In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s hard to recall a more uncertain time. In moments like these, you could be forgiven for being paralyzed by anxiety. In every crisis, however, people rise to the occasion, meeting it head-on.
Many of our local businesses have done just that.
Supplying Personal Protective Equipment
Makers13, a Jeffersonville-based community workshop, has taken to using its tools to manufacture personal protective equipment for first responders and hospitals. In short order, Maker13 has provided more than 3,000 shields and masks to protect those in our community who need them most.
Still, other southern Indiana businesses have shifted to producing hygiene products to fight the virus.
Last month, Huber’s Starlight Distillery distributed gallons of hand sanitizer to hospitals and first responders. SoIN’s premier “brewstillery,” Donum Dei, too, distributed hand sanitizer, allowing locals to fill disposal water bottles at no cost.
The founder of Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris, is donating 1 million masks nationwide and 12,000 to Kentuckiana Hospitals. Clark Memorial Hospital in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and Louisville's Norton Healthcare will split 12,000 of the masks donated. Johnny Morris said he's grateful to the people working on the front lines and honored to support them during this health crisis.
Keeping First Responders Fed
But the needs of our frontline medical staff extend far beyond hygiene – everyone's gotta eat, as they say. Thankfully, SoIN has no shortage of restaurant owners and staff who are dedicated to keeping our first responders fed.
Jeffersonville’s Parnelli’s Chicago Eatery formed its donation-based “Feed a Floor” initiative, with the goal of feeding staff on each floor of Clark Memorial Hospital. Similarly, The Olivet, a New Albany gourmet grocer, participated in the Floyd Foundation’s “Adopt a Unit” program to serve the staff at Baptist Health Floyd lunch and pastries. Huber’s Orchard is donating snack boxes from its farm market to essential personnel in the area. Residents can purchase a $20 box that will be delivered to healthcare organizations. Geraldine's Kitchen started the "spread kindness" campaign by delivering meals to Jeffersonville First Responders and Healthcare Providers! The community can add to the TAB by purchasing an e-gift card or purchase a meal from their #SpreadKindness menu.
Service Industry Bands Together
The pandemic is as much a medical emergency as an economic one. All industries are being affected, arguably none more so than the foodservice industry. Many of our local service industry workers have been laid off, due to restaurant closures or by shifting to limited operations. In response, leading service industry figures have spearheaded relief programs for our effected hospitality workers.
Brand Hospitality Group, which owns two New Albany-based restaurants, The Exchange and Brooklyn and the Butcher, partnered with Sampan Screenprinting in Jeffersonville to create and sell “SoIN this Together” T-shirts. The profits of these sales will go to a relief fund for affected foodservice workers.
New Albany’s Pints&union has received a $10,000 “Grant for Good” for its Restaurant Workers Relief Program. The grant is from the LEE Initiative, a Louisville, Ky. organization promoting diversity and equality in the foodservice industry. Pints&union has put that funding to good use by creating its Restaurant Workers in Need program.
It is in times like these that we are reminded that we are one community. That we are given the opportunity to refocus on what truly matters. That we recognize and appreciate how connected we are. That we are afforded the chance to make a difference on these bases.
We are SoIN. And, we are SoIN this together.
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