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How the Hudson Valley Community Is Giving Back During the COVID-19 Crisis

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From Albany to Westchester, regional businesses and restaurants think small to help local businesses survive in the face of the coronavirus.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The Hudson Valley community is the best. As entire industries across the region suffer dramatic closures and losses because of the coronavirus, local businesses band together to lend a helping hand to those in need.

In addition to ordering delivery and takeout from area restaurants and shopping online to help small businesses stay afloat, here are a few ways that Hudson Valley locals are supporting one another during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Beacon Art Studios

Beacon Art Studios gets that every little bit counts during the coronavirus crisis. That’s why the crafters at this Dutchess County-based operation are putting their skills to use to create face masks for nurses and institutions in the region. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the project or contributing materials or energy can email beaconartstudios@gmail.com.

BlueWave Solar

In response to the COVID-19 crisis in the Hudson Valley, the Northeast-area community solar provider partners with Food Bank of the Hudson Valley to donate $150 per subscription signup for its new solar project off Salt Point Turnpike in Poughkeepsie. Residents and businesses in Central Hudson Gas & Electric service territory are eligible, and BlueWave will give them an additional $100 bonus to keep or donate to the food bank.

Hudson Valley Skin Care

After suspending its regular production for two weeks, Hudson Valley Skin Care switched gears to make hand sanitizer in bulk for the Hudson Valley. The brand is sending it to places like Publick House 23 in Pleasant Valley, which is currently distributing free lunches for children in the region. Because supplies are limited, Hudson Valley Skin Care asks that everyone take one bottle apiece so as to stretch resources.

Lunches for Children

Wappingers Falls favorite Mamma Musetti’s keeps up its charitable programming by offering free lunches to children in the Hudson Valley. In addition to prepping takeout meals for diners, owner Rosaria Musetti whips up her signature pastas and Italian specialties for little ones who need comforting, nutritious food while they’re out of school.

Donate through a community-organized GoFundMe page, which aims to support Musetti and her husband as they give back to locals while working to stay afloat.

Million Gallons

As restaurants close temporarily or permanently across the Hudson Valley, food waste and shortages become a serious problem. To combat them both, Million Gallons bands together the chefs and food professionals of Westchester County to make a million gallons of soup for those in need.

Restaurants can pledge to make anywhere from up to 100 or 100 or more gallons of soup, while corporate partners can donate funds. Chefs like David DiBari of The Cookery and The Parlor are already onboard to cook, with local brands like Sfoglini stepping up to donate resources (1,000 pounds of pasta, anyone?).

Pearl Street Alterations

In Woodstock, Pearl Street Alterations presses pause on bespoke clothing alterations to sew masks for hospital staff in the region. Brand owner Maggie Mitchell is not accepting fabric donations to ensure her masks are as germ-free as possible, but she will take new and unused bedsheets or quilting fabric. She’s willing to train anyone interested in contributing over FaceTime.

Project Resilience

While the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Hudson Valley ticks ever upward, Ulster County opens its support network to individuals affected by the virus. With $2 million in funding and a goal to raise $5 million overall, the project aims to purchase meals from local businesses and nonprofits in order to feed those in need.

In addition, the program collaborates with Family of Woodstock to provide emergency child care for healthcare professionals in the region. Locals can donate, sign up as a restaurant or food service provider, or request food assistance through the Project Resilience website.

Support Connection

Even for those who aren’t sick, the uncertainty of COVID-19 is stressful as it is. So can you imagine what the situation feels like for someone already suffering from cancer? Amid the tumult of the coronavirus crisis, Support Connection offers peer counseling by phone or email for anyone who needs an outlet to talk through their emotions.

Online, the Yorktown Heights-based program has a guided meditation class to reduce stress, as well as a number of educational webinars to make the most of time at home. Because all resources are free for those who need them, online donations are much appreciated.

Ulster Eateries United

Led by the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Ulster Eateries United is a Facebook Group designed to help restaurants and food industry professionals promote their offerings and speak up about challenges and struggles. Many restaurants post about their giving initiatives (Woodnotes Grille is offering free takeout for firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, and EMTs, for instance), which makes the group a resource for anyone in the industry looking to lend a hand while social distancing.

United Way

For families in Dutchess and Orange Counties, United way goes above and beyond with a multi-pronged effort to combat challenges attached to the coronavirus. For families in crisis, the organization is running a fundraiser to collect $25,000 for anyone living paycheck by paycheck or immediately impacted by the closure of businesses across the Hudson Valley.

Donations go toward providing food for families in need, supplying students with essential supplies, and fielding emergency calls related to the coronavirus. On Facebook, United Way runs a group to share information about resources for individuals impacted by COVID-19. As for its 2-1-1 hotline, the 24/7 call service is confidential and available for anything from COVID-19 to employment, food, and shelter.

Unshattered

In addition to making bags for a cause, Unshattered taps its creative team to craft surgical masks for Vassar Brothers Hospital and the local community. While the masks are not certified to protect against COVID-19, they can extend the life of the approved N95 masks or offer some block against the virus for individuals who don’t have access to the masks.

Anyone who is interested in helping sew can follow Unshattered’s video tutorials online. The Hudson Valley organization also has a need for hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, so anyone who has surplus can get in touch.

Wicked Finch Farm

When New York State Governor Cuomo put out a call for gloves, gowns, and masks on March 20, healthcare companies and individuals as far-reaching as fashion designer Christian Siriano stepped up to meet the demand. In the Hudson Valley, Wicked Finch Farm is doing its part to flatten the curve.

Working with NY Handmade Collective, farm co-owner Mariana Leung-Weinstein crafts handmade masks for healthcare professionals to wear over their N95 masks in order to extend the life of the limited resources. Anyone with sewing skills or extra fabric and elastic can contact the farm directly.

Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

Recognizing the need for PPE supplies at local hospitals, Woodstock Farm Sanctuary donated over 1,000 units – 200 surgical masks, 20 N95 masks, 150 isolation gowns, 75 high quality isolation gowns, 32 isolation suits, and 600 gloves – to a paramedic service in Kingston to assist with COVID-19 care. In keeping with New York State’s PAUSE restrictions, the sanctuary, which is a 100-percent donor-supported organization, is closed for public visits until further notice.