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Friday, May 01, 2020

Together with a Heart: Food Relief Efforts for Senior Citizens During COVID-19

On Tuesday evening, March 24, Charlene Hall, owner of Gold Star Cafe in Lowell, IN was being interviewed by WBBM News Radio about her food relief efforts for senior citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like many others in the restaurant industry, take out and delivery efforts have been a focal point to keep business afloat.

Once the shelter in place orders were mandated by several states across the country including Indiana & Illinois, there was a lot of inventory of food at the Gold Star Cafe.

Instead of letting meals go to waste or disposing of the meals, Charlene Hall decided to provide meals for local and surrounding senior citizens that were unable to get out to stores during the food rush.

Since the start of her voluntary efforts, many other volunteers have jumped on board to help distribute these meals straight to the doorsteps of senior citizens.

During her interview, when asked if there was anything else needed to help with the delivery of free meal baskets, Charlene did not hesitate to express the struggle of finding large enough boxes to hold four days worth of food.

AmpliVox Sound Systems, a small business located in Northbrook, IL who normally helps others be heard, was the one listening on this evening. Plant manager, Larry Stotts while driving home from work, heard the outcry of the Gold Star Cafe to help fallen victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.

AmpliVox had boxes, and plenty of boxes! Within the next 24 hours, Charlene and the Gold Star Cafe’s packaging issue was resolved!

A Facebook post from Charlene Hall with over 20,000 engagement insights, best outlines the sequence of events:

Larry Stotts

AmpliVox Plant Manufacturing Supervisor
"So I get a call from Larry Stotts, of Amplivox Sound Systems located north of Chicago. What size and how many boxes do we need? We spoke, he drilled down some sizes to me and we came up with the perfect size to easily handle four days of meals for our deserving seniors.

No worries...he will shoot me out some, he loved what we are doing and he wants to help. I spoke later with their marketing manager and really got a feel for this company and all the great people working there. Those kind, generous folks sent us an ENTIRE pallet of boxes by private carrier.

Our box worries are now over for a long time. Each delivery was a struggle and just like that, fixed...out of the kindness of someone’s heart. Thank you Amplivox for being a good neighbor!"

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm resulting in lost lives and economic hardship for many.

People have been forced to self-isolate and in most locations it is mandatory to wear PPE while in public.

There is no doubt that different times are among us, but this heart-touching story reminds us that during adverse times even the smallest acts of kindness can go a long way.

At a time when the well-being of others and ourselves is a priority, it has become virtually necessary to provide effective assistance for each other especially since there are limited resources.

Though most of the world has responded to this pandemic with fear and precaution, it is also important to understand we all have an opportunity to choose to respond in a way that can truly save lives.

This opportunity to do something great doesn’t have to be big or grand, it just has to be done with a heart. So whenever that next opportunity for a positive impact comes, take advantage and be the difference.