UNION, NJ – In a show of appreciation for, and thanks to, healthcare professionals and essential personnel, Union residents and neighbors are invited to come together Wednesday evening displaying luminaries and clapping it up.

“It's something that doesn't cost anything, everyone can do it, and we will be at a safe distance from each other,” said Liliana Almeida.  Almeida said she began garnering attention for the clapping event after she sent out a message on several Union Facebook pages to ask people to participate.  “I then created a Facebook page called Show of Appreciation for our COVID-19 HEROES.  She said group member Anna Embree posted the luminaries flyer, so “it was decided that we would do the clapping at the same time”. 

Residents are invited to light a candle or luminary for their front porch or window to “unite with light”.  In addition, residents are asked to step outside and begin clapping at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 1, to show appreciation and support for essential workers.

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Almedia said the idea arose when she saw a video of people in her hometown in Portugal clapping for healthcare and professional personnel. “It felt really inspiring and motivational,” she said.  “Not only were they showing appreciation for the healthcare professionals, and all the other essential personnel, but they were creating a sense of togetherness, saying we are here, and we are going to make it through this together.”

“I'm hoping that we can get enough people together to show the appreciation the essential personnel need and deserve, and to bring a sense of community,” said Almeida. 

“Union and the towns around us are full of fantastic people who want to help, but don't know how, maybe this can help,” said Almeida of her Facebook page.