By ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
Stacks of boxes full of products ranging from nuts to coffee have become a familiar sight at the homes of several Bend moms this past week.
Lauren Zacha and Monica Stanfield are two of nearly a dozen women collecting items donated from businesses across Central Oregon to create care packages for local hospital staff.
“We started paying more attention to the needs that are within our local community and particularly at St. Charles with the COVID-19 unit,” said Bend resident Monica Stanfield. “It started with businesses that we knew and then businesses that we frequented and then one thing kind of led to another.”
The moms plan to deliver the care packages with products from nearly a dozen local businesses to St. Charles in the coming days.
“We have 20 for this week but we still have more donations coming in so we’re hoping to do another 20 next week as well,” Bend resident Lauren Zacha said.
Despite businesses taking a big hit during the COVID-19 crisis, many have willingly given products to the group for free to help medical staff.
“It’s obvious who the fighters are, it’s the nurses and the doctors and it’s the people that are on the front lines,” said Grant Gyesky, CEO and Co-Founder of Rise Coffee. “So it made a lot of sense to us as to where we should be focusing our gifts.”
“We aren’t medically trained and if we were we’d be right there with them at the hospital,” said Liza Cannon with Jem Organics. “But because we aren’t, we’re trained in making nut butter, we might as well contribute what we already know.”
Paula McClean with Bend Soap Company agreed.
“These are crazy and unprecedented times right now, and to be able to be part of a way of saying thank you to those who are really stepping up and helping us get through these times, ‘yeah, we were all in!'”
The moms say the businesses’ generosity shows exactly what the Central Oregon community is all about, showing appreciation for those working their hardest to keep us safe.
“I think the biggest thing is just to put a smile on people’s faces and to let them know that the community is really touched and cares about them and their sacrifice and all the hard work that they’re doing,” Stanfield said.
Among the nearly dozen businesses who donated are Jem Organics, RISE Coffee, Active Culture, Bend Soap Co., Humm Kombucha, Trader Joes, Gather Nuts, Royal Juice, Metolius Tea, Holm Toffee, and Picky Bars.
If you’d like to donate or help with a future donation, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org