Dear Editor,

I wanted to take the time and personally thank the Front Line Appreciation Group of South Plainfield for coming together during difficult and uncertain times. 

Our community members witnessed something that most of us would not expect to see during our lifetime. As Covid-19 began spreading across the world, and then the United States, our state was hit hard and had to shut down in an instant. However, essential employees still reported to work every day during this global pandemic. These people cared for our sick in hospitals and nursing homes, kept families stocked with food and water, and continued to protect our community. 

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I felt helpless while I was safe behind my computer teaching my students from the comfort of my home, while two of my best friend’s wives were battling on the front lines as ER nurses at JFK Edison and RWJ Rahway. I needed to do something for all of these essential workers risking their lives every day. I took a chance, and with the help of Rich Durso, created the FLAG branch of South Plainfield. FLAG’s mission is twofold: show support for front line workers by supplying food while also helping to keep local businesses stay afloat during the pandemic. 

In only nine weeks, Flag of South Plainfield sold over 550 lawn signs and raised over $12,500. We utilized those funds to deliver over 2,100 meals to SP Police Department, SP Volunteer Rescue Squad, SP DPW, SP Senior Center, JFK Hospital Edison, RWJ New Brunswick, RWJ Rahway, RWJ Somerset, Saint Peters New Brunswick, Rutgers Cancer Institute, Eric B. Chandler Health Center, JFK dispatchers, RWJ dispatchers, Medemerge, Aristacare, Menlo Park Veteran’s Home, SP Shop Rite, SP Aldi, Stop and Shop (Stelton and Inman), Restaurant Depot, and pizza kits around town to random families (thanks to Sal Severini).The outpouring of support from community members, local restaurants, organizations, and businesses was amazing. I went into this with an overall goal of raising $5,000, but the generosity, kindness, and charitableness of South Plainfield residents took it much further than I could have ever anticipated. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the amazing support received through this altruistic show of sheer goodness. A special shoutout goes out to my wife, family, and friends who helped me in so many ways including social media, delivering food and signs, and spreading the word. 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed getting a chance to meet and interact with so many of our residents, many of whom I did not know prior to this endeavor. South Plainfield is a great community and an awesome place to live and raise a family! 

Take care and be well,

Joe Sorrentino