare’s Hospital, local first responders and local businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. The funds collected will go toward making meals, medical supplies, gift cards and other things in need during the pandemic.
“Denville is well known for its strong sense of community and togetherness,” said Ryan Gleason, executive director of the Downtown Denville Business Improvement District.
“After Hurricane Irene, so many people banded together to help those affected come back stronger than before. Now Denville is stepping up again with Denville Strong and helping to provide needed meals, goods and services to our heroic health care workers and first responders while supporting our local businesses at the same time. Downtown Denville is so proud to play just a small part in making it all happen. All the credit goes to organizer Michael Anderson and the many residents who have contributed to the effort.”
Downtown Denville is a nonprofit organization that works to promote and support the small businesses of the township around the Broadway area. Denville Strong is further supported by Two Girls Media, a local boutique agency that specializes in marketing local businesses through the creation and development of products, publications and advertising.
“We are so appreciative of how Denville always comes together during any crisis and pleased how residents are supporting those on the front line and our local businesses with this initiative,” said Gene Fitzpatrick, former councilman and chair of the Downtown Denville Board of Directors.
“We are doing everything we can to provide support and coordination for this cause. Thank you, Denville.”
Denville Strong is a grassroots effort organized by local volunteers, led by township resident Michael Andersen, who is a member of the Denville Township Board of Education. Aside from supporting the local school, Andersen was happy to lead the way to giving back to anyone affected by or combating the coronavirus.
“Our local heroes are putting themselves at risk every day to ensure we’re staying healthy, so this is a small gesture of thanks,” said Andersen.
“The outpouring of support from Denville is incredible. There was over $10,000 raised in less than 24 hours! We also recognize the financial impact this is having on many businesses in Denville, so 100 percent of the funds will be spent at Denville businesses. On Tuesday, we provided lunch to 70 St. Clare’s EMT personnel. Due to dwindling supplies of personal protective equipment, we answered an urgent request this week from St. Clare’s for surgical caps and shower caps. Within hours, we were able to collect and provide thousands. Over the next few days, we’ll be providing meals to Denville police, fire and first aid, DPW [Denville Public Works] and health care workers in our community. The support from local businesses has been amazing. We continue to respond as requests come in, and we’re working to provide support to heroes through other Denville businesses. I can’t thank Downtown Denville and Two Girls Media enough for providing incredible support and resources.”
And indeed, more than $10,000 was raised in less than a day, and the amount continues to grow. As of now, Denville Strong has raised close to $17,000.
To learn more about Denville Strong, and how to donate, visit its webpage at https://www.gofundme.com/f/denville-strong.
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