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Former Harrisonburg mayor raising money to provide free meals to healthcare workers

Published: Jan. 8, 2022 at 7:32 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 8, 2022 at 8:17 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - A former Harrisonburg mayor is looking to raise money to provide free meals for local health care workers, as local hospitals fill up with COVID-19 patients due to the Omicron variant surge.

Back in the fall, during the Delta variant surge, Joe Fitzgerald worked with members of the Facebook group ‘Community support for RMH Healthcare Workers’ to provide free Domino’s pizzas and Jimmy John’s subs to staff at Sentara RMH.

Now, with Sentara RMH once again filling with COVID patients, Fitzgerald is raising money to have pizzas delivered to different sections of the hospital at least three times a week and to the Harrisonburg rescue squad once a week.

“We have enough raised for the first eight days, and with the generosity of people in the Valley and comparing what we have now to how much money we raised during the Delta surge, I would say it’s realistic to think we can continue well into February,” said Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald hopes the pizza deliveries will bring some joy to healthcare workers who are once again feeling the strain of an ICU filled with COVID patients.

“One comment from a nurse that really struck me was ‘Thank you for making us feel seen.’ They’re dealing with a crush of patients that was awful in September and October, and it’s horrible now,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald has already raised over $1,000, and he said it’s gratifying to be part of a community that is always looking to help one another out.

“This is a very generous community, and in the midst of any kind of crisis, whether it be COVID or anything else negative that might go on, it’s good to be reminded of that. Bad things are happening, but there are a lot of good people in the Shenandoah Valley and they’ll come through to help out their neighbors,” he said.

To get in touch with Joe Fitzgerald about donating, send an email to jfitzhburg@gmail.com.

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