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Eastside neighbors, businesses donate more than $3,300 in gift cards to first responders

Posted June 17, 2020

group photo of fireman and a civilian in front of a firehouse
Judy Taylor, a member of the Handley Neighborhood Association, surprised firefighters with gift cards to local restaurants.

It started as a simple idea from an Eastside resident: provide a catered lunch from a local business to 30 Fort Worth Police and Code Compliance officers. But the idea expanded to be much more due to COVID-19.

Several Eastside neighborhood associations – West Meadowbrook, Central Meadowbrook, Eastern Hills, Handley and Woodhaven – partnered to purchase 154 restaurant gift cards in $10 to $20 increments as appreciation gifts for first responders and frontline workers. In all, they collected $3,345.

Donations came from the neighborhood associations and local businesses – Medford Remodeling, Pet’s Best Friend, Mindset Fitness & Yoga, Darwin & Associates, Lone Star Motors and Gallant Marble & Granite. Funds were also collected from 36 generous Eastside residents.

To continue to support the Eastside community, the associations decided to purchase gift cards from local small businesses. Cards came from a variety of Eastside mom-and-pop restaurants so the recipients could stay in the area and enjoy a meal provided by community members.

In all, 75 firefighters from four stations, 52 police officers from the East Division, 12 Code Compliance officers and 15 MedStar paramedics were given a gift card.

Residents in the Eastside have not only been able to provide a tasty meal to the city’s first responders, they also found a way to support local small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We wanted our Eastside-area first responders to know that we truly appreciate all they do for us and at the same time support our area’s small businesses. Many of them are struggling, and it only seemed fitting to help in more ways than one during this tough time,” said project organizer and West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association board member Mike Phipps.

What is your neighborhood doing to stay connected and engaged? Let us know.

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