The news these days can feel heavy, and we can all have days where we feel pretty helpless in what's going on around us. But if you look for it, there are still positive things happening every day! Here are some uplifting stories of Bucks County businesses and individuals that are finding ways to be a shining light and helping others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep looking for the helpers … they're all around us.
Gannon Insurance Agency
Gannon is partnering with Erie Insurance to do something exciting for members of the community. They started by asking people to comment on their Facebook page and tag their favorite local restaurant. Gannon then purchased gift cards from restaurants (helping local businesses). After that, they asked people to nominate family, friends and neighbors (even themselves) that they felt could use some help during the pandemic. They're accepting nominations through May 15, and then they will give the gift cards to those in need of some assistance. Visit their Facebook page to find out more. And read our article about all of the things Gannon is doing to help right now at this link.
Lace Silhouettes Lingerie
Shop online or call to arrange curbside pickup at the Peddler's Village location.
Moved by the dedication of healthcare professionals fighting COVID-19, Karen Thompson, Founder of Lace Silhouettes Lingerie (LSL Brands), wanted to express her appreciation and admiration for their determination and sacrifices by sending Wish Wraps to the front lines. “We care about our communities! We want them to know they are appreciated and I hope the wrap gives them a reason to smile for a moment or two,” said Thompson.
The Wish Wrap, a soft clothing wrap, was created by Thompson. The wrap includes a Wish Card for owners to write down their ‘wishes and dreams.’ Operation: Thank You (#OperationThankYouWishWrap) is donating 7,000 Wish Wraps to hospitals across the states ranging from New York to Florida. This is the company’s way of thanking the selfless individuals who are working tirelessly to assist their patients and save lives in their community. Essentially, Thompson’s way of offering a ‘distant hug’ during this time of uncertainty.
Lace Silhouettes isn’t doing it alone — the company has teamed up with Cosmo Trading. “I wish there were more people and companies like Karen’s that are showing so much generosity in these tough times. I really admire Karen. It is a very small contribution on our part and we will be glad to cover shipping charges for these donations,” said president of Cosmo Trading, Andy Shamsi.
During this time Witt Pilates is stepping up and committed to making a difference. That is why they will be offering not only VIRTUAL but INTERACTIVE classes through Mind Body, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Interfaith Food Alliance. Witt would also like to assist anyone negatively impacted by COVID19 by way of job loss & offer them complimentary virtual classes! Classes starting THIS WEEK, in Pilates, Barre and Bootcamp & can be accessed via Mind Body. Once you sign up for a class you will be sent an email with a Zoom link.
The first week is $5 with a purchase of your 2nd week of unlimited classes for $30. Witt is offering not only equipment classes but privates all available on Reformers, Towers, Chairs, Spin Bikes. Witt is excited to be able to provide this tool as a way for clients to safely interact with friends & instructors.
Green Turtle Designs
Chuck Klein is the creator of Green Turtle Designs, a firefighter owned and operated company. At the start of the pandemic, he sold and delivered nearly 100 “Thank You” lawn signs to members of the community. Then, he partnered with other small businesses to make the signs available for purchase at places like Johnny Longhots in Fairless Hills and Lykon Automotive & Towing. Klein is using profits from the sales to fund meal donations to essential workers and help fill Bucks County food banks.
Help support Green Turtle by purchasing Thank You #BucksStrong signs, or you can also order custom yard signs for graduation and birthdays.
The Fred Beans Automotive Group, which is headquartered in Doylestown, recently launched a 500,000 Meals Challenge. The company will donate $25,000 a month through the end of the year, divided across area organizations that fight hunger.
The monthly donations from Beans will come from a portion of service and CARSTAR collision bills, online car sales and sales in showrooms once they reopen. These monthly donations will collectively fund an estimated 400,000 meals through December for individuals in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey communities where Fred Beans operates.
The “Challenge” is to Fred Beans’ vendors, customers and employees, who have the financial ability, to provide an additional 100,000 meals by the end of the year. Their donations will help Beans meet – and hopefully surpass – that 500,000-meal goal.
To join the “Challenge” and donate to help fight hunger, visit https://www.fredbeans.com/half-million-meals-challenge/. Customers can also make their own contributions by rounding up at the registers of Beans dealerships, CARSTAR collision centers, CarQuest locations and AutoRent sites. Donors can choose to make a contribution to one or more of the organizations benefiting from the Fred Beans 500,000 Meals Challenge: the Bucks County Opportunity Council, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, the Flemington Area Food Pantry, the Salvation Army of Boyertown and the Salvation Army of West Chester.
Fred Beans is also offering a free safety check & oil change to healthcare workers and first responders.
The Doylestown Bookshop
16 S. Main Street, Doylestown
In April, the Doylestown Bookshop donated about 50 books to the Doylestown Hospital for staff and patients in isolation due to COVID-19.
If you'd like to help support The Doylestown Bookshop, you can place orders online or over the phone from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. They are offering shipping or curbside pickup from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Castle's Garden, Lawn & Landscape
1120 E. Bristol Road, Oakford
Chances are good that you've already read about the heartwarming story of the folks at Castle's Garden, Lawn & Landscape delivering food along with a flower order a couple of weeks ago. (We shared it in our Instagram stories!) Maureen Johnson, a New York Times bestselling author who grew up in Bucks County, tweeted about it. Her mother, Mary, called Castle and ordered some flowers to be dropped off on her porch. While on the phone, she mentioned that she had promised her daughter that she wouldn't leave the house. When Dan, a delivery driver from Castle's, dropped off the flowers, he told Mary that he had more. Here, he had been worried that Mary didn't have food at home … so he brought her food too! Dan gave her four homemade meals that local businessman Victor Corsino had prepared and donated as well as groceries that he had bought. Mary was touched and offered to pay for the food. When Dan refused, she promised to pay it forward and made a donation in his name to the food pantry at her church.
According to Maureen Johnson's Tweet, “This is a roadside plant and garden shop. They brought hot meals from one source and then went to the grocery store and bought food with their own money. They possibly spent more on the food than my mom did on the plants.”
Castle's is remaining open during this time from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m daily. According to their Facebook page, crowds are minimal and easily spread out. It is almost all open air shopping. You can also schedule curbside pickup or pay $10 for delivery when you spend $50 or more.
Vitalia Inc. Window Treatments for Interior Designers
67 Almshouse Road, Richboro
Vitalia Vygovska is the owner of Vitalia Inc. Window Treatments in Richboro. Since the coronavirus pandemic, she has shifted the focus of her company's workroom – sewing and donating over 1,000 handmade face masks. Recently, the Bucks County business owner posted to Facebook that, with the help of fabric vendors who donated fabric, her work room has been creating 70-100 masks every day. Vitalia has been donating the maks to firefighters and other first responders and area hospitals.
Neshaminy Federation of Teachers
This Facebook post from Middletown Township Police Department caught our attention. On top of figuring out a new way of teaching and being available to students and parents, the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers also has made and donated masks and food to the local police!