Portrait by Jacek Dolata; All others from instagram accounts of business as noted
Tents and Structures for the Medical Centers
In a crisis, look for people doing good work. Today, see STAMFORD TENT & EVENT SERVICES, which provided temporary tents and structures to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this crisis, they looked not inward (how to help themselves), but outward (to see what the community needed). As need for temporary locations for testing and food distribution increased, Stamford Tent stepped up. On March 24 the company reported being in constant contact with state and local government agencies about how to help. “We have been happy to, and will continue to, supply our inventory to ensure that everyone in affected areas can get the treatment needed on a daily, weekly and even a monthly basis in this uncertain time,” noted the local business.
“With two locations [in Connecticut and Long Island], we are able to respond quickly to the needs of the communities throughout the tri-state area,” noted Steve Frost, president. “We are repurposing tents that would typically be used for weddings, commencements and other social events to emergency testing sites and food distribution centers for schools and first responders.”
This is not new for the business. They report that since 1953, they have contributed their resources, including tents and temporary structures, during crises. “As agencies continue their preparation and planning, we are open and available to be part of that process,” they note. Their staff get the tents and structures up and functional quickly. Calling on decades of experiences helping their clients in any event, no matter how complex, this contribution adds to townwide peace of mind. This spirit of giving is practical and inspirational. More at stamfordtent.com and @stamford_tent on Instagram.
FEED THE SOUL
Marcia Selden Catering (marciaselden.com) is known for its amazing events, from weddings to gala fundraisers. Then the crisis hit and people had to shelter in place. “When this pandemic began to hit our community, we knew that we needed to pivot our business and take care of our clients to provide them with meals to fill their fridge and freezers,” says Managing Partner and Executive Chef Robin Selden. “They’ve supported us for forty years and we need to now be there for them when something as simple as going to the grocery store doesn’t feel safe anymore. We design weekly menus with everything from full entrees, snacks and beverages that are delivered contact free to their homes.” They also launched Party in a Box, with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, for locals to enjoy at home. Deliveries are left safely on doorsteps.
Then came another way to help. “We are proud to partner with Food for the Front Lines to provide meals to our local hospital systems which are paid for by donations to them and or to us,” she says. The staff add handwritten notes and fun candy lips to show their support. (See @marciaseldencatering and @foodforthefrontlines on Instagram). The family business nurtured us with food and inspired us with can-do attitude.
IN IT TOGETHER
How the COMMUNITY Responded to the Crisis
The city announced Stamford Together, a citywide volunteer program to help seniors, grab-and-go meals for students, testing-site needs, drivers for food delivery, and public-health needs by medical and public-health professionals (through Medical Reserve Corps).
THE GIVING TENT
A donation tent was popped up outside at the Springdale School Little League field with supplies going to those in need. Volunteers managed the donations.
SHIPPAN POINT ASSOCIATION
The community started a Birthday Train, a caravan of friends sharing birthday wishes from a distance (in cars) and enthusiastic cheers for birthday boys and girls.
Instagram users were asked to leave a comment about who they supported and favorite meal to order. Three winners got a gift card to the downtown business of their choice.
They started the COVID-19 Hotline (203-276-4111) to address the community’s concerns seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Helping StamfordHealth Help Us
0n April 1 the Stamford Chamber of Commerce shared truly alarming news: “StamfordHealth is at the frontline of this unfolding COVID-19 crisis caring for our family, friends and neighbors who are contending with this incredibly infectious disease. …As you know, there is a national shortage of what is called personal protective equipment, or PPE. And that shortage is impacting us right here in Stamford.”
It was calling out for masks and eye protection; disposable gowns, gloves, foot covers; wipes, hand sanitizer and even thermometers.
This was two days before Stamford was reported to have the most COVID-19 cases in the state. Others tried to help, too. As the healthcare workers on the frontlines faced the increasing number of cases, local restaurants, like Taco Daddy, Tabouli and Elm Street Diner, brought food.
StamfordHealth continued to watch out for us, the community, too. They took to social media to share reminders about guarding our health, like moving our pets’ food dishes out of the kitchen, and offering advice for self-care, including links to dealing with anxiety. They also thought of the emotional needs of family and friends who wanted to be near to their loved ones who were patients—StamfordHealth couldn’t allow visitors inside. Instead, they created a way for would-be visitors to send virtual messages of hope and positivity. They used a link to Cheer Cards (stamfordhealth.org/patients-visitors/cheer-cards).
President and CEO of StamfordHealth, Kathleen Silard, MS, BSN, RN, FACHE, is a Stamford resident. She released a personal and reassuring message in April, when her hometown dearly needed to hear it: “As a health system, we have robust infection prevention processes and protocols in place and have intensified our ongoing education, training and drills. Additionally, we are fortunate to have a hospital that was built with scenarios such as COVID-19 in mind. We can accommodate a surge in demand, should it be necessary, and our isolation rooms and highly trained staff can effectively and safely handle infectious diseases.”
To keep us informed about care, she also reminded us about the Stamford Health COVID-19 Hotline, 203.276.4111, stamfordhealth.org/covid-19, for prevention tips and more.
This crisis reminded us all of how interconnected and mutually dependent we are. In Stamford, we looked out for one another.