LETTER: Let’s take a moment to recognize unsung heroes during COVID-19 crisis

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In a letter to the editor, Jersey City resident Riaz Wahid takes a moment to recognize the unsung heroes that are providing food, healthcare, and other crucial services during COVID-19.

Photo courtesy of Riaz Wahid.

Dear Editor,

On May 12th at 11:45 a.m., I received a call from Michael P who lives near Ocean Ave, asking for food for a family of four, and was told by him that City Hall gave my number.

I told him that I will find a volunteer and deliver the food before 6 p.m. Around 5:30 p.m., Pastor Crispin delivered the food. This is just one example of how the community stepped up every day during this pandemic to help around 120 needy families per week.

We kept 80 plus hot meals every day for homeless/needy persons at Hoboken and Journal Square while enforcing social distancing. Big thanks to the super hero volunteers of Fountain of Salvation Church and Pastor Crispin.

Special thanks to Building Blocks NJ and Bayonne Sisters for helping us to provide every Sunday noon meals at Journal Square for homeless/needy persons.

This has been a very unique experience of coordinating and tracking COVID-19 patients from the hospitals to home and, unfortunately, in some cases, to the funeral home/cemetery.

Our special thanks to super hero doctors: Dr. Javed, Dr. Ameen, Dr. Jay Patel, Dr. Khurram Malik and Dr. Seman for spending exhaustive hours with great endurance and patience.

Thanks to these super hero individuals: volunteers and non profit donors Building Blocks of NJ, VOICE, Bayonne Sisters, Harkesh Thakur, Onkar Singh, Kuldeep “Sunny” Kumar, Vinay Ankum, Bhavin Patel, Venu Rachuri, Arshad Hussain, Abid Islam (delivered 1000s of bagels to the hospitals), Alain Mentha (delivered food to refugees), Umar Chaudhry (for masks/pharma help) and Yasser Abduallah of Masjid As-Salaam (for cemetery/funeral services).

Thanks to the amazing Freeholder Bill O’Dea’s South Hudson Civic Association which helped 1000s of seniors and whenever we called the ‘Chico’ Ramchal/Phil Kenny team, they were there within few hours delivering water, toilet paper, etc.

We appreciate that Freeholder O’Dea helped to quickly deploy an online complaint tool for price gauging at the county level.

Big thanks to Director Robert Knapp & team for expediting emergency help processes, including coordinating with burial units.

Last but not the least, special thanks to Health and Human Services Director Stacey Flanagan, who extended Meals on Wheels delivery services to the refugee families and kept an eye on our volunteers’ safety at all times.

God Bless!

Riaz Wahid
Jersey City resident