Story by Sara Paul
Warwick resident and highly decorated soldier Lieutenant Colonel Jaimie E. Leonard believed in serving those who serve. In 2013, after LTC Leonard was tragically killed in action in Afghanistan, a non-profit organization was founded in her memory.
It seems only natural that the group, HERoes In Deed, has stepped up to help the Warwick community in these challenging times during COVID-19.
“Jaimie was about service to others, and she would certainly be volunteering her time if she were alive today,” said HERoes In Deed Board Treasurer Bo Kennedy.
Meals for Medical Staff
In a win-win scenario, HERoes In Deed has donated $5,000 to local Warwick restaurants that will be using the money to prepare and deliver food to local healthcare workers at Mt. Alverno, Schervier Pavilion and St. Anthony Community Hospital. The efforts, dubbed “Hometown Heroes,” aims to assist small businesses that may be struggling in the current social and economic climate, as well as provide some comforting sustenance to workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s really two-fold, giving a little injection of funds where needed, and also giving a good meal to first responders, who are in need of a little cheer from time to time,” commented Kennedy.
Through the program, HERoes In Deed randomly selected 10 Warwick eateries, awarding them each $450 to provide about 25 meals for medical workers. Using the app MealTime, restaurants can select a date and time for delivery. Participating Warwick restaurants include: Iron Forge Inn, Caffe a la Mode, Halligan’s Public House, Tuscan Café, Yesterdays restaurant, The Crystal Inn, Pennings Farm, Conscious Fork, Galloway Grill, and Sugar Loaf Taphouse.
Working alongside Kennedy is community liaison Kelly Ferretti, who worked to connect the non-profit with local restaurant owners.
“I am personally grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such an impactful project in the midst of what is an all-around difficult time in our nation,” commented Ferretti.
Though HERoes In Deed has organized 5K, 10K and Fun Runs for the past seven years, they had to cancel the group activities this Spring due to COVID-19.
Still, “Hometown Heroes” continues to receive more donations, and the group is looking at even more ways to give back to first responders. One idea is to distribute restaurant gift certificates to Warwick Police and Fire Departments and Warwick EMS.
“The fact that HERoes In Deed started this project, and two weeks later we are now able to look at continuing to help bless and serve other first responders due to generous donations from the community is just an amazing thing,” commented Ferretti.
Kennedy acknowledges, “It’s the best we can do for now, and we just hope it makes an impact. Jaimie would be proud of this. It would be right up her alley.”
For more information or to donate, visit the HERoes In Deed website at www.heroesindeed.org.