A Salute to Frontline Workers during COVID -19
True leaders step up and rise to the challenge without hesitation and without being asked. We have been in an unprecedented time and, as I looked around, I saw many people going above and beyond to help those in the community. I wanted to focus on the good things I saw around me during the pandemic and highlight how we, as Americans always step up and serve one another.
I appreciate the many people that have stepped up to help and am grateful to have had a way to have recognize them. If you know of someone and would like to recognize their efforts, please click here.
Lisa's Leaders - Helping others during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sharon Roncelli has lived in Armada for 31 years and has a long history of supporting the city of Armada and County of Macomb. She participated in the PTA, coached and refereed AYSO youth soccer, made significant contributions to Armada Police Athletic League (PAL) summer camp, participated (and encouraged her sons to participate) as PAL counselors, contributed work and funds to Armada area schools expansions and upgrades, supported NEST addiction rehabilitation programs for youth, and the list goes on. Most recently, Sharon has leveraged her role as Roncelli, Inc.'s Culture Coordinator to make an even bigger positive impact on Armada, Sterling Heights (where Roncelli Inc. is located), Macomb, and the greater SE Michigan community. As Culture Coordinator, Sharon has brought the 150+ Roncelli Inc team members together for camaraderie throughout the year through raffles, "casual for a cause" donations, and community service events. In 2019, Sharon was the team captain for Roncelli Inc.'s Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's team, as well as the Making Strides in Macomb County Walk Team benefiting the American Cancer Society, donating time and money to raise a combined $20,000 for these charities. She heads-up Roncelli's adopt-a-family holiday program and worked to make sure presents were donated and wrapped so that a significant number of children-in-need in Macomb were able to have a Merry Christmas. She participates yearly in Life Remodeled, fixing up schools for Detroit’s youth at places like Cody High School and Osborne high school, and organizes Roncelli team members to join her. In addition to her time and money, she even donates her home for charity. In 2019, Sharon hosted and coordinated a Charity Poker Tournament that drew 200 people and raised over $30,000 for Henry Ford Macomb's Surgical Services Campaign and the National Kidney Foundation, along with hosting a handful of other charitable events. She participates on the board of the Roncelli Family Foundation, which has given private, but significant contributions, to almost every major healthcare facility in SE Michigan that are in need of funding to service those in-need. While the list is long, these are just some of the ways Sharon's positively impacted the community over her lifetime, and over the last year; she and her husband support numerous charities, hospitals, food banks, and are the first to lend a hand to those around them in need. The help she quietly gives to friends, family, and the community, is as plentiful as the help she shares publicly. Congratulations Sharon!
With so many people out of work, food pantries are busier than ever. Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch has stepped up to help their fellow Michiganders by donating more than 300,000 eggs since March 26 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bulk of the donations have gone to Feeding America West Michigan and the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in Flint. Smaller amounts have been donated to community organizations — from Saranac to Ludington.
Herbruck’s also donated 10,500 N95 masks to those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure health care workers and first responders have the personal protection equipment they need to stay safe.
Thank you Herbruck’s for leading by example!
To read more about what Herbruck's is doing to support the community, Click Here.
Nominated by their Pastor, Nate Kingsbury of Stoney Church, Dave and Dianne Wrobleski started making masks on March 20th, because Dianne saw that a son of a friend of hers had tested positive for COVID-19 and they needed 7 masks for other family members.
As of today, they have delivered 188 masks – by mail, contact-less delivery or porch pick-up. They have shipped masks all over Michigan, as well as some to Florida and Arizona.
Friends and community members have donated so much thread and fabric, that they have more than they started with on their own. Because elastic is in short supply, they are making the ties by hand and sewing the individual strips – over 800 strips to date. They have donated to the Romeo post office and area hospitals; including Ascension Macomb-Oakland. The masks are free.
Many people ask if they can buy a mask, Dianne and Dave tell them they are not for sale, but any donations they want to give, are forwarded to the More Than A Bus Organization. The goal of that organization is to impact the needs of the hurting by bringing hope into cities where hunger and homelessness exists. More Than a Bus serves the hungry and homeless in Washington, Mt. Clemens, Pontiac, and Detroit, Michigan.
It is incredible to see how two very determined people can make an impact on their community – not only making masks – but now helping a second organization as well.
Because elastic is in short supply, Dave and Dianne are making the ties by hand and sewing the individual strips. Utilizing ties is also helpful because it allows the user to size the mask to their preference. It is also helpful for people wearing hearing devices, so that elastic is not around their ears near their hearing device.
I am especially proud of the Blue Water Trucking team in our community. Nick and Rebecca Rinke and the team at Blue Water Trucking have been donating their time and fleet of Freightliner Trucks to deliver supplies to companies manufacturing masks for medical facilities and essential workers across the country.
They help #keeptheworldmoving by ensuring essential workers have the tools they need to do the same.
When COVID-19 hit, Kelli Shaw decided to start sewing masks. On March 21st, she posted on the "What's Happening in Sebewaing" Facebook page asking if anyone had fabric to donate that she could use to make masks for Scheurer Hospital in Pigeon. Jeanie Squires saw her post and said she would like to help. In the early days of the project it was Kelli, Jeanie, Barb Drzewicki (Kelli’s mom), and Kelli’s husband, Jim working on masks.
Jeanie is a long-time resident and was instrumental in getting others to join the efforts – and with that, Sebewaing Area Sewers for a Cause was born. There are roughly 20 volunteers in the group. Some people cut fabric, some sew, some press, and some cut supplies like wire and elastic. There are a few people in the group that complete the entire mask themselves.
Kelli’s husband, Jim, drives a route between all the members of our group twice a day, picking up and delivering items, supplies and assembly line packets. All done by Porch pickups, no contact. Jim also delivers masks to local residents who are unable or unwilling to go outside. They keep each other updated and communicate through a private Facebook page. The masks are free.
To visit the "What's Happening in Sebewaing" Facebook page, Click Here.
As of April 20, 2020, the group has donated 4,869 masks - 680 to Scheurer Hospital alone.
Need a Mask?
If anyone wants a mask or knows of a business or individuals that need masks, simply email Kelli Shaw at email@example.com, or send her a private message on Facebook.
If you want to donate fabric, elastic (they really need 1/8" elastic and 1/4" elastic) or money to use towards supplies, please email Kelli for instructions on how to donate.
Kelli Shaw also thanked the community, stating, "The community has been so kind and encouraging as well as generous with donations of fabric, supplies and money."
Dawn Bartolomeo lives in Washington, MI and is an active member of the Clinton Township Optimist Club. A big supporter of our military, pre-pandemic, she worked with the Optimist Club, the Motor City Chapter of the Women Marines Association, and the VFW to provide care packages for our troops in the Middle East. During this pandemic, she has worked with the Optimist Club to provide and distribute meals to people in need in the Clintondale School District on an on-going basis. Dawn really knows what it means to be a servant leader and is a shining light for folks in Clinton Township!
Julie Baron is a Para-Professional for the Anchor Bay School System, and has been for over 20 years. She participates in the construction trades, CTE program, and does health programming that creates volunteers at the local hospital. She lives in Riley Township and has four grown children. One of her former students, who is a respiratory therapist, asked if she could make some masks and scrub hats, and she gladly jumped into the project —making over 50 of each item every week. She gives the masks and scrub hats to a church in Armada and the church distributes them to local hospitals. She has always been the type of person who gives back and has looked for ways to serve throughout her life.
Congrats to Julie - the first of many Lisa’s Leaders!