To the editor;

I would like to recognize and thank the army of volunteers that have turned out in Salem to help our community members navigate life during the challenging times of the coronavirus crisis.

Through my volunteer work at the Salem Pantry, I watch our community come together at our schools and parks, not only giving and receiving groceries along with the Salem Public Schools meal services, but creating a supportive and caring environment for our most vulnerable community members. The creative ways that people, community organizations and church groups are helping each other are so impressive. Meals are being delivered daily, and calls are being made to residents to check on their well being. People are supporting our heroic health care workers and first responders by making masks, providing meals, and posting signs of support. Social media is being used to fund-raise for our arts community and service industry workers, and to support our small businesses online.

The strong leadership by Mayor Driscoll and the city of Salem to mobilize these efforts has been incredible. The city’s Salem Together program provides information and resources for residents and businesses, and volunteer opportunities. They have set up ways to help that can be done right from home such as the senior check in calls, which I’ve personally found so enjoyable to do.

Again, thank you to our Salem community!

Alice Merkl

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