Thank You #OaklandStrong
By Photographer Frank Di Pentima
August 10, 2020

Everyone has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in one way or another. Our lives are likely changed forever due to this pandemic with office workers likely to spend more time working from home, students adapting to on-line learning, businesses changing how they interact with their customers and first responders adapting to supply chain shortages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

But its not all bad news. Many of us are spending much more time with our families than we did before with nightly dinners becoming the norm compared with just a few times per week before Covid-19 forced us all to change. Some people have taken up new hobbies while others have rekindled old ones such as gardening, painting, cooking, reading books or even sewing to make face masks for those in need.

In Oakland, we had our own group of ladies that wanted to do something with the extra time they had during the pandemic so Elizabeth Benducci, Laura Santimauro and Courtney Zizzo teamed up and address a critical need – raising money for First Responders. They did this by creating an impressive looking lawn sign that featured the outline of the great state of New Jersey and then lovingly placed a red heart right on the map representing where our own little hamlet – Oakland NJ – sits on that map.

Elizabeth, Laura, and Courtney teamed up and sold 800 laws signs and raised a whopping $9,600, which this group evenly distributed to the Oakland Fire, First Aid and Police departments, with each group receiving a check in the amount of $3,200. The funds that were donated to each group will be used to purchase much needed PPE supplies to help keep our front line works safe during this pandemic.

On behalf of the Oakland Fire, First Aid and Police departments we shout out a very large and loud THANK YOU to Elizabeth, Laura, and Courtney. Your selfless action is raising these funds are very much appreciated and will be put to good use.