As a part of the Town of Smithtown’s ‘No One Forgotten’ collaborative during the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of community leaders, organizations and small business owners have come forward to offer assistance. Most recently, Smithtown High School West sophomore Jensen Herbst joined the ranks, along with Smithtown Children’s Foundation, The Lenard Team and Whisper Vineyards in the charge to spread hope through selfless acts throughout the community.
Jensen Herbst, a sophomore at Smithtown High School West, worked tirelessly on her 3d printer to create 50 Face Shields to protect front line workers. Herbst reached out to Supervisor Wehrheim for guidance on how her donation could make the biggest impact for the most people. Supervisor Wehrheim then reached out to Paule Pachter at LI Cares to make arrangements to get the face shields directly in the hands of the food bank’s COVID-19 emergency response teams. LI Cares deploys Mobile Outreach vehicles to provide emergency assistance throughout Nassau and Suffolk County daily.
“Jensen’s unique effort will literally help thousands of people, not just here in Smithtown but all over the island. By outfitting the people who put their own health on the line out there daily ensuring no one goes hungry, Miss Herbst is not only making a difference… She’s instilling hope and great influence throughout the community.” - Supervisor Ed Wehrheim
On Wednesday, April 29th, Supervisor Wehrheim received a call from Steve & Laura Gallagher (Whisper Vineyards) and Barbara Perrotta of Borella’s Farms, inviting him out to the Vineyard to help send off 6,000 bottles of wine to Medical Professionals on the front lines of the coronavirus. Steven Gallagher informed Supervisor Wehrheim that every day between the hours of 4PM - 6PM, Whisper Vineyards is offering a free bottle of wine to Front Line workers as a symbol of their gratitude. Medical professionals can show ID badges upon entry to pick up a bottle.
“We wanted to do something for the heroes in this battle, a little peace of mind when they come home, exhausted after long shifts, bones aching and their minds replaying the day. Our hope is to give them a little peace of mind… a whisper of our gratitude.” - Steven Gallagher, Whisper Vineyards
On Monday May 4th, the Smithtown Children’s Foundation and the Lenard Team joined the town in surprising local Nursing Homes with 4,000 kN95 masks. Together with the help of Jon-David Lenard, Stephen Hatzistefandis and Maria Gavriel, the Smithtown Children’s Foundation was able to raise $7,000 in a week through an online fundraiser. St Johnland Nursing Home and Brookside Multicare Center both received 1,000 masks on Monday. The Children’s Foundation and the Lenard team will deliver the remaining masks to St James Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center and Luxor Nursing Home through the remainder of the week. In addition to the kN95 masks, the Smithtown Children’s Foundation made up large care packages in the form of gift baskets filled with healthy snacks for Nursing Homes.
“There are so many good people in our community who want nothing more than to help… so much in fact that we raised the money in a week! Once we ordered the masks, we devoted our time to orchestrating deliveries. We realized the need for PPE in our local nursing homes, so we decided we’d pay it forward to as many caregiving facilities as possible. Delivering the masks and goodie bags was deeply rewarding for us, as well as the staff caring for the most vulnerable, all of whom expressed their appreciation towards the community for thinking of them, during this time of tribulation.” - Christine Fitzgerald, Smithtown Children’s Foundation
About the COVID-19 Response:
From the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Town of Smithtown has orchestrated a unique central communications matrix, consisting of local food banks, shelters, school districts, charitable organizations & non-profits, first responders, local chambers, volunteers, local church/religious groups, food establishments and everyone in between. The objective was to ensure no one was forgotten during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with the help of many organizations and individuals, the Town of Smithtown has helped to facilitate various supply donations, meal delivery, PPE appropriation and even fabric allotments which went to deliver hand sewn face masks.